NRSC chair presses Trump to support incumbents in 2022
Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), is pleading with former President Trump to support GOP Senate incumbents in the 2022 midterm elections, as Trump has welcomed primary challengers to Republicans he views as disloyal.
Scott said during a Monday meeting at Trump Tower that he asked the former president “to help us in where we have incumbents and after the primary help us in the general elections.”
The NRSC chairman said the meeting lasted about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes.
“He wants to make sure we get a majority. I want to make sure we get a majority. I talk about support our incumbents,” he said. “Every time I talk to him, I say the same thing.”
Scott said he thought Trump was “receptive” to his message and pointed out that the former president has already “endorsed in one race so far” by announcing his support of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Trump has also publicly urged Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who is undecided on running again, to make a bid for a third term.
But Trump has threatened to support primary challenges to two Senate Republicans on the ballot next year: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.).
Asked if Trump committed to backing all Senate GOP incumbents next year, Scott said, “They’re all talking to him. Well, I don’t know if all of them are.”
“He’s endorsed most of them,” he said, referring to expectations that Trump will back most Senate Republicans up for reelection.
Scott and Trump, however, did not discuss Alaska, where Murkowski is running for a fifth term.
“Few people know where they’ll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska (which I love) campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski,” Trump tweeted last year.
“Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!” he added.
Trump called on South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) in January to primary Thune, who lobbied colleagues not to support an objection to the Electoral College’s presidential vote tally on Jan. 6.
Scott says he expects Thune to run for reelection next year despite Trump’s opposition and the retirement plans of two other members of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) leadership team: Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
“I’d be surprised if he didn’t,” he said.