Florida GOP senator cornered on CNN over delayed evacuation order before Hurricane Ian hit
S Dana Bash, Rock Scott (CNN screenshoits)

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday morning, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) appeared blindsided when CNN host Dana Bash pressed him about complaints that the leadership of his state was late to order evacuations as Hurricane Ian headed for landfall.

After Scott talked about the clean-up that has begun after the hurricane hammered the state, Bash brought up the growing number of dead and asked him what went wrong.

"What we're learning, in fact, my colleagues have reviewed Lee County's own emergency plan," Bash began. "What it calls for is an initial evacuation if there's even a 10 percent chance of a storm surge 6 feet or higher. Again, the Times is reporting that those criteria were met as early as Sunday based on the National Hurricane Center models but the evacuation order wasn't issued on Tuesday. This is something we're learning now. Was that a mistake, especially given the death toll in Lee County?"

"I think the way you have to look at it is every loss of life, you have to say to yourself, what could you do differently next time so it never happens again?" he responded which led the CNN host to cut him off and press, "Should that have been done differently?"

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"Unfortunately, we can't bring people back," Scott deflected. "We're looking the find out, I want to know because an issue I had as governor is trying to say what did I learn to try to make sure we don't lose a life. I think that everybody in every one of these emergency operations centers has to say to themselves, 'okay, what do we do to make sure we don't lose a life and what can we do for mitigation?'. It's something we have to look at."

"One other question in this, the Lee County commissioner said on CNN that it was because, quote, 'people got complacent,' and that as far as he was concerned, they had plenty of time to evacuate," Bash persisted. "Is that the leadership you're looking for? It sounds like he's passing the buck on to the people who were the victims."

"Well, I tell everybody, you're always responsible for your own safety," the GOP lawmaker replied. "What I tried to do as governor is try to tell people what their risks were and get people to think about, this is not just your life, it's your family's life, don't put first responders in harm's way."

"But they didn't get an evacuation order," Bash insisted.

"I think it's something we have to look at to see why it didn't happen. What you have to look at is how fast -- even if you do it -- how fast can you get people out of some of these places because of just the road structure and things like that," Scott offered.

Watch below:

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