When asked about former President Donald Trump’s personal attack on Elaine Chao, his onetime Transportation Secretary, Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida said Sunday, “it’s never ever OK to be a racist.” Scott responded calmly to Trump’s mockery of a prominent Asian American Republican.
Trump mocked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Chao, the Kentucky Republican’s wife, in a Friday night post on his social media platform Truth Social, referring to her as the senator’s “China loving wife, Coco Chow!”
“It’s never, ever OK to be a racist,” Scott said on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked if Trump’s remarks were acceptable. “I think you have to be careful, you know, if you’re in the public eye… what you say.” You want to make certain that you are inclusive.”
“I hope no one is racist,” added the Florida senator. “I’m hoping no one says anything inappropriate.”
Trump said in a Truth Social post last week that McConnell had a “death wish” for supporting “Democrat-sponsored bills,” which Scott avoided criticizing when asked if he was OK with it, though he later added, “I don’t condone violence.”
“I believe the President is saying, ‘You know, there’s been a lot of money spent over the last two years.'” We must not continue to capitulate to Democrats. It is causing unbelievable inflation and increasing debt.”
It was unclear which bills Trump was criticising on Friday, or what he meant when he accused McConnell of believing in the Green New Deal, a package of progressive proposals that McConnell blocked from being debated on the Senate floor when he was majority leader.
Over the summer, Scott, who chairs Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, saw his own disagreement with McConnell become public.
“Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,” McConnell said in August, before later calling the GOP’s chances of taking over the Senate a “50/50 proposition.”
“If you want to trash-talk our candidates to help Democrats, pipe down,” Scott wrote in an op-ed without mentioning the Kentucky Republican by name. (Last month, Scott denied that his op-ed was directed at McConnell.)