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Rick Scott: ‘If you want to trash-talk our candidates to help the Democrats, pipe down’

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is criticizing members of his own party who have suggested certain candidates the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has backed might not fair well in this fall’s midterm elections.

“Unfortunately, many of the very people responsible for losing the Senate last cycle are now trying to stop us from winning the majority this time by trash-talking our Republican candidates,” Scott wrote in an op-ed published in the conservative Washington Examiner this week.

“It’s an amazing act of cowardice, and ultimately, it’s treasonous to the conservative cause. Giving anonymous quotes to help the Washington Post or the New York Times write stories trashing Republicans is the same as working with the Democratic National Committee.”

The chair of the NRSC did not call out any elected officials or Republican pundits by name, but said “much of Washington’s chattering class disrespects and secretly (or not so secretly) loathes Republican voters.”

Scott’s comments appear to be the latest in a simmering feud with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who last month turned heads in Republican circles when he suggested the House is more likely to flip into GOP control than the Senate.

“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,” McConnell said.

Those comments earned a sharp rebuke from former President Trump, who has spent much of his time post-White House campaigning and fundraising for Republicans loyal to him, including a number of candidates in tight swing-state Senate races.

“If you want to talk about the need to raise more money to promote our candidates versus the Democrats’ terrible candidates, I agree,” Scott said Thursday.

“If you want to trash-talk our candidates to help the Democrats, pipe down. That’s not what leaders do. And Republicans need to be leaders that build up the team and do everything they can to get the entire team over the finish line.”