Endorsement of Trump makes Tim Scott a contender to become Republican vice presidential nominee 

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate, is a realist. He knows Donald Trump is virtually certain to be the Republican presidential nominee this year. So endorsing the former president — as Scott did Friday — is politically advantageous and makes Scott a contender to become Trump’s vice presidential running mate.

The withdrawal of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from the GOP nomination race Sunday and his endorsement of Trump leaves Nikki Haley — the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under Trump and a former South Carolina governor — as the last candidate standing against Trump.

It will take a political miracle for Haley to snatch the presidential nomination from Trump, who leads in national and state polls. Both Haley and Trump have strongly indicated she won’t be his vice presidential running mate. And the bitter campaign between Trump and DeSantis would seem to rule out Trump making DeSantis his vice presidential pick. 

That leaves Scott as one of the Republicans who could become Trump’s VP pick. If a Trump-Scott ticket is elected, Scott would become the second Black vice president in American history, after current Vice President Kamala Harris, who is seeking reelection with President Joe Biden. 

Scott appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday to effusively praise Trump, but ducked several tough questions and didn’t rule out becoming Trump’s running mate. It’s hard to believe Scott would turn down the opportunity. 

Scott’s Senate term runs until 2029, so he’d keep his seat if a Trump-Scott ticket lost the race for the White House. Scott is young enough to run for president in 2028 when he will be 62, and when a reelected Trump would be constitutionally barred from seeking a third term — or a defeated Trump might be a convicted criminal and would be unlikely to run again.

Trump is surely looking for a vice presidential nominee who will rubber stamp his hard-right positions on key issues from immigration to the elimination of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Scott looks like he’d be willing to fill that role. 

Recommended Stories

Trump certainly doesn’t want a vice president like Mike Pence, who courageously refused Trump’s demands to try to overturn Biden’s election victory when Electoral College votes were counted on Jan. 6, 2021. A mob summoned to Washington that day by Trump broke into the Capitol and staged a deadly riot in an unsuccessful effort to block the peaceful transfer of power.

Another factor favoring Scott’s selection as Trump’s running mate is that Scott might be able to help Trump increase his share of the Black vote.

A survey by the Pew Research Center concluded that Biden and Harris captured 92% of the Black vote in 2020, compared with just 8% for Trump. That overwhelming Black support for the Democratic ticket offset the 55% of the white vote captured by Trump and Pence.

If making Scott his running mate could increase Trump’s share of the Black vote by even a few points, the move might put Trump back in the White House. 

Scott’s endorsement of Trump came in a rousing speech at a campaign rally in New Hampshire. The former president seemed ecstatic as Scott showered him with undeserved praise, including quoting civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer of Mississippi who famously said she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” When it comes to Donald Trump, most Americans are sick and tired of his refusal to accept the results of the last presidential election.

Scott’s support may not have a big impact in New Hampshire’s primary on Tuesday but will carry more weight in the South Carolina Republican primary on Feb. 24, when Trump will face Haley if she is still in the race. While Haley has a remote chance of beating the odds and defeating Trump in New Hampshire, Trump is far ahead of her in South Carolina polls and is expected to hand her a humiliating defeat in her home state that might end her campaign.

Scott unquestionably wants to move up to higher office. But his bid to win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, launched in May, failed. His poor showing among Republicans polled in his presidential race wasn’t surprising, because the GOP today is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln but of Donald Trump. It has become the party of right-wing white grievance, looking to “take back our country,” as Trump often says, from Democrats, immigrants and Black people who came to America from nations in Africa that he has called “shithole countries.” 

Most Black voters understand that the Democratic Party better represents the aspirations of citizens still fighting for equality.  A 2022 poll conducted under a partnership between theGrio and KFF found that 74 percent of Black registered voters either identified as Democrats or said they leaned toward the Democratic Party. Only 7 percent of Black registered voters said they were Republicans or leaned toward the Republican Party, while the remaining 13 percent said they identify as independents.   

Today’s Republican Party opposes a broad range of policies benefitting most Americans, including Blacks in particular.

For example, Trump and his followers oppose diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including affirmative action in college admissions; protection of voting rights; anti-poverty, education, health care and other domestic programs that benefit disadvantaged Americans; reproductive freedom; holding police accountable for unjustified killings and brutality; and accurate education about past and present American racism.

I know Sen. Scott and though we disagree on most issues, he always impressed me as a decent man of faith who overcame poverty and racism to win an appointment to a vacant Senate by then-Gov. Haley in 2013. He then won three elections to keep his seat. While I’m saddened that he has joined so many other prominent Republicans in endorsing a man who was one of the worst presidents in American history, has been indicted on 91 criminal charges, believes a president is above the law and threatens the survival of our democracy, no one should be surprised. 

Donna Brazile is a veteran political strategist, Senior Advisor at Purple Strategies, New York Times bestselling author, Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and sought-after Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning media contributor to such outlets as ABC News, USA Today and TheGrio. She previously served as interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee and of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute. Donna was the first Black American to serve as the manager of a major-party presidential campaign, running the campaign of Vice President Al Gore in 2000. She serves as an adjunct professor in the Women and Gender Studies Department at Georgetown University and served as the King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University and as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. She has lectured at nearly 250 colleges and universities on diversity, equity and inclusion; women in leadership; and restoring civility in American politics.

Never miss a beat: Get our daily stories straight to your inbox with theGrio’s newsletter. 

Source link
The article discusses the potential for Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate, to become Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate. It outlines the political context, including the withdrawal of other potential candidates, and the impact of Scott’s potential nomination on increasing Trump’s share of the Black vote. The author also criticizes the Republican Party’s opposition to policies that benefit most Americans, particularly Black Americans, while expressing disappointment in Scott’s decision to endorse Trump. The article also provides background on Donna Brazile’s experience and her general disagreement with Senator Scott’s political stance.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.