Bad Blood In The Sunshine State: The Long-Lingering Enmity Between Scott And Gaetz

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committ... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 5, 2019 8:29 a.m.

Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) biting criticism of Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) threatening tweet to Michael Cohen is truly just the tip of the iceberg. The two have a history of animosity born from competition, one-upmanship and a long-simmering family feud.

According to a Monday Politico report, Scott has a tense relationship with multiple generations of Gaetzes, chafing against Gaetz’s father Dan when he was president of the Florida Senate and Scott was governor. When Dan Gaetz made a bid to be president of Florida State University, Scott blocked his ambitions by backing another candidate.

Matt Gaetz carried on the feud for his father and accused Scott of being disrespectful to his successor during the 2018 gubernatorial transition when Gaetz worked for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Per Politico, the men’s animosity also stems from their current attempts to jockey for favor with President Donald Trump, an endeavor Gaetz has so far proved better at.

Gaetz gleefully recalled an episode to Politico when the two Florida lawmakers were traveling with the President aboard Air Force Once.

Gaetz painted a pathetic figure, saying that Scott was “fumbling through his asks” of Trump by pulling out a notebook of requests, titled “Issues to Discuss with the President on Air Force One.” Gaetz said that Trump gave Scott about 30 seconds of attention before saying: “Isn’t Matt Gaetz great on television?”

Scott closed his notebook.

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