BUCK: Senator Rick Scott from the great state of Florida is with us now. Senator, thanks for being here.
SEN. SCOTT: It’s great to be with you, but think about it. The Democrat Party is now the anti-democracy party. Think about it. They’ve abandoned all their principles. My parents were Democrats. My dad, my adopted dad, was a Teamster, a truck driver. He thought the Democrat Party cared about him. Now all the Democrats care about is power. I mean, they’ve given up all their principles. They want to pack the Supreme Court. They want to take over all the elections. They don’t want to… You know, when they’re in the majority by one vote, the vice president, they want to be able to completely, radically change this country. So, I mean, this is just now the anti-democracy party.
BUCK: Senator Scott, what exactly were they trying to get out of this? Because Manchin and Sinema had made it very clear — and as Manchin pointed out, he’s consistent, unlike other Democrats on this — that he’s not gonna go forward with him change to the filibuster.
SEN. SCOTT: Right.
BUCK: So what game was Chuck Schumer playing here? Was it just the optics? Was it so they could call Republicans racist going into the midterms? What’s this all about?
SEN. SCOTT: Well, first off, I think he’s scared to death of AOC primarying him. Everybody I talk to says that he is scared to death of AOC. So he’s now controlled by the radical left. He’s always been a lefty, but now it’s the radical left, and now this is all about politics. They can call Republicans names, they can talk about the prior president or January 6th.
This is just all a vendetta because they have no plans! I mean, look at inflation. They have no plan to deal with inflation and secure the border, have a military that’s lethal. They have nothing they can — say other than the things that they’ve done badly for people. A hundred thousand people died of drug overdose? Eh, you know Biden doesn’t care. A completely open border. I just talked to a border agent today. He said there’s almost no agents patrolling the border. They’re all doing administrative duty now.
BUCK: You know, I just tweeted out yesterday — we’re speaking to Senator Rick Scott of Florida, for everyone joining us and listening. Senator, I tweeted out during the press conference that Biden had about two hours not really a single question. They touched on the border at one point a little bit but only to make the case for how people are coming because they’re desperate and we’re supposed to be sympathetic to the illegal immigration that’s happening.
No one asking about what is the regime, the Biden presidency doing about illegal immigration. It feels like, one, the American people aren’t allowed to know, according to the Biden playbook here, what’s really going on at the border. Two, there is absolutely — speaking of a playbook — no plan to stop the illegal immigration that’s hitting record numbers last year and will this year.
SEN. SCOTT: Well, so I’ve been down to the border a bunch of times, and as I talk to the Border Patrol agents, they will tell you: This is the first president that had no plan whatsoever. They might disagree with how they’re doing it, but he has no plan to secure the border. What they want to do is they want to hide the information. There’s now in this country one-out-of-every-3,000 people that were alive either died of a drug overdose in one year.
One out of every 150 people in this country today came into this country illegally in the last 12 months. So, you know the debacle in Afghanistan. You know, you probably haven’t gotten all the information about how many people they evacuated and why they evacuated them and how many American citizens. You know why? Because they don’t want you to know.
We forced them — I’m on Homeland Security Committee — to give us a briefing. They made us do it in the most secure environment in the Capitol, and there was nothing in there that was confidential. I asked them. I said, “So 79,000 came to this country. How’d you pick them?” “Well, they’re at the airport.” “How many Americans?” “About 5,000.” I said, “How many people leave?” “About 2,000.” I said, “Can you vet all the others?”
“No, we didn’t vet them.” I said, “Now, can they just walk off these bases?” “Yeah. Yeah.” Now, everything I just told you, they gave it to me in a classified setting and I said to them, “Is any of this classified?” “No!” They did it so you don’t know. This is the anti-democracy party. They don’t trust you anymore. They don’t trust American citizens to have good information and make good choices. They want to make all your choices. “Don’t worry that, what happened in Afghanistan. We’ve got it all under control! Our way is the right way.” That’s the Democrat mantra right now.
BUCK: We’re speaking to Senator Rick Scott of Florida. Senator Scott, you have introduced the [Stop Mandating Additional Requirements for Travel] SMART Act to prohibit bad policy when it comes to covid restrictions specifically about a vaccine mandate on U.S. flights. Can you tell us a bit more about that, and just also what are some of the things that you’re trying to…?
The state of Florida has been the primary beacon of freedom from covid tyranny for the last almost two years now. So what else would you like to see expanded across the country and other states to adopt — and perhaps, even, if you could, get some of your Democrat colleagues to go along with, but we know you won’t. But what needs to happen now?
SEN. SCOTT: So here’s how I think about it. I’m a business guy, all right? I became governor in 2010 as a business guy. I said, “I’m gonna give people good information; they’re gonna make good choices. They’re like a customer. You don’t get make the customer buy your stuff. You give them good information and they make good, informed decisions if you have a good product or service.” That’s how I thought about it.
I had four hurricanes. I never mandated anybody to evacuate, but people evacuated because they figured out it was safer for them. Our government has failed us with regard to covid. At every level of government, they need to give us more information and we’ll make good, informed decisions, and they need to quit the mandates. They shouldn’t be telling us we have to have a mask on an airline. Let the airline decide what they want to do!
Maybe an airline will say, “Hey, everybody has to have a vaccine on this flight, everybody has to have a mask,” but another one, they don’t — and guess what? You as a consumer get to choose what this is. But the federal government shouldn’t mandate for public transportation, for Amtrak, for any of this. Here you have to do anything. You have to wear a mask. You have to be vaccinated. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe they should be telling you these things.
I believe they should be giving you good information; you make good, informed decisions. My parents had very little formal education. They made good individual choices, and they wanted to take care and make sure all of us kids were safe. That’s my expectation. I’m tired of the federal government telling us how we are life — and by the way, I was on the Senate floor and I proposed that Biden could not require us to get a vaccine mandate before food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, and public housing. And, by the way, the Democrats blocked that because they believed Biden should be able to do it.
BUCK: Senator Scott, before we let you go, I wanted to know if you think — and we’re speaking to Senator Rick Scott of Florida, for everyone joining us. I want to know what you think about the Biden legislative agenda, the Build Back Better bill, which we’re now hearing there’s still some back-and-forth with Manchin; they’re still negotiating. This is what, at least, the political reporters are running around with. Is there going to be a Build Back Better at some level, at some cost, or you think this whole thing is just gonna turn into a big nothing and then the people will sort it out in the midterm elections?
SEN. SCOTT: Well, first off, I hope nothing happens, and here’s why: We have the highest inflation in this country in seven years. It’s a result of excessive government spending, and that’s what the Democrats have been doing. We’ve got to start living within our means. We have to create safety nets for the people who need it. But if you can work, you shouldn’t be having a safety net. I mean, you should work! Go get a job. We don’t have enough people working now.
We need to have more people working than people taking benefits, and so I’m sick and tired of the Democrats saying, “Ohhhh, we care about people.” No you don’t care about people. You throw money, you cause inflation, the poorest families — like my family. When I grew up, we lived in public housing. They had to deal with inflation when I was growing up, and was very difficult because the wages never went up as fast as inflation.
That’s going on across the country! People are choosing like my mom would have to choose: Do I put gas in the car or food on the table? So, all of this spending sounds really nice. It’s not free! Either it’s borrowed money — and we already have $30 trillion worth of debt, right — or they’re gonna raise somebody’s taxes, and so it’s not like government has any money. They don’t… The government doesn’t generate money other than taxing people, and so we’re causing unbelievable inflation, and we’re making people dependent on government when they should be dependent on themselves.
BUCK: Senator Rick Scott, thanks for coming by the show. Appreciate it.
SEN. SCOTT: All right. Congratulations! Take care.
BUCK: Thanks so much.