And Cornyn wrote on Twitter, "Rumor control: Last cycle, Joe and I talked about his interest in NY, not FL Senate race, so this story is wrong."
But, after the denials appeared, Scarborough told The Hill: "John suggested last month that I consider running for the Senate against Bill NelsonBill NelsonOvernight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Overnight Energy: Judges scrutinize Obama climate rule Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE. His intent was clear and unambiguous and echoed his quotes in The Hill. However, I love the job I have and have no intention of running for the Senate."
And that comment from Scarborough led to this comment from NRSC executive director Rob Jesmer:
"In his past conversations with Senator Cornyn, Joe Scarborough had expressed an interest in perhaps running for a U.S. Senate seat in New York. To quote Joe’s own words today, his intent was ‘clear and unambiguous’ and we took him at his word that his interest was, and is, in New York. So not only did Senator Cornyn not ask him to run for the Senate in Florida, but for a number of reasons it stretches the bounds of credulity to even see why he would be considered a strong, viable candidate in Florida this cycle. There are already a number of far stronger candidates looking at the Florida Senate race and we are confident that any one of them can beat Bill Nelson in 2012. But we wish Joe the best of luck in his New York Senate pursuits and we remain fans of his cable show."
During The Hill's interview with Cornyn, The Hill asked about Scarborough challenging Nelson in Florida. New York was not mentioned.
This isn't the first time there's been controversy surrounding the NRSC's involvement in Florida.
Some on the right were infuriated that Cornyn backed centrist Republican Charlie Crist, then Florida governor, in the GOP Senate primary last cycle. Cornyn had to defend that endorsement to conservatives. After Republican Marco RubioMarco RubioSenators express 'grave concerns' about ObamaCare 'bailout' Obama nominates ambassador to Cuba Rubio praises Marlins pitcher José Fernández on Senate floor MORE showed movement in the primary race, Cornyn withdrew his support of Crist, and Crist left the GOP to mount an independent bid. Rubio subsequently defeated both Crist and then-Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) in the general election.
As for the 2012 Florida Senate race, state Senate President Mike Haridopolos is running for the GOP nomination, but the early days of his campaign have been dogged by an ethics controversy.
Other possible Republican candidates include former Sen. George LeMieux, Reps. Connie Mack and Vern Buchanan and former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) has also been mentioned.
—Emily Goodin contributed.