Washington (CNN) – What a difference a few hours make. Late Tuesday night, after businessman's Rick Scott's victory over Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Sunshine state's Republican gubernatorial primary, a statement by the Republican Governors Association barely mentioned Scott.
"Intraparty struggles are often difficult to watch, and the contest in Florida has been a good example of that. That said, the primary is over, Rick Scott is the nominee, the general election has begun, and our party now looks forward," said RGA spokesman Tim Murtaugh in a statement.
McCollum, a former Republican congressman, was considered the insider or establishment candidate, and was favored by many in the national party hierarchy.
The comments on Scott stood in contrast to Murtaugh's statement praising Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who won her state's GOP gubernatorial nomination Tuesday night.
Wednesday afternoon, Mississippi Governor and RGA Chairman Haley Barbour put out a statement with kinder words regarding Scott.
"I called Rick Scott this morning and committed the full resources of the RGA to his election as governor of Florida. I encourage every Republican in Florida to unite behind the Scott campaign and put on their chin straps because the real battle has just begun. It is going to take all of us pulling together to win," said Barbour.
Barbour added that "Rick Scott's profile as an outsider with years spent in the private sector creating jobs is the type of experience Florida voters are looking for."
"Scott may not have been the establishment's first choice, but his profile as an outsider and his focus on wasteful spending and a growing government aligns him with the sentiments of an energized Republican base as well as independent swing voters," says Republican strategist Kevin Madden. "The general election started this morning and those dynamics are what matter right now."
Scott jumped into the race in April, spending $38 million dollars on his primary bid. Asked by CNN's John King in an interview that will run Wednesday night on CNN's John King USA if he has any limit to his personal money he will spend to win in November, Scott said "no."
Scott's ability to self finance his general election run against Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee, and independent candidate Bud Chiles, could benefit the party.
"Scott is positioned with campaign resources of his own, which gives the RGA greater flexibility to spread its resources around and seize additional opportunities, thereby helping in races up and down the ballot across the country," Madden said.
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