National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott pushed back on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s complaints about the GOP Senate field, Politico reports.
McConnell has downplayed the GOP’s chances of recapturing the Senate, blaming in part candidate “quality” after many of former President Donald Trump’s picks defeated establishment-backed Republicans and are now struggling in the polls.
McConnell predicted last month that Republicans are more likely to flip the House than the Senate, drawing a rebuke from Trump.
Scott fires back:
“Sen. McConnell and I clearly have a strategic disagreement here … We have great candidates,” Scott told Politico. “He wants to do the same thing I want to do: I want to get a majority. And I think it’s important that we’re all cheerleaders for our candidates.”
“If you trash talk our candidates … you hurt our chances of winning, and you hurt our candidates’ ability to raise money,” Scott added. “I know they’re good candidates, because I’ve been talking to them and they’re working their butts off.”
Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who overcame a big poll deficit in 2020, said Scott is “working very hard” and McConnell is “making substantial investments and providing assistance.”
“The view on the ground can sometimes be very different than what the pundits say in Washington,” Collins told Politico. “I’m still optimistic that Republicans will narrowly win control. It’s certainly not a slam dunk.”
Democrats are also concerned about being overly optimistic.
“It is absolutely too early to be overconfident,” Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz told the outlet. “Confidence should be tempered by the fact that there’s still a long way to go. And historically speaking, the midterms are tough.”