'Insecure small people': McConnell, Rick Scott allies point fingers over scope of GOP Senate failure

'Insecure small people': McConnell, Rick Scott allies point fingers over scope of GOP Senate failure
Allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) head Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) are trading barbs over the GOP’s failure to retake the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections, the Wall Street Journal reports.tr

Scott told reporters in October he saw a path to a 55-seat Senate majority for Republicans in the midterms.

“I think we can get 53, 54, 55,” Scott said at a get-out-the-vote event in North Carolina last month.

That dream ended abruptly on Saturday when Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto overtook Republican candidate Adam Laxalt in Nevada, officially handing Democrats a 50-49 Senate majority. A runoff election is scheduled on December 6 in Georgia between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and challenger Herschel Walker, but Democrats will control the chamber regardless.

Even before Nevada was called for Cortez Masto, Scott on Friday admitted the midterms were a “complete disappointment” for Republicans.

“Here’s what happened to us: Election Day, our voters didn’t show up, we didn’t get enough voters,” Scott told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Now, according to the Journal’s Lindsay Wise, Scott faces the ire of McConnell and his allies as he attempts to shift blame for the GOP’s poor midterm performance. Former McConnell chief of staff Josh Holmes admonished Scott for “errors in strategy and fundraising in running the campaign arm."

“[The NRSC] was run basically as a Rick Scott super PAC, where they didn’t want or need to input any Republican senators whatsoever,” Holmes told the Journal. “That’s a huge break from recent history where members have been pretty intimately involved.”

Former NRSC executive director Kevin McLaughlin also accused the NRSC of elevating Scott’s personal political career above GOP Senate control.

“It seems to me from the outside looking in that they are much more concerned about chasing headlines and advancing Rick Scott’s political ambitions than they are making a positive impact on Senate races,” McLaughlin said of the NRSC.

Curt Anderson, a Scott political advisor, argued the blame was shared among the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC (SLF), which is run by allies of McConnell, the NRSC, Republican leaders and the candidates themselves. In a curt summary of the GOP’s failures, Anderson told the Journal “insecure small people never accept responsibility for failure.”

Meanwhile, NRSC spokesman Chris Hartline said the party’s poor showing was exacerbated McConnell allies at the SLF, who he claimed spent months “constantly trashing [NRSC] candidates publicly and privately, and telling donors not to give to us or our campaigns.”

“Every member of the caucus was consulted on and informed of everything the NRSC was doing,” Hartline told the Journal in defense of Scott.

You can read the full report here (subscription required).

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