The “Reagan Republican” People are Looking For May Be Black
Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate, is reportedly taking steps to seek the GOP nomination for president in 2024. Several sources have told the Wall Street Journal that he is laying the groundwork to run. He has appointed two co-chairs of a fundraising Super PAC and plans to speak in South Carolina and Iowa, two early voting states, according to the Journal.
As a child, Scott grew up in a poor, single-parent household in North Charleston, South Carolina. He struggled with his grades and moved from place to place until he found a mentor who helped him see what he calls, “the wisdom of conservative principles”.
Eventually, Scott earned a degree from Charleston Southern University and launched his own small business. In 2012, he was elected to the US Senate, and has served since then.
Scott is an evangelical Christian and a staunch conservative who opposes the use of tax dollars to help fund abortions, as well as government funding of Planned Parenthood. He also voted against the Affordable Care Act and supports a Balanced Budget Amendment that would help lower the federal deficit. He is a supporter of infrastructure development and public works projects, and favors deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He is not a climate change denier though, he just knows there must be a logical transition away from fossil fuel dependence.
He has an extensive network of supporters, including many prominent Republican mega-donors. His political operation includes two cash-flush super PACs, Opportunity Matters Fund and Opportunity Matters Fund Action. Both have raised $16 million and have a combined balance of more than $35 million.
The senator’s campaign team has been aided by former senior adviser Jennifer DeCasper, who left her position on the Hill this year to start her own consulting firm. She has crisscrossed the country to campaign on behalf of Republicans and attended town halls with Fox News Host Sean Hannity and GOP Senate candidates.
Recently Scott gave a pair of speeches in Des Moines. He laid out a positive vision of “a new American sunrise,” calling for a revival of conservative ideals that will bring people into the party and boost GOP election victories in 2020. That speech was very reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” theme in his 1984 campaign. In fact, Scott’s optimism, focus on opportunity, and his belief in the “American Dream”, makes him the most “Reaganesque” candidate Republicans have seen in years — maybe decades.
In virtually every speech, Scott focuses on the story of his family and how their belief in God has guided them through adversity. He said that America is in the midst of a “grievance” politics that has alienated some voters, and he called for a new approach to social policy that would help the nation heal. Unlike many rich politicians who have never experienced poverty and simply want to throw money at the problem; Scott came from poverty and knows first hand what does and doesn’t work.
The senator argues that the Democrats had done everything short of drafting a blueprint to ruin America. He said that the only way to save the country was to turn back the tide of partisan politics, and to embrace a more conservative view of the Constitution.
The South Carolina senator is a favorite of many Republican donors, and his financial advantages should he run for the White House could be significant if he wins the nomination. He won his reelection race last year by a margin of 26 percentage points, and has more than $22 million in his campaign account that could be transferred to a run for the White House. He is also a leading fundraiser for the GOP (and has a cadre of elected officials he has helped that are sympathetic to him), and has a strong support base in his home state.
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