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Rick Scott calls attack on Paul Pelosi ‘disgusting’ but dodges questions about election conspiracies shared by alleged assailant

<i>Eric Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>Senator Rick Scott
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Eric Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Senator Rick Scott

By Daniella Diaz, CNN

Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, on Sunday called the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, “disgusting” but dodged questions about election conspiracy theories that were shared by the alleged attacker on social media.

“It’s disgusting, this violence is horrible,” Scott said on “State of the Union” in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash. “We had a door-knocker in Florida that was attacked. I mean, this stuff has to stop. … And my heart goes out to Paul Pelosi, and I hope he has a full recovery.”

Asked by Bash if Republicans should do more to reject false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, insurrection that were shared on social media by Paul Pelosi’s alleged assailant, Scott did not directly respond.

“I think what we have to do is, one, we have to condemn the violence, and then we have to do everything we can to get people — make sure people feel comfortable about these elections,” the senator said.

“I think what’s important is everybody do everything we can to make these elections fair,” he reiterated when Bash asked him again about it.

An intruder, identified by police as David DePape, 42, confronted the 82-year-old Paul Pelosi with a hammer early Friday morning at his San Francisco home, shouting, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” according to a law enforcement source. The assailant attempted to tie Pelosi up “until Nancy got home,” two sources familiar with the situation told CNN.

The alleged assailant had posted memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook about Covid vaccines, the 2020 election and the January 6 attack, and an acquaintance told CNN that he seemed “out of touch with reality.”

Meanwhile, Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, the chair of the House GOP campaign arm, condemned violence broadly in an interview with CBS on Sunday.

“There’s no place for violence period in our society. Physical violence or violence against someone’s property,” Emmer, who heads the National Republican Congressional Committee, said when asked about political violence. “The incident in San Francisco, tragic as it is, I think we need some more information about it. But we should all be feeling for Paul Pelosi and his family. Hopefully, there’ll be a 100% recovery.”

But Emmer refused to commit to pulling advertisements targeting Nancy Pelosi. Nor would he commit to taking down a recent tweet, which included a video of him firing a gun and read, “Enjoyed exercising my Second Amendment rights … Let’s #FirePelosi,” telling CBS that he disagreed that the tweet was dangerous.

“I never saw anyone after Steve Scalise was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter trying to equate Democrat rhetoric with those actions. Please don’t do that,” Emmer said.

2022 midterms

On Sunday, Bash asked Scott if his successor as Florida governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, should attend an upcoming rally in South Florida headlined by former President Donald Trump. The rally will feature Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who, like DeSantis, is also up for reelection next month, but not DeSantis, amid reports that the relationship between Trump and the governor has grown distant ahead of a possible presidential showdown in 2024.

“That’s a choice everybody makes. I mean, I know President Trump is trying to make sure we get a majority back in the Senate,” Scott said.

Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also predicted the GOP will control “52-plus” Senate seats after the midterm elections.

“Herschel Walker will win Georgia. We’re going to keep all 21 of ours. (Mehmet) Oz is going to win against Fetterman in Pennsylvania. And Adam Laxalt will win in Nevada,” he said, while also expressing optimism about GOP chances in Arizona and New Hampshire and noting that Republicans “have got shots” in Washington state, Colorado and Connecticut.

“This is our year,” Scott said.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Sarah Fortinksy contributed to this report.

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