South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott widened the GOP field of 2024 presidential contenders during his hometown campaign announcement with an impassioned message of hope regarding America’s “decline.”
Speaking from his alma mater, Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, South Carolina on Monday, the senator officially kicked off his White House bid with his sights set on one opponent. Harkening to tried and true messaging on the “proof of [his] life,” the faith-filled, roughly forty-minute address aimed at climbing out of the hole President Joe Biden had dug the citizenry into.
“Our nation, our values, and our people are strong. But our president is weak. America is not a nation in decline. But under Joe Biden, we have become a nation in retreat,” Scott asserted.
Let's go! https://t.co/w12l1nKrrg
— Tim Scott (@votetimscott) May 22, 2023
“Retreating from our heritage and our history. Retreating from personal responsibility and hard work. Retreating from strength and security. Even retreating from religious liberty and the worship of God himself,” he continued with nods to culture war touchstones. “They say opportunity in America is a myth and faith in America is a fraud. But the truth of my life disproves their lies.”
In previous speeches, Scott had used similar language addressing disparaging attacks from the left contending, “you can call me a prop. You can call me a token. You can call me the N-word. You can question my blackness. You can even call me Uncle Tom. Just understand what you call me is no match for the proof of my life. Your words are no match for my evidence. Your pessimism is no match for the truth of my history.”
The knock against identity politics continued Monday when he said, “This is the freest and fairest land. Where you and I can go as high as our character, our grit, and our talent will take us. I bear witness to that. I testify to that. That’s why I’m the candidate the far left fears the most.”
“When I cut your taxes, they called me a prop. When I refunded the police, they called me a token,” the senator continued. “When I pushed back on President Biden, they even called me the N-word. I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control. The truth of my life disproves their lies.”
But as the South Carolina lawmaker laid out some of his first priorities should he be elected, including border security, combating cartels and repelling China’s detrimental impact, corporate media leaned harder into the identity politics as Washington Post reporter Ben Terris tweeted how he had asked Scott years ago about “the status of his virginity.”
Monday morning, Terris outlined how he had prepared to ask the question of Scott who, like his senior counterpart Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), has remained unmarried. The presidential candidate also has a history of preaching abstinence, a point the reporter seemed determined to frame hypocrisy around with the salacious promotion of his upcoming book.
“I’m not talking about my sex life with Ben Terris,” Scott reportedly told him as he contended, “It wasn’t a completely random question. He had spent his young adult life preaching abstinence until marriage. He’d give talks and mention that he was saving himself until marriage, and during my interview with the then-congressman he was, and continues to be unmarried.”
(It wasn’t a completely random question. He had spent his young adult life preaching abstinence until marriage. He’d give talks and mention that he was saving himself until marriage, and during my interview with the then-congressman he was, and continues to be unmarried.)
— Ben Terris (@bterris) May 22, 2023
“‘You used to preach about the virtue of no sex until marriage… is that a virtue that you still adhere to today?’ Ultimately, he implied he did not,” Terris wrote before attributing a quote to Scott who had hinted at ending his celibacy, “I just wish we all had more patience.”
One more thing… It was such an awkward question to ask that I wrote myself a script: You used to preach about the virtue of no sex until marriage… is that a virtue that you still adhere to today?”
Ultimately he implied he did not.
“I just wish we all had more patience.”
— Ben Terris (@bterris) May 22, 2023
Meanwhile, billionaire Elon Musk who shared a campaign ad from Scott on Friday with the comment, “Great statement,” reaffirmed his approval of the senator’s messaging declaring, “We are not in decline. We’re in a Biden retreat,” by sharing the announcement speech as it was happening live.
2024 Primary is heating up.
Elon retweet pic.twitter.com/tpBM1deFZb
— Misha Fitton (@MishaFitton) May 22, 2023
Scott wrapped up the message of hope by turning his attention to God and America’s future prosperity, “May the Lord bless us for another thousand generations. May He be gracious towards us. I believe the next American century starts today!”
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