Tim Scott: What to know about Republican senator giving rebuttal to Biden address


Sen. Tim Scott will deliver the Republican response to President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday evening.

Scott is the junior senator from South Carolina and a rising star in the GOP. He is the only Black Republican senator and has focused on issues like police reform and opportunity zones.

WASHINGTON POST CRUSHED FOR ‘FACT CHECK’ ON WHETHER SEN. TIM SCOTT TRULY WENT ‘FROM COTTON TO CONGRESS’

Here are five things to know about Scott:

1. The Washington Post took heat for fact-checking Scott’s family background.

The Washington Post shocked readers Friday for publishing a story questioning Scott’s family history of going from a childhood picking cotton to the halls of Congress.

“The tale of his grandfather fits in with a narrative of Scott moving up from humble circumstances to reach a position of political power in the U.S. Senate,” The Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote. “But Scott separately has acknowledged that his great-great-grandfather, Lawrence Ware, once owned 900 acres in South Carolina.”

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks during a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing to examine implementation of Title I of the CARES Act, Wednesday, June 10, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks during a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing to examine implementation of Title I of the CARES Act, Wednesday, June 10, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

Kessler then declared he “dug into the South Carolina census records” to “close this gap in Scott’s narrative” despite admitting “census data is historically questionable at best — and at times unreliable.”

“Scott tells a tidy story packaged for political consumption, but a close look shows how some of his family’s early and improbable success gets flattened and written out of his biography. Against heavy odds, Scott’s ancestors amassed relatively large areas of farmland, a mark of distinction in the Black community at the time,” Kessler wrote. “Scott, moreover, does not mention that his grandfather worked on his father’s farm — a farm that was expanded through land acquisitions even during the Great Depression, when many other Black farmers were forced out of business.”

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called the article “shameful.” 

“What WaPo did to @SenatorTimScott is shameful,” she wrote on Twitter. “When minorities refuse to be victims, disagree with liberal talking points, and think for ourselves, the media shames us and questions our credibility. It’s why we must fight harder for conservative values that lift us all up.”

2. Scott is the first Black senator to represent a Southern state since Reconstruction.

As governor, Haley appointed Scott to the Senate in 2013 when former Sen. Jim DeMint stepped down to run the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

The appointment made Scott the first Black senator to represent a Southern state since the Reconstruction era following the Civil War.

Scott won a 2014 special election for his Senate seat and was reelected in 2016.

SEN TIM SCOTT TO DELIVER GOP RESPONSE TO BIDEN’S FIRST SPEECH TO CONGRESS

3. Scott was raised by a single mom.

Scott’s mother, Frances Scott, raised him and his brothers in Charleston, S.C.

“To every kid growing up in poverty wondering if fitting in means dumbing down, the answer is no,” Scott told The Post and Courier in a profile of the senator and his mother. “To every single mom who struggles to make ends meet, who wonders if her efforts are in vain, they are not.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) poses before a meeting with Seventh Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President's Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol on September 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bonnie Cash-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) poses before a meeting with Seventh Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President’s Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol on September 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bonnie Cash-Pool/Getty Images)

4. Scott has been floated as a 2024 presidential contender.

Political pundits have been tossing around the idea of a 2024 Republican presidential run by Scott, 55.

“Best person in all of politics,” former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy wrote on Twitter last year. “Incredible story of hope and perseverance. He’d make an amazing POTUS one day.”

Scott said in 2019 that he will only seek one more term in Congress after promising to finish DeMint’s term and serve two terms. He’s up for re-election in 2022.

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5. Scott has focused on issues including police reform.

Scott spearheaded legislation in the wake of George Floyd’s death and nationwide protests demanding racial justice. He framed the legislation as a bridge between law enforcement and communities of color.

In June 2020, Scott and Senate Republicans unveiled their “Justice Act” police reform legislation to hold officers accountable with an enhanced use-of-force database, pursue restrictions on chokeholds and create new commissions to study law enforcement and race. The bill ultimately failed in the Senate on a procedural vote.

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Marisa Schultz and Fox Business’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.



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