Rick Scott Defends Plan After His Republican Agenda Sparks Ridicule

Senator Rick Scott has defended his agenda for the Republican Party after his 11-point plan sparked widespread criticism and ridicule.

The Florida lawmaker, who is chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), spoke to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday to deny that his proposals include a tax hike.

Scott had issued An 11-Point Plan to Save America, his 31-page blueprint for governing if the GOP re-takes Congress in the 2022 midterms, earlier that day. It has been mocked for ideas such as building a wall along the southern border and naming it after former President Donald Trump.

The document also signals a break from the position of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has declined to release an agenda for the GOP ahead of November's elections.

Scott told Hannity that Republicans needed to "give people a reason to vote for us," adding that some of the agenda would entail criticism of President Joe Biden.

Hannity suggested that Scott would "come under fire" for the plan, because it includes children saluting the flag and saying the pledge of allegiance.

"It's what our parents taught us, right? Say the pledge of allegiance, salute the flag," Scott replied.

"We have the greatest country in the world. We have great Founding Fathers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison," he went on.

"They gave us more opportunity to succeed than any place in the world. We should be color blind. We should not be asking people what color their skin is, their race. Why is the government doing that? We shouldn't separate ourselves, but put ourselves together."

Hannity also questioned Scott about the criticisms of his tax proposals. "Did you see Chuck Schumer say that your plan is to raise taxes on more than half of Americans?" asked the Fox News host.

"I didn't see that in your plan. Did you have that in your plan? Was that in invisible ink in the copy that I got?" said Hannity.

Scott replied: "Of course not"—and claimed that Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) "wants to raise taxes for everything." Scott added that when he was governor of Florida, he had "cut taxes and fees a hundred times."

However, in Scott's plan, the section on economy and growth states: "All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax."

Schumer shared a Washington Post article about Scott's agenda on Tuesday, adding the comment: "Senator Rick Scott explains the Republican plan to raise taxes on more than half of Americans. He wants working families and seniors to pay more."

Scott has said his plan is separate from his work as chair of the NRSC.

The senator's spokesman, Chris Hartline, told Newsweek on Wednesday: "We're glad to see that so many people are reading and engaging with Senator Scott's plan. It's no surprise that Democrats have criticized the plan.

"Anything that espouses the virtues of American patriotism, the American family, limited government and a rejection of the woke, socialist crowd is anathema to today's Democrat Party."

Update 02/23/22 9:45 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add a statement from Senator Rick Scott's office.

Rick Scott Speaks to Reporters
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) addresses reporters at the U.S. Capitol on October 5, 2021. Scott's agenda includes children saluting the flag. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images