ORLANDO — After receiving bipartisan criticism over the 11-point plan he released earlier in the week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott took the stage Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference and defended the proposal while ignoring the most controversial part of it.
Scott’s plan targets people who do not pay income taxes, which can happen for a variety of reasons. Some people don’t earn enough money. Others have their income tax liability eliminated because of the child tax credit or other tax credits.
“All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game,” Scott’s plan reads. “Even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax.”
Critics accused Scott of wanting to raise taxes on tens of millions of people.
Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who has worked for Scott, tweeted: “don’t understand embracing or saddling GOP with a tax increase.”
Democrats were more scathing.
“Rick Scott’s plan is confirmation that he and today’s Republican Party do not care about the issues that matter to people most like lowering costs,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Travis Reuther. “Instead, this out-of-touch ‘blueprint’ would raise taxes, lower benefits, and make life harder for the vast majority of Floridians.”
Scott responded to the criticism Saturday.
“If this plan doesn’t scare Washington we certainly haven’t aimed high enough and based on the way Democrats are attacking me this week I’d say we hit the bullseye,” he said, while also lashing out at Republicans who complain about the plan “with anonymous quotes” and argue “the Democrats will use it against us in the election.”
“I hope they do because my response is, ‘Bring it on,'” Scott said. “We have no fear for standing up for what is right to rescue this country.”
Scott didn’t mention the tax portion of his plan, but the proposals he did touch on were popular with the CPAC crowd.
“The plans calls for a complete end to racial politics,” Scott said to applause. “We’re going to stop the government from asking anyone what their race or skin color is on any government form.”
The largest applause came when Scott talked about finishing the wall along the southern border that former President Donald Trump campaigned on.
“We will secure our border, we’ll build the damn wall and when we do we’ll name it after President Donald J. Trump,” Scott said as the crowd erupted.
Follow Herald-Tribune Political Editor Zac Anderson on Twitter at @zacjanderson. He can be reached at zac.anders[email protected].
Image Credits: AP/Andrew Harvik