Rick Scott to GOP hopefuls: Get Trump’s support, but go beyond that

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Florida Sen. Rick Scott signaled Sunday morning that GOP candidates should vie for an endorsement from former President Donald Trump ahead of the 2022 midterms — but that his endorsement is not enough to win.

“You'd be foolish not to want and accept Donald Trump's endorsement,” he told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,“ ”but you’re going to win not because somebody endorses you.”

Since last Tuesday’s Republican successes, GOP strategists and Senate Republicans are giddy at the idea of continuing red flips in 2022. In particular, Glenn Youngkin’s stunning win in Virginia‘s gubernatorial race was seen as inspiring GOP midterm hopefuls to follow suit: using an endorsement from Trump’s gigantic platform to win the hearts of Trump-loving voters, but keeping enough of a distance to avoid going down in history as a Trumpian politician. That comes even as Trump becomes more involved in state-level GOP races.

Another Youngkin-esque rallying strategy Scott supported is GOP candidates’ opposition to critical race theory in schools, saying that candidates will win if they’re “making sure [your] kids aren’t indoctrinated on critical race theory” — even though in many cases, including in Youngkin’s Virginia, the subject isn’t taught in the state’s school system.

Scott, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the NRSC will actively support all incumbents running for reelection — even the ones that Trump opposes, like Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Scott advocated campaigning on the issues, but one Youngkin strategy that Scott didn’t endorse Sunday was election-related fearmongering. While Youngkin stoked the fires behind baseless election fraud claims, Scott said he believes there’s been “buyer remorse” over President Joe Biden’s win, but drew a line against spreading conspiracy theories.

“Joe Biden is the president. We went through the constitutional process, he was elected.” the Florida senator told Todd.

When asked why 4 out of 5 Republicans say they don’t believe Biden‘s election was legitimate, Scott didn’t attempt to justify that view.

“Well, I think you’d have to ask them,” he said.

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