Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said Tuesday that Democrats are wrong to push defunding the police as a way of consolidating their hold on black voters.
The 2024 Republican presidential candidate told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that his support for law enforcement was helpful in outreach to voters the GOP has been failing to woo.
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“Without any question, we have to persuade people to join our team. Here’s what I can tell you, I’ve done the surveys, I’ve run around the country,” Scott said. “African Americans, around 81% want the same level of policing or more policing, not less. That’s a lie from the radical Left.”
“We have to understand that most of America wants the same thing,” he added. “How many of y’all here believe in law and order? How many of y’all are thanking God almighty and willing to stand with me and back the blue?”
Scott worked unsuccessfully with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to arrive at bipartisan police reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody. The officer was convicted of murdering Floyd, an unarmed black man.
But lawmakers were split over several areas, particularly the elimination of qualified immunity for police officers.
Scott raised the race-based criticism he received afterward.
“You see, when I wrote a bill to help refund the police because the crazy Left defunded the police, they called me a token because they are opposed to helping the very people they say they care about the most,” Scott said. “How many of y’all believe that we should secure our southern border? We all believe that. We all know this to be true.”
Scott is running well behind former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in most polls for 2024. He also badly trails former Vice President Mike Pence and splits a state with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who also served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump.
But many observers believe Scott’s optimistic story and willingness to use his background as the only black Republican senator to challenge “woke” conceptions of U.S. history could eventually propel him toward the front of the pack.
Trump has been indicted twice and could face future legal charges. DeSantis has so far failed to close the gap with Trump, no matter what controversies lurk in the background.
This is what motivates most of the lower-tier Republican candidates to persevere despite the large polling lead amassed by Trump and DeSantis.
Scott chastised liberals for calling him a “token.” He also argued his example is not unique.
“You see, I believe that I’m not an exception,” Scott said. “I am simply today’s rule.”
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Haley has also used her background to push back on “woke” views.
Scott held his town hall meeting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Tuesday night.
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