Rick Scott won’t rebuke Trump’s “death wish” post about McConnell

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Sunday declined to repeatedly condemn former President Donald Trump’s social media posts that suggested Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) had a “death wish” and used a racist name to describe his former Cabinet Secretary Elaine Chao.

Driving the news: In a Truth Social post Friday, the 45th president said the Senate GOP leader has a “death wish” because he supported “Democrat-sponsored bills.”

  • Trump also referred to Chao, who is married to McConnell, as the “China loving wife, Coco Chow.”
  • Chao – born in Taiwan – previously served in Trump’s cabinet as transportation secretary, but resigned from his post after the January 6 Capitol riot.

The big picture: In the exchange, CBS “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan repeatedly pressed Scott, who chairs the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, to condemn Trump’s racist and inflammatory remarks and to acknowledge that Democrats have not started killing Republicans.

  • “I didn’t see what she said,” Scott said of the “killings,” which came during a rally for Trump Saturday night when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) told attendees that “Democrats want Republicans dead. They’ve already started the killings,” Business Insider reported.

Details: “What I quoted you is a sentence that says McConnell has a death wish. He said racist things about Elaine Chao. And then, ‘they’ve already started the killings.'” I mean, it’s not a political dispute, Senator , that’s the language I’m talking about. Isn’t it dangerous?” Brennan asked.

  • “I think we all have to figure out how to start bringing people together and have a common goal of giving every American the opportunity to have a good job, their children to have an education, they believe that they can be anything and make sure everyone lives in a safe community. That’s what I do every day. And I’ve been trying to bring people together to do that,” Scott replied.

“And you would agree that language doesn’t bring people together?” Brennan pressed Scott.

  • “I think what President Trump talked about is the fact that we can’t keep spending money. We’re — We’re going to hurt our poorest families the most with this reckless, Democratic spending, and it we can’t, we have to stop We can’t support their spending,” Scott said.

“Okay. That’s not what the former president said. And Coco Chow was the phrase he used to refer to a former Cabinet Secretary Elaine Chao, the host told the senator.

  • “He looks—he likes to, you know, he gives people nicknames. I’m sure he’s got a nickname for me. Okay. So you can ask him what he means by his nicknames. What I—what I will make sure I hit what I can. I can do my best to bring people together and I will try to bring people together,” Scott replied.
  • Scott tried to steer the questions toward discussions about inflation and spending and toward recent comments by Vice President Kamala Harris about equity in the FEMA aid distribution.

Scott was also asked to weigh in on Trump’s and MTG’s comments during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

  • “I can never talk about — answer why somebody else is saying what they’re saying,” Scott said.
  • “It’s never, ever okay to be racist,” he finally replied when pressed further by host Dana Bash.

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