Florida Republicans look to path forward


The Capitol is seen in Washington, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, as the House and Senate return to work. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — While it seems clear that Joe Biden won the presidential election Florida’s Republican lawmakers are not ready to concede.

“We need to count all legal ballots we need to investigate all frauds,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said last week in an interview with News 13. “And let’s be realistic it’s not science fiction to believe that some people might be cheating in this regard. Let’s figure this out.”

Scott spoke to News 13 while under quarantine after being exposed to someone who had coronavirus. He later tested positive for the disease.

Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Panama City, said no one should be shocked that the election is being litigated. That’s happened nearly every time in the last 20 years.

“I think we find a certain level of mishandled ballots however you want to characterize them,” Dunn said. “Will we find enough ballots to change the outcome? I rather doubt it, frankly.”

Scott said he has experience in this area since Democrats wouldn’t accept his victory over then-Senator Bill Nelson two years ago.

“I think we have to just go through the process,” Scott said. “Remember what happened to me two years ago. I won by 54,000 votes. The election was called that night. (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer sent a lawyer down the next day and said I don’t care what the votes are we’re going to win this through the court system. So my Democrat opponent didn’t care what the votes are. And so I went through two recounts, multiple lawsuits, and we ultimately won.

He added that his story points to some inherent problems.

“The Democrats are hypocrites here,” Scott said. “Let’s have the same standard. Let’s have laws that are enforced to apply to everybody let’s make sure there is no fraud so your vote never gets diluted.”

One bright spot was how quickly and efficiently Florida handled the election.

“Florida was a shining star actually in the way they handled their election this year,” Dunn said. “An hour and a half after the polls were closed you know where Florida stood.”

And both men committed to working with Democrats while also condemning much of the Democrat agenda.

“I am always hopeful to be able to work with Democrats. People like Chuck Schumer and (Sen.) Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.) they won’t even say high to me. It makes it pretty difficult to work together with somebody. The problem is the Democrats have a real liberal agenda and it is not good for this country.”

Scott added that he has an extensive list of disagreements with Democrats.

“They want to pack the Supreme Court. They want to infringe on our religious freedom and our Second Amendment rights. I completely disagree with them. They want Medicare for all which will ruin the medicare program. Also, they want a private government-run healthcare system which will kill private healthcare insurance for 150 million Americans. I disagree with them on that,” Scott said. “I don’t believe in the Green New Deal. I think you got to have a good economy if you want to invest in the environment like we did while I was Governor of Florida. So I believe in that but you got to have a good economy. The Green New Deal will kill our economy and spend close to 100 trillion dollars.

“I actually believe in funding law enforcement. Thank God for our law enforcement. I want somebody to show up if I call 911. The Democrats I know want to reduce it, funding for law enforcement. I’m anti-socialism and I believe we ought to hold China accountable. Unfortunately, Joe Biden has never held china accountable. You have to understand there is a millon people in prison just for their religion. They steal our jobs. … They steal our technology. They take away the basic rights of hong kong citizens.”

Dunn said the two parties do work together more often than people realize.

“We can find lots of areas to agree we can’t find as many as we would like sometimes and certainly we’re not here to talk about moving to a socialist system. That’s where the Republicans are going to be intransigent,” Dunn said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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