Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) on Sunday dismissed concerns about the quality of Republican candidates for Senate as a number of candidates in key swing states backed by former President Trump struggle to create separation from their Democratic opponents.

“The players are on the field. They’re eight weeks away, which is kind of like saying we’re in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. So, the truth is, who we have on the field is who we’re going to play,” Scott said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I’m excited about the candidates that we have overall, because I do believe it gives us opportunity to win back the majority and to return sanity in Washington, which will reverberate around the country.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last month said Republicans have a better chance of retaking the House than they do the Senate, due in part to “candidate quality,” a comment seen as a jab at Trump-backed candidates like Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Herschel Walker in Georgia and J.D. Vance in Ohio.

Fox News host Sean Hannity slammed McConnell for the remarks, saying he was leaving candidates “out to dry and fend for themselves.”

A week later, McConnell hosted a fundraiser for Oz, Walker and Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), who is running for Senate in North Carolina, and said the trio of candidates each have a “good chance of winning.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (Fla.) in a recent Washington Examiner op-ed bashed Republicans who engage in “trash-talking” their party’s candidates as “treasonous to the conservative cause,” though he later denied he was responding to McConnell.

South Carolina’s Scott on Sunday said Walker, Vance and Oz were “gaining ground,” while the GOP is “in a pretty solid position with Ted Budd.” 

Scott last month sidestepped questions about whether he wants Trump to run for reelection in 2024, a shift from his stalwart support of Trump last year. 

In July, the senator’s new memoir was published with a note claiming he was making his own 2024 presidential bid. Scott refuted the error, which his team said editors had made without his knowledge.