Nov 2, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Florida Sen. Rick Scott snubs Ron DeSantis, endorses Trump instead

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) speaks to reporters on his way to a classified all-Senate briefing on Artificial Intelligence at the U.S. Capitol on July 11, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on July 11 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R) on Thursday endorsed former President Trump for president in 2024 in a blow to his home state governor, Ron DeSantis.

The big picture: Scott held off on any endorsement during the 2016 Republican primary until Florida held its contest. He endorsed Trump after he won a decisive victory in the state.

  • Scott, a longtime Trump ally, also ran a pro-Trump super PAC in 2016.
  • Scott, who reportedly considered a presidential bid for himself, has had a tension with DeSantis. He told NBC News that DeSantis "has never talked to me about an endorsement."

Driving the news: "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," Scott wrote in an opinion piece published by Newsweek.

  • "I know most of the candidates running for president, and I respect their decision to put themselves through this very difficult process," he said.
  • "But Republican voters are making their voices heard loud and clear. They want to return to the leadership of Donald Trump."

The other side: Andrew Romeo, the communications director for DeSantis' campaign, said in a statement that DeSantis "has the support of almost all Florida elected officials because he worked with them to deliver historic results for the conservative movement."

  • "The governor will win his home state because Floridians want to see a fighter who will bring the same type of results-oriented leadership to Washington that he has provided in the Sunshine State."

What to watch: The endorsement comes before Trump and DeSantis are both expected to speak at the Florida Republican Party's Freedom Summit this weekend.

Go deeper: Trump takes DeSantis fight to Florida

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