Tim Scott on racism vs. political division in America: ‘It’s not as much ‘Black and white’ as it is ‘red and blue’’

Rumored Republican vice presidential contender, Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., recently stopped by CNN to rip Donald Trump’s guilty verdict on 34 felonies in the New York hush money trial.

Like most of Trump’s VP contenders, Senator Scott dismissed Trump’s conviction as being nothing more than political partisanship, claiming the charges of falsifying business records were “the weaponization of the justice system” by President Joe Biden, despite Biden having no oversight of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which brought the charges.

Scott, the nation’s lone Black Republican in the U.S. Senate, went further by claiming it was this alleged weaponization that was making Black voters more sympathetic to Trump: 

“The reason why we’re seeing so many African Americans coming to the Trump campaign — two big reasons: jobs and justice,” Senator Scott told CNN host Phil Mattingly. “I’ll say simply, as an African American born and raised in the Deep South who had concerns about our justice system as it relates to race, I’m now seeing it play out from a partisan perspective. It’s not as much Black and white as it is red and blue.”

In the past, Scott has been open about childhood and adult experiences with racial harassment but has also insisted, “America is not a racist country.”

Polling reveals that most African American voters still support the Democratic Party. According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Black voters — 83% — lean Democratic. Pew’s polling also reveals that 72% of Black voters say Trump was a “poor or terrible president.”

Nevertheless, trends indicate new changes in different subsets of Black voters, including Black voters with college degrees who lean Democratic, whose numbers went from 93% of Black voters in 2012, down to 79% in 2023. A March poll from GenForward noted that 17% of Black voters would vote for Trump instead of Biden, and 20% would want a third-party candidate.

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 24: Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) cheers on Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks during an election night watch party at the State Fairgrounds on February 24, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina held its Republican primary today. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Republicans like Sen. Scott have seized on the results of polls like these to claim the GOP is making outsized inroads into African American and Hispanic communities. Trump recently held a campaign rally in the predominantly Black and Latino borough of the Bronx, New York, signaling an effort to court voters of color.

Scott also said during his CNN appearance that “Americans are ticked off at this verdict,” and the day after the presidential election would be “a day of reckoning.” However, a majority of Americans polled by CBS News/YouGov said Trump’s New York trial was fair.

The South Carolina senator insisted that MAGA supporters’ anger over Trump’s guilty verdict would not lead to violence and praised their current unified response compared to the 2020 protests against the murder of George Floyd. “You don’t see any riots in the streets like you did a few years ago,” Scott said. 

“During the summer of the riots, the largest riots in the history of our country, with more property damage, deaths — you don’t see that today. What you see is a focus, a determination to make sure that we, the people, are heard and seen on November the 5th,” the senator added.

“That’s good news for the country. And frankly, it restores more confidence that conservatives, when in the leadership, you won’t see that kind of violence in the streets because we don’t like the outcome.”

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