by Mary Margaret Olohan and Samantha Aschieris
Republican Sens. Ron Johnson and Mike Braun will be nominating Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“I’ll be nominating him,” Johnson, R-Wis., told The Daily Signal in a Tuesday evening phone call.
“What I’ve been asking for is a different governing model for our conference, one that is far more inclusive, far more collaborative, far more businesslike,” Johnson said, adding that thus far, he hasn’t seen “a commitment to really resist additional spending.”
Braun, R-Ind., expressed his support in a Tuesday evening tweet.
I ran for Senate because we need OUTSIDERS to take on the D.C. swamp and get RESULTS. Hoosier conservative Republicans are sick and tired of the status quo. I’m proud to support my friend and fellow conservative outsider @SenRickScott for our Leader.
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) November 15, 2022
“I ran for Senate because we need OUTSIDERS to take on the D.C. swamp and get RESULTS,” he said. “Hoosier conservative Republicans are sick and tired of the status quo. I’m proud to support my friend and fellow conservative outsider @SenRickScott for our Leader.”
Scott announced Tuesday that he would be running against McConnell for Senate Republican leader.
“I’m writing to you today because I believe it’s time for the Senate Republican Conference to be far more bold and resolute than we have been in the past,” wrote Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in a letter to his colleagues.
“We must start saying what we are for, not just what we are against. I do not believe we can simply continue to say the Democrats are radical, which they are,” he continued. “Republican voters expect and deserve to know our plan to promote and advance conservative values.”
The Daily Signal reached out to every Republican senator (except Scott and McConnell), asking them if they would support Scott for Senate Republican leader against McConnell.
Braun and Johnson were the only senators to express support on Tuesday.
Sens. John Kennedy of Louisiana, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Rand Paul of Kentucky, John Cornyn of Texas, and Tim Scott of South Carolina declined to discuss the matter on Tuesday.
Cornyn’s team pointed The Daily Signal to the senator’s Tuesday evening remark: “I think the most important thing we can do is get these differences behind us and focus on the Georgia runoff.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal, told Axios on Tuesday afternoon that he wants to “get 2022 done before we talk about 2024” or about the Senate GOP leadership elections.
“After Georgia we should hear from everybody and decide who’s best,” he reportedly said. “Nothing against Mitch McConnell.”
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski also tweeted Tuesday afternoon that “McConnell has been a strong leader for our conference and I look forward to confirming him in our leadership elections this week.” The senator’s team told The Daily Signal she was not available for further comment.
Republicans will hold Senate leadership elections on Wednesday morning. Should McConnell win reelection, he would be the longest serving Senate party leader in Senate history, Fox News reported.
In his letter to his GOP colleagues, Scott also said:
For those who want to get serious about ending reckless government spending and the devastating inflation it has caused, finally take action to protect Social Security and Medicare and preserve the promise of these programs for our children and grandchildren, hold government accountable from the FBI to the IRS, truly combat the extreme danger posed by Communist China and refocus our military on lethal defense instead of woke nonsense, I ask for your support in changing the direction of the Senate and rescuing America from the dangerous path Democrats have set it on.
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a senior reporter for The Daily Signal. Samantha Aschieris is a senior news producer for The Daily Signal.
Photo “Ron Johnson” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.