- Senate reelection chair Rick Scott is taking heat for not delivering during the midterm elections.
- "It will take years to undo Rick Scott's mistakes," a former NRSC aide said of the 2022 cycle.
- Scott seemingly still wants to challenge Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for control of the caucus.
Three former National Republican Senatorial Committee staffers unloaded on Rick Scott Monday, denouncing the reelection chief's handling of the 2022 midterms as a vanity campaign for the ages.
"Sen. Scott will go down as one of the worst campaign chairmen in recent Senate history," a former NRSC aide told Insider, adding that the Florida Republican should "focus on his home state … and leave the national political arena to the grown ups."
Senate Democrats held onto control of the chamber for another two years after Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's race in Nevada was called over the weekend, keeping the balance of power at 50-49 in favor of Democrats with a Georgia Senate seat still up for grabs in next month's run-off.
All the former NRSC staffers Insider spoke to regarding Scott's performance this cycle requested anonymity in order to speak freely about the Senate races they were involved in this year and how the NRSC operates in general.
The former NRSC staffer who billed Scott as a historic failure said the freshman lawmaker courted disaster by going rogue this spring.
"He went off message with a radical agenda that wasn't endorsed by his colleagues as well as challenged the strategy and direction of the Senate Republican leadership," the former NRSC aide said, citing the polarizing "Rescue America" plan Scott floated in March as poor decision making.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately stepped on the roll out, declaring that Scott's self-styled policy prescriptions wouldn't be part of any majority agenda he'd preside over.
Their ideological tug-of-war has only gotten nastier as Senate Republicans seek someone to blame for the red wave that never was. Scott was reportedly ready to challenge McConnell for control of the caucus, but backed off when the wins he predicted didn't materialize.
While McConnell told reporters at the US Capitol on Monday that "of course" he has the votes to remain in charge, Scott sounds like he's still interested in a power grab.
"There's a lot of people who have called to ask me if I'll do it, and so I'm not gonna take anything off the table," he told a Washington Post reporter while stumping for Senate GOP hopeful Herschel Walker in Georgia.
Other Senate Republicans who've called for delaying Wednesday's leadership elections or pushed for a changing of the guard after the disappointing midterms results include Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
Taking a run at McConnell — or even gearing up for a 2024 presidential run, as some suspect is Scott's true ambition — makes sense to another former NRSC staffer. They were just stumped by his jockeying for a promotion before producing something worthwhile as campaign chairman.
"That stuff takes care of itself — if you win," the second former NRSC staffer told Insider. They accused Scott of wasting money on longshot races in Washington and Colorado, rather than focusing on states that were actually winnable.
"It will take years to undo Rick Scott's mistakes," the second former NRSC staffer said.
And much of that harm, a third former NRSC staffer said, will linger on for decades thanks to Scott paving the way for Democrats to load up the courts with left-leaning appointees.
"Rick Scott's smug, all-about-me style of recruitment and management of Senate races ( particularly in Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania) has given Biden two more years to fill the court system with progressive judges," the third former NRSC staffer wrote in an email, signing off with, "Thank you for your service, Senator Scott."
Scott's current NRSC spokesman did not respond to requests for comment about the midterms or Scott's career plans.