Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the Republican Senate campaign, on Sunday called the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, “disgusting” but dodged questions about the election conspiracy theories the alleged assailant shared on social media. .
“It’s disgusting, the violence is horrific,” Scott told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “We had a knocker in Florida that was attacked. I mean, this has to stop. … And my heart goes out to Paul Pelosi and I hope he makes a full recovery.”
Asked by Bash whether Republicans should do more to debunk false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising shared on social media by Paul Pelosi’s alleged attacker, Scott did not directly respond.
“I think we have to condemn the violence first, and then we have to do everything we can to win people over — make sure people feel good about this election,” the senator said.
“I think the important thing is that everyone does everything we can to make this election fair,” he reiterated when Bash asked him about it again.
The intruder, identified by police as David DePape, 42, confronted 82-year-old Paul Pelosi early Friday morning with a hammer at his San Francisco home, yelling, “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” according to a law enforcement source. The attacker tried to tie Pelosi up “until Nancy got home,” two sources familiar with the situation told CNN.
The alleged attacker posted memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook about Covid vaccines, the 2020 election and the January 6 attack, and an acquaintance told CNN he appeared to be “out of touch with reality.”
Meanwhile, Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, chairman of the House Caucus, broadly condemned the violence in an interview with CBS on Sunday.
“There is no place in our society for a period of violence.” Physical violence or violence against someone’s property,” said Emmer, who heads the National Republican Congressional Committee, when asked about political violence. “The incident in San Francisco, while tragic, I think we need more information about it. But we should all feel for Paul Pelosi and his family. Hopefully there will be a 100% recovery.”
But Emmer refused to commit to pulling ads targeting Nancy Pelosi. He wouldn’t even commit to overthrowing recent tweetwhich included a video of him firing a gun and read, “I enjoy my second amendment rights… Let’s #FirePelosi,” told CBS that he disagreed that the tweet was dangerous.
“I’ve never seen anyone after Steve Scalise was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter trying to equate the Democrats’ rhetoric with these actions.” Please don’t do it,” Emmer said.
On Sunday, Bash asked Scott if his successor as Florida governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, should attend an upcoming rally in South Florida led by former President Donald Trump. The rally will include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who like DeSantis is up for re-election next month, but not DeSantis, amid reports that the relationship between Trump and the governor has grown considerably ahead of a possible 2024 presidential showdown.
“That’s everyone’s choice. I mean, I know President Trump is trying to make sure we get the majority back in the Senate,” Scott said.
Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senate Committee, also predicted the GOP would control “52 or more” Senate seats after the midterm elections.
“Herschel Walker will win Georgia. We’ll keep all 21. (Mehmet) Oz wins against Fetterman in Pennsylvania. And Adam Laxalt will win in Nevada,” he said, while expressing optimism about the GOP’s chances in Arizona and New Hampshire, noting that Republicans “have a shot” in Washington state, Colorado and Connecticut.
“This is our year,” Scott said.