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Rick Scott backs Donald Trump, calls on GOP to ‘accept and respect the will of the voters’

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Gov. Rick Scott is formally backing Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

“I’m asking all Republicans today to come together and begin preparing to win the general election in November,” said Scott in a statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday. “With his victories yesterday, I believe now is the time for Republicans to accept and respect the will of the voters and coalesce behind Donald Trump.”

The endorsement has been expected for months. In January, the Naples Republican wrote a glowing editorial about Trump in USA Today, saying the New York businessman was “capturing the frustration of many Americans.”

Scott’s endorsement comes one day after the Florida primary, where Trump trounced Marco Rubio. The Florida Republican received 27 percent of the vote. Trump received about 46 percent of the ballot.

Rubio bowed out of the presidential race Tuesday night. In an emotional speech, he said the country “is in the middle of a real political storm, a real tsunami.”

On Wednesday, Scott called on Republicans to unite behind a single candidate to secure a win in November.

“This has been a hard-fought primary, with an outstanding roster of excellent candidates, including two of Florida’s favorite sons, and several Republican Governors who are close friends of mine,” he said in his statement. “But the voters are speaking clearly — they want a business outsider who will dramatically shake up the status quo of Washington.”

Scott said the country needs to “elect a Republican in the fall in order to grow jobs, rebuild our military, and put a person who respects the Constitution on the Supreme Court.”

“This is the stuff that truly matters,” said Scott. “If we spend another four months tearing each other apart, we will damage our ability to win in November. It’s time for an end to the Republican on Republican violence. It’s time for us to begin coming together, we’ve had a vigorous primary, now let’s get serious about winning in November.”

Scott is the second high-profile Florida Republican to endorse Trump in recent days. On Monday, Attorney General Pam Bondi endorsed Trump. Scott also joins Gov. Chris Christie and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in backing Trump.

Scott has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick.

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