FULL EPISODE: 3/7/21 Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Bob Casey discuss the latest COVID relief bill passed by the Senate.

Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 11:19 PM EST
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Washington, D.C. – Greta Van Susteren interviewed Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) a member of the Senate Finance and Intelligence Committees, for Gray Television’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” airing Sunday, March 7, 2021.

Sen. Scott insisted to Van Susteren that “there is no Republican civil war. It’s canceled.” On the impact of former President Trump to members of Congress who didn’t side with him during impeachment, Scott said: “These endorsements .,. they don’t change these elections as much as people think they do.”

Sen. Scott also accused President Biden of not following through on trying to unify the country, and claimed Republicans were kept out of COVID relief negotiations, telling Van Susteren: “We went to the White House and said, ‘We want to work with you on a COVID bill.’ And they said, ‘No, we don’t want the Republicans’ participation at all.’”

On the need to pass the COVID relief bill, Sen. Casey said: “We need to help people that are suffering right now, whether they don’t have enough to eat or they don’t have a job, or their small business fell apart.”

On the economy: “Women’s labor force participation rate has never been lower in a third of a century, 1987. So we got a lot of work to do.”

And on the continuation of heightened security on Capitol Hill, Sen. Casey said: “I wish it were more open, but when you have what happened on January the 6th and you still have a continuing threat out there … it’s the members that are the ones who are threatened, some threatened more than others.”

Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Bob Casey interview highlights are below.

Sen. Rick Scott Highlights

On whether there is a civil war within the Republican party

Greta Van Susteren

Do you feel squeezed between two factions of the Republican party? You’ve got the Trump faction and you’ve got the McConnell faction. And former President Trump says that he wants to oust incumbents. So what are you going to do about all this?

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

So you get out of Washington, D.C., people are united. There is no Republican civil war. It’s canceled. I can just tell you, what people are united about is they’re going to elect people that say, “Focus on the issues. We want jobs. We want a better education. We want school choice. We want to support law enforcement. We want a strong military. We want somebody that’s not going to appease dictators around the world.”

Greta Van Susteren

Senator, you say there’s no civil war within the Republican Party, but you’ve got a situation like Senator Murkowski in Alaska, who’s up for reelection [in 2022]. She voted to convict President Trump at the Senate impeachment trial. She’s never won a majority in the state in the three times she’s won for her reelection. She only got 44% last time. And now she’s being threatened with a primary in Alaska, and a primary by former Governor Sarah Palin perhaps. So it does seem like there is somewhat of a civil war.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

Greta, here’s my experience: I’m calling people all across the country as the Chair of National Republican Senatorial Committee, and I can tell you, you get to outside of D.C., people are united. They’re very united against what Joe Biden and the Democrats are doing. Look at what the Democrats are doing. They have an open border. All right. That’s not what Republicans believe in or Independents believe in, Americans believe in actually. They want our schools open. That’s not what the Democrats are doing. They’re controlled by the teacher’s union. They don’t want men participating in women’s sports. That’s not what Americans believe in.

The Keystone Pipeline that Biden, that killed those 10,000 jobs, I mean this is not what people want. Look, we’re going to have lots of people, lots of Republican leaders endorse candidates and do things like that. But the Republican civil war is canceled. I didn’t have any Republican endorsements in my primary in 2010, and I won because the voters make the decision, not these political leaders. These endorsements are, they don’t change these elections as much as people think they do.

On President Biden’s policies

Greta Van Susteren

You talk about what the American voters wanted, but in the last election, about 81 million voted for President Biden over about 74 for former President Trump. So it seems like the American voters, in at least the majority, I realize we have an electoral college, want what President Biden has to offer.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

Well, Joe Biden, didn’t talk about, and the Democrats didn’t talk about what they’re doing. They didn’t talk about opening our borders. They didn’t talk about keeping our schools closed. They didn’t talk about killing 10,000 jobs with the Keystone Pipeline. They didn’t talk about letting men participate in women’s sports.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

And remember, Joe Biden talked in his inauguration about unifying. They’re not trying to unify us. We went to the White House and said, “We want to work with you on a COVID bill.” And they said, “No, we don’t want the Republicans’ participation at all.” Even though every bill we passed last year on COVID was bi-partisan, got more than 60 votes. So what Joe Biden’s doing is not what Americans want.

On President Biden’s nominees

Greta Van Susteren

You have said no to 11 of the 13, or about 11 of the 13 who have been nominated. That puts you in a category with Senator Cruz, Senator Hawley and Senator Cotton as being the nos on the cabinet. Why are you saying no?

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

I’m not going to support somebody that wants to go back into the Iran deal. I’m not going to support somebody that wants to go back and appease the Castro regime. I’m not going to support somebody that wants to provide healthcare to illegal immigrants. I mean, Medicare for all, it’s going to ruin our Medicare system. So I’m going to be very vocal on the things that I believe in.”

On COVID relief

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

We have $28 trillion worth of debt in this country now. This is going to take us over 30 trillion. You’re following interest rates. They’re going up. Inflation is picking up. This is going to hurt the people on fixed income. It’s going to hurt our poor families the most.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

We’ve already given the states over $400 billion to deal with COVID, over $400 billion dollars. They will not tell us how much they’ve spent that money. We don’t get much information back of how they’ve spent the money.

Sen. Bob Casey Highlights

On COVID relief

Greta Van Susteren

In terms of the bill, the prior bills, can you tell me with 100% certainty that we have spent all the money in those bills or that it’s designated to go out and we know exactly where it’s going and has there been an accounting of it?

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

I can’t give a 100% certainty on that, but I can say that government programs all the time have dollars that are unspent. Look, every program, I’m an old auditor general, I did it for eight years in Pennsylvania, every program should be subjected to scrutiny and review and frankly performance and results. But what we need now, though, is if you had to break this down into just three buckets, it’d be three words: vaccinations, schools, and people.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

We need to help people that are suffering right now, whether they don’t have enough to eat or they don’t have a job, or their small business fell apart. We have to get the vaccination, speed it up. We need tens and tens of billions of dollars just for that. We’ve got to get our schools open and that costs money to do that to have them open safely. But if we do all three, if we focus on those three priorities, I think we can make good progress.

On the economy

Greta Van Susteren

Good news for the economy. 379,000 jobs added in February. So it looks like the economy is heating up a bit. Do you agree?

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

Yeah, we’re making progress, but we got a long way to go. Even with this report, we’re still about nine and a half million jobs down.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

If you look at it among women, it’s never been lower... Women’s labor force participation rate has never been lower in a third of a century, 1987. So we got a lot of work to do.

On the continued extra security and fencing on Capitol Hill

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

I want to rely upon law enforcement and security professionals to tell us when that makes the most sense. I wish it were more open, but when you have what happened on January the 6th and you still have a continuing threat out there... Look, at its core, this is about white supremacy. We’ve got to make sure that those who are bent on bringing violence to the Capitol, bringing violence to members, forget the building, it’s the members that are the ones who are threatened, some threatened more than others. We’ve never had more members of Congress requiring protection, never in our history than we do right now.

On immigration reform

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

I think we will get some bipartisanship on immigration. It’s a good start that Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham, once again, introduced a bill to deal with DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and that kind of that spirit of cooperation on immigration, which used to be the norm not too long ago. I think we can return to that.

On why President Biden has not held a press conference

Greta Van Susteren

President Biden has not held a press conference yet. It’s been about 45 days in office. Other presidents have held them before. Should he answer questions from the press? Is it about time now for him to hold a news conference and take questions from the press?

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

Well, I don’t know the comparison between him and other presidents. But I do know this: You often see when he’s got a meeting in the White House where he brings in... Frankly, there’s been a lot of bipartisanship there, bringing in governors and members of Congress to talk about issues. There are some questions there. I think the big change, though, Greta, is-

Greta Van Susteren

The press corps has the job of scrutinizing people who hold office and he hasn’t taken questions in a news conference in the White House press corps. Is it time?

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

Well, I’m going to let him make that decision. I’m not going to make his schedule for him. But I will say this, Greta, maybe one of the biggest changes is we finally have, and maybe not daily, but every few days, probably every three days, Jen Psaki going out and getting questions, every type of question you can imagine.

Greta Van Susteren

But she wasn’t elected.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

I know, but she does speak for him. The last crowd, I think they went two years without having a press briefing. That was a little bizarre. I realized that President Trump, on his way to the helicopter would have those kinds of engagements. But so, whatever. That’s a decision they have to make about how often, but there’s no question, I think, about the access that the press has to the administration. They’re getting questions all the time. But whether should he stand up and have his own press conference on a regular basis, sure. If that’s what people want, fine. But I’m not in charge of making his schedule.

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About Greta Van Susteren:

Greta Van Susteren is the Chief Political Analyst for Gray Media and host of Full Court Press. Ms. Van Susteren is a veteran of Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. Her prime-time Fox News Channel Show, “On the Record,” was number 1 in its time slot for 14 1⁄2 years. Before joining Fox News, she hosted CNN’s prime-time news and analysis program, “The Point with Greta Van Susteren,” and co-hosted the network’s daily legal analysis show, “Burden of Proof.” Her legal analysis for CNN’s coverage of Election 2000 earned her the American Bar Association’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism. She continues to host the weekly 30-minute program “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren” on Voice of America, which broadcasts exclusively outside of the United States.

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