Mar 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: Democrats add website to Scott attacks

Sen. Rick Scott speaks at a GOP leadership press conference at the Capitol on March 1, flanked by Sens. Roy Blunt, John Barrasso and Mitch McConnell.
Sen. Rick Scott at a GOP leadership press conference on March 1. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Senate Democrats are launching a website aimed at keeping a controversial tax proposal put out by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) fresh in the minds of voters this midterm year, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The move showcases how Senate Democrats have homed in on Scott’s agenda — which differs from that of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — as an opportunity to try to flip the script and put Republicans on defense this year.

  • So far, 2022 is shaping up to be a referendum on soaring inflation, rising gas prices and geopolitical unrest under President Biden and Democratic majorities in Congress.
  • McConnell and other GOP leaders, attuned to this dynamic, have cautiously avoided putting out a party-wide agenda — preferring to simply react to Democratic proposals — and have even distanced themselves from Scott’s.
  • In addition to the website, Senate Democrats have launched a radio ad buy, sent copies of the agenda to GOP Senate candidates and launched a mobile billboard to try to exacerbate any McConnell-Scott split.

Driving the news: The website, GOPTaxHike.com, seizes on Scott’s proposal that “all Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game,” according to the press release and website mock-up obtained by Axios.

  • The website, launched by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), identifies Americans who would see their taxes raised under such a proposal, including some of the poorest groups.
  • “This website will help voters learn how damaging and expensive Republicans’ tax hikes would be for them,” said DSCC spokesperson David Bergstein.
  • “In 2022 voters will hold every GOP Senate candidate accountable for their party’s toxic agenda.”

The other side: “Sen. Scott is a tax cutter — always has been, always will be. He cut taxes more than 100 times as governor of Florida and he’ll put his record of cutting taxes up against anyone in congress," Scott spokesperson McKinley Lewis told Axios.

  • “The DSCC has been irrelevant for years, so we couldn’t care less what they waste their money on."
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