Democrats will be forced to pour funds into Florida's expensive media market while simultaneously defending nine other Senate seats in states the president won in 2016. "We need to shake up Washington".
"We have to all acknowledge: Washington's a disaster, it's dysfunctional", Scott added.
"What I focused on when I got elected was getting 700,000 jobs over seven years and changing the direction of the state", Scott told POLITICO.
Scott formally announced his Senate bid on Monday in Orlando after months of speculation that the governor would run.
"Instead of creating the jobs our state needs for the future, over half the counties in Florida are worse off today than before the recession".
Scott, a wealthy businessman from Naples who never held a political office before he was elected governor in 2010, struck an "outsider" theme Monday that was similar to his first gubernatorial campaign, when he ran against the Tallahassee "insiders". He's been viewed as the only Republican with a chance of seriously challenging Nelson.
But Nelson, 75, seemed unfazed by Scott's candidacy.
Democrats swiftly laid out their argument against Scott. I'll support the Republican nominee if Rick Scott wins it will be him.
When asked whether he would ask Trump to campaign for him, Scott told Fox News he has not talked to the president recently about the race. He also changed his hard line positions on immigration.
Before the killings of 17 people at a Florida high school in February, Scott had an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Scott has a close relationship with Mr. Trump, who won Florida by a single percentage point, and those personal ties are likely to become a focal point of the race.
Attack ads began hitting the internet as soon as Scott made his announcement. "Scott generally runs negative when he campaigns, and Nelson is not adverse to that himself".
However, heading into the Senate race, Scott's popularity numbers are his best since he emerged on the Florida political scene.
Scott assumed office in 2011, and has been seen as a blue-chip Republican recruit to challenge Senator Bill Nelson in November.
Scott echoed some of those criticisms, although he did not mention Nelson by name.
"I think in this case a lot of the differences between the two of us are going to come out in the course of this campaign", Nelson said. "Let's stop sending talkers to Washington, let's send some doers".
Political insider Barry Edwards joined Florida Live with Dan Maduri on Monday afternoon to discuss Scott's announcement and survey the landscape on the coming US Senate race. "He looked at the men and women who wake up every day and make Florida happen as his enemy", said AFSCME, which represents 100,000 Florida workers.