Watch CBSN Live

New NRSC chair Senator Rick Scott says he'll support incumbents over primary challengers

Florida Senator Rick Scott, the new chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said on Thursday that he'd support incumbent Senators if they face primaries, and that's the case even if fellow Florida Senator Marco Rubio were to face a primary challenge from Ivanka Trump.

There have been rumors that former President Trump's daughter might challenge Rubio in his bid for reelection in 2022. Mr. Trump has also said that he wants to to see South Dakota Senator John Thune, the number two Republican in the Senate, challenged in a primary.

"I'm supporting incumbents," Scott told reports when pressed on the issue multiple times. He also said that "nobody has talked to me" about the possibility of Ivanka Trump running a primary challenge against Rubio.

Scott said that he hasn't spoken with President Trump since he left office. He also defended his vote two weeks ago to object to counting the Electoral College votes in Pennsylvania.

As NRSC Chair, Scott is responsible for leading the GOP's effort to recapture the Senate. That would include keeping seats in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the hands of Republicans. Republicans won't have incumbent candidates running in North Carolina or Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson hasn't said if he'll seek re-election. Republicans will also be targeting currently held Democratic seats in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire.  

Scott said he wants the election to "be about issues" and wants to see people focus on the "difference between Republicans and Democrats." He said it would be up to each Republican senator, including those up for reelection, to decide whether to vote to convict former President Trump. Republicans who vote to convict Mr. Trump could end up facing primary challengers backed by the former president.

"Oh, everybody I think has got to decide that on their own. I think we ought to focus on, you know, where we're going, not the past, but everybody will get, will make their own decisions," Scott said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue