With just 61 days left to go before what is arguably the most important midterm elections in modern American history, Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum confronted Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the Senate Republican campaign arm, and asked him to explain where all the money meant to help Republican candidates retake the hotly contested Senate has gone.
(Video: Fox News)
Citing a New York Times report titled “How a Record Cash Haul Vanished for Senate Republicans,” MacCallum pressed Scott on Wednesday’s edition of Fox News’s “The Story.”
“It says that by the end of July, the National Republican Senatorial Committee had collected a record $181.5 million, but had already spent 95% of it,” she stated of the article. “Then it goes to August, where you have just $23 million left.”
According to The Times, “Mr. Scott installed a new digital team, spearheaded by Trump veterans, and greenlit an enormous wave of spending on digital ads, not to promote candidates but to discover more small contributors. Soon, the committee was smashing fund-raising records.”
A year later, The Times claims, “most of the money” had “vanished.”
“How did this happen?” MacCallum asked Scott. “Where did all that money go?”
The senator from Florida defended his handling of the purse strings.
“Well, we did the right thing,” Scott insisted. “We spent early. Here’s the problem with campaigns. If you wait until the last month, there’s too much static, too much noise out there. So what we did, as soon as our candidates got through their primaries, we started helping them.”
“That’s put us in the position now, that we not only can keep our 50 Republican seats but we also can pick up probably as many — doesn’t mean we’ll get that many — but we got six competitive seats where the Democrats — all the Democrats in our competitive seats are underwater,” he continued. “They are under 50 percent in their favor.”
To be fair, the noise leading up to the Senate races has been deafening, with much of it coming from none other than Scott and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
As BizPac Review reported, Scott slammed McConnell earlier this month for “trash-talking” GOP general-election MAGA candidates.
“Sen. McConnell and I clearly have a strategic disagreement here…We have great candidates, He wants to do the same thing I want to do: I want to get a majority. And I think it’s important that we’re all cheerleaders for our candidates,” Scott told Politico. “If you trash talk our candidates … you hurt our chances of winning, and you hurt our candidates’ ability to raise money. I know they’re good candidates, because I’ve been talking to them and they’re working their butts off.”
Rick Scott hits Mitch McConnell for ‘trash talking’ good GOP candidates https://t.co/ZnMFY4lwde
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 2, 2022
Whether it’s because of defeatist comments from McConnell or Democratic pushback as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the “Red Wave” many are predicting to hit the House hasn’t translated to an easy Senate win. As MacCallum pointed out, many of the crucial races are close, and candidates are in need of those funds to compete.
“But Senator, you see a lot of these races that are tightening up, in Florida, in Ohio, and these candidates are in need of money at this point,” she said. “Some of them are pointing fingers at your leadership and saying that it’s not working. What do you say to them?”
“Well, let’s look at the numbers,” Scott replied. “We’re gonna keep our hardest races to keep. Ron Johnson’s gonna win.”
MacCallum quickly pointed out that Johnson is currently trailing by about five points.
“So, Ron Johnson’s either tied, or up a little bit, or down barely,” Scott conceded.
Ask these candidates that we’ve invested in if they think we should have invested in them early,” he challenged MacCallum. “Absolutely. They needed the money. They got through tough primaries, some of them did. They needed the resources, and we did it at the right time.”
“We’re defining the Democrats,” Scott stated confidently. “We’re helping our Republicans who went through tough primaries. And they are now doing really well. We’re competitive.”
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