President Donald Trump couldn’t resist injecting a dose of politics into his tour of storm-damaged Florida on Thursday, saying Republican Gov. Rick Scott is doing such a good job with the recovery effort that he should run for the Senate.
“What do I know, but I hope this man right here, Rick Scott, runs for the Senate,” Trump said in Fort Myers. He added that “I don’t know what he’s going to do.”
Scott, standing nearby, didn’t address Trump’s political invitation, but heartily thanked all those helping his “devastated” state to recover.
TRUMP TOURS IRMA DAMAGE IN FLORIDA, THANKS FIRST RESPONDERS
Scott hasn’t decided on a future Senate campaign. But the wealthy two-term governor is considered a leading contender for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year.
Trump, standing alongside Scott and other Florida officials, said he knows that “at a certain point it ends for you and we can’t let it end. So I hope he runs for the Senate.”
The remarks came after Trump praised federal and state officials for their response to Hurricane Irma as he visited Naples and Fort Myers on the state’s southwestern coast. It was Trump’s third trip in less than three weeks to the South to survey storm damage.
In Florida, some 2.69 million homes and businesses were still without power on Thursday, or about 1 in 4 Florida customers. Hurricane Harvey dropped record rains and caused flooding in Texas.