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Sen. Rick Scott, who’s in charge of Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, made a bold statement Tuesday that President Biden is mentally unfit for office and should resign, but many of his GOP colleagues won’t go so far.
“Senators speak for themselves,” Senate GOP Conference Chair John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said of Scott’s comments when asked by Fox News Digital.
“I am not a doctor, so I wouldn’t comment,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said. “And he’s president United States. And even though I disagree with most everything he does he’s still president United States.”
“I think they’re kind of in a personal back and forth spat which is part of our election year politics,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., said.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Scott’s call for Biden to resign came on the morning that Biden was expected to hammer Scott and his “11 Point Plan to Rescue America” — which the White House has dubbed the “ultra-MAGA plan.”
The GOP senator blamed Biden for inflation while also attacking his mental acuity, in a statement before Biden’s remarks Tuesday.
“Let’s be honest here. Joe Biden is unwell. He’s unfit for office. He’s incoherent, incapacitated and confused,” Scott, R-Fla., said in a statement. “He doesn’t know where he is half the time.”
“Everyone knows it. No one is willing to say it. But we have to, for the sake of the country,” Scott added. “Joe Biden can’t do the job.”
Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., briefly speaks to reporters before heading into the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Jan. 11, 2022, in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
White House rapid response director Mike Gwin said Scott “doesn’t have a leg to stand on” in criticizing Biden, based on the substance of his plan.
“Senator Rick Scott of Wisconsin, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, laid it all out in a plan,” Biden himself added Tuesday, misstating Scott’s state. “It’s the ultra-MAGA agenda. Their plan is to raise taxes on 75 million American families.”
But Scott and Republicans blame Biden and his policies, including the COVID bill last year, the student loan pause and more, for rising inflation.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022. (Slawomir Kaminski /Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS)
“The most effective thing Joe Biden can do to solve the inflation crisis he created is resign. He’s the problem,” Scott said. “Getting him out of office is a quick and easy solution.”
Scott’s 11-point plan has become a point of difference among many Senate Republicans, particularly those in leadership.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., initially declined to preview any Senate GOP agenda if Republicans take back the chamber. He’s focused instead on attacking Democrats and Biden.
After Scott’s plan was announced, McConnell and several other Republicans pointedly criticized it as flawed policy-wise, and creating a target for Democrats to attack ahead of the midterms.
Senator John Barrasso (Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)
Thune added Tuesday that he does not endorse the Scott’s policy platform. But, Thune added, since it only represents Scott’s vision, it’s a stretch for Democrats to try and paint all Republicans as supporting it.
“If they try and run campaign ads against individual senators who haven’t adopted that plan, then I don’t know how straight-faced you can make that argument,” Thune said. “That doesn’t mean it won’t be done.”
Perhaps the most likely Republican to be subject to such ads, however, was enthusiastically behind Scott’s call for Biden to resign Tuesday.
“I don’t take any joy in saying that the president’s obviously experiencing decline in age,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., told Fox News. Johnson faces perhaps the toughest reelection effort of any GOP incumbent.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“We need a president that’s up to the job and he’s not,” Johnson added.
Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., all said they hadn’t seen Scott’s comments Tuesday. Hawley notably previously called for Biden to resign over the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John Kennedy, R-La., meanwhile, told Fox News it’s unlikely that Biden will resign no matter what Scott says.
“I haven’t heard his comments,” Kennedy said, “Somehow though I doubt the president’s going to take Rick’s advice.”
“I don’t think he’s going to resign to I think the best thing to do’s make sure we win in 2022,” Graham said.
Fox News’ Sally Persons and Jason Donner contributed to this report.