Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) announced that he was endorsing former President Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican primary over current Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The move could spell trouble for DeSantis’ ability to win his home state’s primary, which is one of the most important of the election cycle.
Scott said in a statement and a Newsweek op-ed that it was “time for the Republican Party to come together, behind one candidate, and declare with one voice that we are united in our efforts to defeat Joe Biden and rescue America.”
He said that “every single one” of the GOP candidates would do a better job than current President Joe Biden.
“But Republican voters are making their voices heard loud and clear. They want to return to the leadership of Donald Trump,” he wrote.
“President Trump will be our nominee because America was safer and more prosperous when he led our nation,” Scott wrote. He argued that the national economy was “booming, and we were achieving energy independence.”
Scott credits Trump’s foreign policy record against Communist China and that he “stood up to dictators in Latin America.”
“He did more for Israel than any other president in our history, bringing stability and peace in the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, while Joe Biden is undoing all the work his administration accomplished,” Scott wrote.
I’m proud to endorse @realDonaldTrump.
It’s time for the Republican Party to come together, behind one candidate, and declare with one voice that we are united in our efforts to defeat Joe Biden and rescue America.https://t.co/HtaAtG6Biu
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) November 2, 2023
Scott’s office also wrote that the “border was secure” and that Trump was the “strongest candidate.” The statement continued that the Republican Party needed to do this in order to “beat Joe Biden and rescue America from the mess he’s created.”
The endorsement came six years after the former president encouraged Scott, who was then Florida’s governor, to run for the Senate.
The move could land a significant blow to DeSantis’ campaign about two months before the first nominating contests. Florida is important not only as one of the early lare primaries but also because of its large delegate count.
In addition, Scott’s pressure as a former governor and current senator could swing the state in Trump’s favor.