Tim Scott, the man who could be the first African-American Republican elected to the House of Representatives since J.C. Watts left in 2003, (and South Carolina's first black Republican congressman since Reconstruction) tells The Brody File that he has not found any racism at Tea Party events. He also says that as a black conservative he has come under attack but he promises the media that if elected he is not going to Washington to be the "Black Republican".
Scott sat down in an exclusive interview with The Brody File at his campaign headquarters in Charleston South Carolina. Video clips from the interview are below but the full profile on Tim Scott will air September 30th on The 700 Club. We also have exclusive video of Tim Scott speaking to Tea Party members in South Carolina. Check back for clips.
Scott is a born again Christian who wears his faith on his sleeve. He is not ashamed of the Gospel (as they say in Evangelical circles) and as you watch some of the clips from the interview below you will definitely understand what I mean.
Scott is running for office in South Carolina's heavily Republican and white 1st District. Pollsters expect him to win easily. Scott was raised in poverty by his hard working single mom. He was about to flunk out of High School but then he walked into a Chick-fil-A restaurant and his life changed forever. The restaurant owner was a Born-Again Christian who took an interest in young Tim. Read more about that here. Scott gave his life to Christ as a freshman in college and the rest is history.
On possibly being the first African-American Republican in Congress since J.C. Watts and the first in South Carolina since Reconstruction:
Tim Scott: "I understand that it has a major impact on the landscape of our country. Certainly I feel like I'm the tip of the arrow at times because certainly the national media wants to talk about the fact that I'm a black Republican and some people think of that as zany that a black person would be a conservative but to me what is zany is any person black, white, red, brown or yellow not being a conservative."
David Brody: What has that tip of the arrow felt like at times? It's got to be tough at times.
Tim Scott: "Oh, absolutely. It's painful as the dickens is all I can say. My most profane word is hogwash. Sometimes you think to yourself man what is this for because there have been attacks simply because I'm a black conservative. If you think of everything Martin Luther King Jr. stood for which is content not color and then to be trashed in different places because you're a conservative who happens to be black it just goes against the very concept that we are doing our very best to get to the day that the person is judged by the content of the character not the color of their skin. It's painful at times when people shoot at you because they can or because they look for things that aren't real because you have a good story. The truth is the story is good today. Absolutely good story. It wasn't good living it. Let's just be real. The fact of the matter is when you're flunking out of High School its funny today because we made it right? I say "we" because me and the Lord. We made it. The fact is it wasn't fun in the 9th grade. I mean my parents were divorced and I felt a sense of abandonment. It wasn't fun growing up like that but God has been so faithful and merciful that Romans 8:28 actually works that when I discovered the truth of his word that it started bringing these pieces and jagged edges together and making smooth edges out of it and that all the things that I've gone through have now served me in a way that allows me to serve other people. That's a miracle!"
David Brody: And here you are with a mega-phone giving God the glory.
Tim Scott: "Well, and it's his to have. There is nothing special about Tim Scott. I'm an ordinary guy serving an extraordinary God and that makes the difference."
On charges of racism at Tea Party events:
Tim Scott: "I've been to dozens of Tea Party rallies. I've given at least a half a dozen or more speeches. I have not yet to find the first racist comment or the first person who approaches me from a racist perspective. I will speak very clearly here. Racism is a part of a lot of things in our country. Good people are the predominant fact of our country. I simply don't get it. There are good people and bad people in all organizations fundamentally however, when you look at the basis of the Tea Party it has nothing to do with race. It has to do with an economic recovery. It has to do with limiting the role of our government in our lives. It has to do with free markets. How do you fight that? The only way you fight that is to create an emotional distraction called racism. It doesn't have to be real. It can be rhetoric but it gets the media focusing on something other than the truth of why the Tea Party is resonating so well with the average person."
On media demand for him in Washington if he wins:
Tim Scott: "If I'm blessed to win, God willing, I'm working more on building the anchor below the surface so that when you pull on it, when you tug on it it is rooted in something real: The Rock. That preparation is more important than building a better reputation. I'm not looking to be dominating all the media outlets...To talk about any issue just to be on TV, I'm not your guy. I'm not going to be "the black Republican". I'm going to be a Republican who happens to be black who will talk about issues that I'm passionate about that are specific to the agenda that I want to accomplish."
On dilemma for black conservatives when it comes to whether they should vote for Barack Obama:
Tim Scott: "Absolutely. It makes sense to me. I think the question is who am I? That's what we all should be asking ourselves. Who am I? Well, if I am first a Christian conservative then that dictates my response to all questions so my response first as a Christian conservative is to vote consistent with my value system. I'm not saying whether President Obama is a Christian or not. I'm talking about one thing and one thing only. What he represents as a politician is it consistent with what I think our country needs and if the answer is no then I have to vote consistent with my values. If I'm first an African-American or a person of color it would make sense to them that you would want to vote first for the guy that represents progress from a racial perspective."
Tim Scott: "The question is however is the content of the character consistent with the content of my character? And if it is not then I can not vote for someone who looks like me but doesn't think like me. I'm responsible to vote for someone who thinks like me more than I am responsible to vote for someone who looks like me. Easy choice when you look at it like that."