Rick Scott – U.S. Senator as Trump 2024 VP?

 

 

 

 

2000: During a deposition of Scott in 2000 concerning faud allegations relating to Scott’s stewardship of Columbia/HCA, which he founded and served as CEO,, he pleaded the Fifth Amendment 75 times.[37] 

In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in what was at the time the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.

 Columbia/HCA admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about use of hospital space.

  • It also admitted to fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA.
  • It filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients.
  • In addition, it gave doctors “loans” never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.[38][7]
  • In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the United States government $631 million, plus interest, and $17.5 million to state Medicaidagencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.[39] In all, civil lawsuits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle; at the time, this was the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history.[40][41]

2016:

  • In the 2016 Republican primaries, Scott endorses Trump after Trump won the Florida primary.[95]
  • Scott chairs a pro-Trump super PAC in the 2016 election.[95][96]

Feb. 2002: In a private meeting at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump made a personal pitch to Senate Republican campaign chief Rick Scott. “You should run for Senate majority leader,” he told the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to a person familiar with the exchange.

 

 Mini-Trump Rick Scott – the least liked man in Washington?

 

Republicans Rick Scott, Marjorie Taylor Greene call for Biden’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office over classified files probe, claiming he already had ‘diminished faculties’ eight years ago

By JON MICHAEL RAASCH FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

February 8, 2024 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13063009/republican-25th-amendment-president-biden-classified-documents.html

 

Sen. Scott joins DeSantis in calling for resignation of state GOP chair amid rape investigation

BY BRENDAN FARRINGTON

December 5, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Republican Party of Florida chairman is facing mounting pressure to resign as police investigate a rape allegation, with Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott joining Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday in saying Christian Ziegler should step down rather than be a distraction during an important election year.

Beyond the possibility of criminal charges, Ziegler and his wife Bridget, a co-founder of Moms for Liberty, are being called out for the hypocrisy of admitting a sexual relationship with another woman even though they very publicly fight against LGBTQ+ rights.

“The allegations are very disturbing,” Scott said in a statement released by his reelection campaign. “I don’t see how Christian can continue to successfully act as chairman while this cloud hovers over him.”

 

Former Navy commander enters Florida race to challenge US Sen. Scott

July 17, 2023

https://apnews.com/article/florida-senate-phil-ehr-rick-scott-7f9a4717da589580fb92c6675df02374

Phil Ehr, a retired Navy commander who left the Republican Party in 2017, said in a news release that Scott and the Republican Party have become too extreme.

“Scott has actively participated in Donald Trump’s war on the truth, and just like Ron DeSantis, Matt Gaetz and other MAGA diehards, he’s part of the Axis of Lies that is threatening to tear America apart at the seams,” Ehr said.

Ehr has twice tried to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz in the district that includes Pensacola and much of the state’s Panhandle [one of Florida’s most conservative districts ]

Scott is seeking his second term in the Senate after serving two terms as governor.

 

The Least Popular Man in Washington

BY MOLLY BALL

APRIL 6, 2023

https://time.com/6267826/rick-scott-interview

[Excerpts:

Over the past couple of years, Scott has transformed from rank-and-file Republican in good standing to self-styled bête noire of the GOP establishment. It began with his stewardship of the party’s Senate committee in last November’s midterms. What was supposed to be a slam-dunk election cycle ended disastrously: Scott presided over a botched fundraising strategy, fielded a slate of awful candidates as a result of his insistence on staying out of primaries, and released a personal policy platform full of unpopular ideas that continues to bedevil his colleagues and provide fodder for Democratic attacks. (One GOP operative described it to me as “third-rail sh-t.”) When President Biden spoke in Florida in February, his team distributed copies of Scott’s plan, which they say would threaten Medicare and Social Security.

Scott capped it all off by running against McConnell for party leader, an act of breathtaking chutzpah in a chamber known for loyalty and decorum. Scott was rewarded for his trouble by losing his spot on a high-profile committee. One McConnell loyalist I emailed for comment on Scott replied, simply, “Ass clown.”

To Scott, his crusade against the GOP establishment is a form of protest. His critics see it as a product of his ambition and arrogance. In the Senate GOP’s closed-door, secret-ballot leadership election last November, he did not come close to unseating McConnell. But the 10 votes he got represented a fifth of the conference, deepening the fissures that have crippled the party for years.

What, exactly, is Rick Scott’s endgame?

Many in D.C. speculate he plans to run for president—chatter some in Scott’s orbit have stoked. But when I ask him, Scott denies it: the only thing he’s running for in 2024 is reelection to the Senate, he says. Others suspect he’s angling to cozy up to Trump, who has his own ongoing beef with McConnell . . . .

To hear Scott tell it, he is utterly blameless for the electoral debacle that cost Republicans the Senate last year. A combination of factors beyond his control, he argues, created unexpected difficulties for the GOP, from contentious primaries that left Republican nominees bruised and broke to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. “And then, if you look on our side, we didn’t really have something to run on,” Scott says. “We hadn’t blocked any of the Democrat issues. We hadn’t passed legislation on the Republican side.

When Scott took the reins, the NRSC had $14 million on hand and $9 million in debt; after raising and spending $235 million, he left it with $8 million on hand and $20 million in debt. And crucially, Scott declared that the committee would not play favorites in Republican primaries, leaving the party with several underqualified nominees who went on to lose winnable elections.

“I think it was the worst NRSC I’ve seen since at least 2008”—when Republicans lost eight Senate seats—”and I’ve heard many senators say the same,” says Ward Baker, who served as the committee’s executive director in 2014 and 2016, gaining and keeping the majority both times. “It was a total failure of leadership, and when things went bad [Scott] blamed anyone else but him.”

One of McConnell’s rules of politics is that the opposition party should focus its campaign on the flaws and missteps of the party in power. Scott disagreed: In February 2022, he released his “Plan to Rescue America,” with planks ranging from education (“Our kids will say the pledge of allegiance”) to border security to election integrity. Scott’s policy proposals quickly came under attack from Democrats, who pointed out they would raise taxes on the poor and potentially lead to the termination of popular programs. Democrats weren’t the only critics. McConnell, too, disavowed the platform, publicly declaring that he considered it toxic for the party and its candidates.

By this point, the two men were openly at war. Things would only get worse as the cycle progressed, with McConnell repeatedly denigrating the chances of the party and its candidates.

Those who know Scott were not surprised to see him go his own way and wave off the doubters. His life is a rags-to-riches story of impressive proportions. Born in Illinois, Scott grew up in Kansas City, where he and his four siblings lived in public housing. His mother divorced his abusive, alcoholic father when he was young, and he was later adopted by his stepfather, a truck driver. He bought his first business, a donut shop, while still in college at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In the 1980s, he began buying hospitals, eventually using acquisitions and mergers to create the nation’s largest healthcare company, Columbia/HCA, with 350 hospitals in 38 states.

But his aggressiveness had a downside. In 1997, Scott was forced by the board to resign amid a federal probe of the company’s operations. Investigators charged that the company inflated diagnoses, faked expenses, and gave kickbacks to doctors in order to bilk the government.

The company pleaded guilty to 14 felonies, and the resulting $1.7 billion in settlements for Medicare fraud were the largest in American history. Scott, whose departure settlement amounted to more than $300 million, has denied wrongdoing and said he was not a target of the probe. In 2003, he moved to Naples, Florida. A few years later, when health-care reform began to be debated in Washington, he reemerged as an opponent of socialized medicine.

Florida GOP elites had already coalesced around a candidate, then-attorney general Bill McCollum, when Scott decided to enter the 2010 race for governor. It was the year of the Tea Party, and Scott tapped the anti-establishment fervor and opposition to health-care reform that were in the air. He spent lavishly, putting $67 million of his own money into narrow primary and general-election victories.

Scott’s relationship with the Republican-led legislature was chilly and sometimes contentious. He ran for reelection in 2014 on a promise to accept the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, but then reversed himself when he won and the GOP’s political winds were blowing in the other direction—the rare example of a politician flip-flopping in order to do the unpopular thing. “He’s a friendly guy, a nice guy, but he is not a team player—he sees himself as the chief executive,” says David Jolly, a former Florida Republican congressman who supported Scott in his 2010 run. “I don’t think he’s ever felt like he’s gotten the respect he’s due.”

Term-limited out of the governorship in 2018, Scott set his sights on the Senate, challenging longtime Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in a good year for Democrats nationally.

In the end, it was mostly Trump who chose the party’s Senate candidates, haphazardly bestowing his endorsement on an oddball crop of inexperienced candidates like Herschel Walker in Georgia, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Blake Masters in Arizona.

On the eve of the election, sources say, Scott’s aides were boasting that they expected to win not just those races but also long-shot contests in Colorado and Washington state, both of which they lost by at least 10 points. Republican House candidates won the popular vote in 2022 by 3 percentage points, while the party’s Senate nominees ran consistently behind.

 

Sen. Rick Scott alters policy plan causing heartburn for GOP

BY KEVIN FREKING

February 17, 2023

https://apnews.com/article/biden-politics-united-states-government-us-republican-party-rick-scott-17cb7155670609eeeb7ca0b7868ab0e8

[Excerpt:]

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida has amended his plan to overhaul how the federal government works after Democrats, including President Joe Biden, repeatedly invoked it to accuse Republicans of looking to cut Medicare and Social Security.

Scott unveiled his original plan last year when serving as chair of the campaign committee for Senate Republicans. It called for all federal legislation to sunset in five years, and if a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.

His revised plan specifies exceptions for Social Security, Medicare, national security, veterans benefits, and other essential services. 

Scott frequently sought to implement voter IDs as governor, with numerous courts ruling against him in voting rights cases.[165][166][167] He signed into law bills that created barriers to registering new voters, limited early voting, ended early voting on the Sunday before Election Day (known as “souls to the polls” in African-American churches), and restricted the ability of ex-felons to restore their voting rights.

In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the United States government $631 million, plus interest, and $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.[39] In all, civil lawsuits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle; at the time, this was the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history.[40][41]

In the 2016 Republican primaries, Scott endorsed Trump after Trump won the Florida primary.[95] Scott chaired a pro-Trump super PAC in the 2016 election.[95][96]

 

Florida Sen. Rick Scott endorses Trump over home-state Gov. DeSantis

By Steve Contorno and Kate Sullivan, CNN

November 2, 2023

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/11/02/politics/rick-scott-trump-endorse-desantis/index.html

“I support my friend President Donald J. Trump to be the 47th president of the United States and encourage every Republican to unite behind his efforts to win back the White House,” Scott wrote in an op-ed published in Newsweek.

This is not the first time Scott has aligned himself with Trump over one of his state’s native sons. In 2016, with two Floridians, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, both seeking the GOP nomination for president, Scott, then Florida’s governor, wrote a glowing op-ed that heralded Trump as a figure who was “capturing the frustration of many Americans” and, like other former political outsiders, injecting the political scene with “new ideas and new energy.” He didn’t formally endorse Trump, but the intention was clear.

 

Republicans Rick Scott, Marjorie Taylor Greene call for Biden’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office over classified files probe claiming he already had ‘diminished faculties’ eight years ago

By JON MICHAEL RAASCH FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

February 8, 2024 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13063009/republican-25th-amendment-president-biden-classified-documents.html

 

Trump tries to recruit Rick Scott for majority leader

The former president despises the current Senate GOP leader, Mitch McConnell, and vice versa.

By RACHAEL BADE

02/25/2022

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/02/25/trump-rick-scott-majority-leader-00011792

In a recent private meeting at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump made a personal pitch to Senate Republican campaign chief Rick Scott. “You should run for Senate majority leader,” he told the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to a person familiar with the exchange.

It wasn’t the first time, either: Trump has repeatedly told Scott he’d be great at the job and should challenge Mitch McConnell, multiple people with knowledge of the interactions told POLITICO. The Florida Republican didn’t tell Trump “no” that day — though he’s told reporters that he supports McConnell for leader. Instead, Scott quickly pivoted to the reason for his meeting.

“We have to focus on winning” the Senate, Scott told Trump. “My only focus is on winning.”

The Florida governor-turned-senator is navigating some treacherous terrain — and not just the Senate midterms landscape. He’s trying to balance working with the GOP’s two most powerful figures in McConnell and Trump, who also happen to despise each other.

But Scott’s predicament also underscores his rising stock in the party. The ambitious former businessman is seen as a possible presidential contender — or, more recently in some Trump circles, as a dark-horse candidate for leadership someday.

This week only cemented speculation about the latter: Scott, 69, made waves — and infuriated some McConnell allies — when he bucked the GOP leader’s decision not to lay out a policy agenda for the campaign and instead released his own. Whereas McConnell wanted to make the election a referendum on President Joe Biden’s unpopularity, inflation and other Democratic failures, Scott unilaterally decided that Republicans should also state what they’re for.

His list of red-meat proposals addressed topics ranging from term limits and finishing Trump’s border wall to nationwide voter ID laws and banning transgender athletes from women’s sports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters.”

— Barack Obama