“You are head of the [National Republican Senatorial Committee], charged with getting Republicans elected to the Senate,” said Keilar. “Sean Parnell’s facing allegations from his wife he strangled her and abused one of their small children. Is he still the right candidate?”
To which Scott said this:
“As you know, we have Republican and Democrat primaries across the country and in Pennsylvania, we have — both Republicans and Democrats have primaries, and so we’ll see who comes out of the primary. Facts will come out, we’ll find out what people think.”
Keilar pushed Scott, noting that the allegations surrounding Parnell are extreme. “I’m not supporting or opposing people in primary,” he told her.
Which, well, OK?
Scott has been devout in insisting since the start of this election cycle that his committee will not get involved in primaries — letting Republican voters choose their candidates rather than dictate picks from Washington.
Which, in theory, makes sense given that the Republican base hates Washington and the party establishment.
Except that this is the modern version of the Republican Party. And there are no signs Donald Trump is planning to walk away from Parnell even with the allegations against him.
The bigger problem for Republicans is that if Parnell winds up winning the Senate primary, which, thanks to Trump’s endorsement, he probably begins as the front-runner, these allegations have the potential to complicate an already-difficult seat for the party to hold. (Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is not running again.)
The Point: Scott knows all of this. But he also knows that getting crosswise with Trump — by criticizing a candidate the former President has endorsed — is bad for his own personal politics and for his party’s chances at the Senate majority. So, he stays aggressively uninvolved.
Analysis: Rick Scott has no opinion about a Senate candidate accused of strangling his wife