Florida Sen. Rick Scott has endorsed former President Donald Trump over his home-state governor, Ron DeSantis. Scott wrote in an op-ed published in Newsweek: “I support my friend President Donald J. Trump to be the 47th president of the United States and encourage every Republican to unite behind his efforts to win back the White House.” Scott called for Republicans to unite behind the party’s 2024 front-runner.
Scott joins most Republicans in Florida’s US House delegation in endorsing the former president over DeSantis. The Florida GOP will host all the candidates on Saturday at an event that will test the strength of DeSantis and Trump among state Republicans. DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo did not directly address Scott’s endorsement of Trump, but noted that the governor “has the support of almost all Florida elected officials because he worked with them to deliver historic results for the conservative movement. The governor will win his home state because Floridians want to see a fighter who will bring the same type of results-oriented leadership to Washington that he has provided in the Sunshine State.”
Scott has previously supported Trump over one of his state’s senators. In 2016, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush were both seeking the GOP nomination for president, when Scott, then Florida’s governor, wrote an op-ed in support of Trump as a figure who was “capturing the frustration of many Americans… with new ideas and new energy.” In addition, Scott and DeSantis have had a strained relationship dating back to 2018 when voters elected DeSantis governor and Scott to the US Senate. Scott at the time opted against joining the rest of the newly elected senators in Washington for their swearing-in, choosing instead to remain on as Florida governor until DeSantis’ inauguration.
Scott was one of eight Republican senators to object to the certification of 2020 election results and has been a defender of the former president, despite his legal troubles. In his Newsweek op-ed, Scott did not mention DeSantis by name, but noted that any of the Republican 2024 candidates “would be a better president than Joe Biden … But Republican voters are making their voices heard loud and clear. They want to return to the leadership of Donald Trump.”
Editorial credit: Consolidated News Photos / Shutterstock.com