- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Sen. Rick Scott is not letting go of his beef with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after failing to oust the Kentucky Republican late-last year from his leadership post. 

Mr. Scott, Florida Republican, on Wednesday launched a seven-figure national ad buy calling for a new generation of GOP leadership committed to being more than “just a speed bump” on the “road to woke socialism.” 

“People told me not to run for Republican leader against Mitch McConnell. They said I wouldn’t win,” Mr. Scott says in the ad. “I knew it was going to be hard, but we gotta start somewhere.” 

Mr. Scott argues within the 30-second ad that Republicans “can’t keep doing the same old thing” on policy. 

“It’s time for Republicans to be bold, speak the truth and stop caving in,” says Mr. Scott. 

The ad will begin airing across the country later this week. It comes as Mr. Scott kicks off a 2024 re-election bid. 

A former two-term governor, Mr. Scott has expressed frustration in recent months with the pace, traditions and politics of the 100-member Senate.

“I’m finishing my fourth year, I think it’s pretty dysfunctional,” Mr. Scott said in a recent interview. “You get frustrated because you don’t pass budgets. … [Legislation] is negotiated in the dark by a few people. It’s not the way you run a business, not the way you would run your family’s finances.” 

Mr. Scott’s frustration with the status quo led, in part, to his decision to challenge Mr. McConnel for the post of Republican leader. Mr. McConnell wound up winning the race handily 37 to 10 with one GOP senator voting present. 

“I don’t own this job,” Mr. McConnell said after the vote. “Anybody who wants to run for it can feel free to do so. So I’m not in any way offended by having an opponent or having a few votes in opposition. I’m pretty proud of 37 to 10.” 

Despite losing the contest, Mr. Scott has signaled in recent weeks he would continue to fight to change the way the Senate GOP operates. The Floridian was one of 29 GOP senators to oppose Mr. McConnell by voting against a $1.7 trillion government funding bill in December. 

Mr. Scott’s ad campaign came the same day that 20 GOP lawmakers on the other side of the U.S. Capitol voted once again to block House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s ascension to speaker. 

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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