Rick Scott Shades Marco Rubio, Suggests Voters Consider Beruff for Senate

Rick Scott
Rick Scott
Photo by Gage Skidmore's Flickr | CC.20

Marco Rubio's decision to run for reelection was highly orchestrated. He wanted to make it seem as if other Republican politicians were basically begging him to get into the race. According to one report, he even tried to persuade Sen. Ted Cruz to send out an email blast publicly asking for Rubio to reconsider. 

Well, it turns out Rubio doesn't have the full support of at least one powerful Republican: his own governor. 

Rick Scott took to Twitter today to gently remind Floridians that his "good friend" Carlos Beruff is also in the race and that Republican voters shouldn't necessarily vote for Rubio because he's the "hand-picked candidate." 

This isn't an endorsement of Beruff, but Scott's central argument is almost the exact same one Beruff himself made in an email blast to supporters yesterday. 

"This isn’t Marco Rubio’s seat; this is Florida’s seat. The power brokers in Washington think they can control this race. They think they can tell the voters of Florida who their candidates are. But the voters of Florida will not obey them," Beruff wrote. "Like Marco Rubio in 2010, I'm not going to back down from the Washington establishment. They are the problem, not the solution."

Both argue that primary voters should get to make a choice. While Beruff claims that the "Washington establishment" is part of the problem, Scott only implies it. 

Beruff, a millionaire home builder from Bradenton, has vowed to stay in the race. Reps. Patrick Jolly and Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera all exited the race upon Rubio's return. 

Scott also knows full well that Republican primary voters have spent the past six years voting against the suggestions of that "Republican establishment." It's how he beat former Attorney General Bill McCollum in his own Republican primary. It's how Marco Rubio drove Charlie Crist from the party, and it's how Donald Trump ended up winning Florida by a comfortable margin. 

By the way, it's not as if Beruff, a frequent donor, hasn't benefited from the Republican establishment. Former Governor Crist appointed him to the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport Authority, the Southwest Florida Water Management Board, and the State College of Florida Board. Scott reappointed him to all three positions. Beruff resigned from the Water Management Board position in 2015 amid controversy after he voted to allow a fellow developer friend to destroy an acre of wetlands. 

So Beruff isn't exactly a political outsider, and it's not as if everyone in the Florida Republican establishment is against him.  

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