South Carolina Senator Tim Scott (R) spoke with Fox News Radio's Guy Benson about the criticism the president is facing regarding his lack of leadership during this time of crisis. Senator Scott Said, "What I hear from the president is what I want to hear from my president." Scott furthered his comments by saying,
"The president over the last three years has embraced this notion. And this happened honestly after Charlottesville. He and I had a very challenging and difficult conversation. And the parting question after Charlottesville that he asked me was, how can I help those communities that I've offended. If you are trying to divide the nation, that is not the question you ask. And then I presented solutions to him, an opportunity zones. He said, yes, I came back to him about helping historically black colleges and universities. He said, yes. I came back to him and asked him about helping people with sickle cell anemia, almost 100 percent African-American. He said, yes, I came back to him during the CARES ACT to say, let's help more funding for HBC use. He said yes. I came back to him about economic opportunity and mobility. He said yes. So how is it that the man who's trying to divide us always says yes to the policies that actually unite us?"
Listen To The Full Conversation Below:
Guy Benson: Coast to coast, sea to shining sea. It's the guy Benson Show. Glad to have you here. It is Thursday. So Friday, Eve on the program. Thank you for listening. Guy Benson show dot com is our website site. Guy Benson show dot com podcasts always free. Delighted to welcome back to the show. U.S. Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina. His latest book is Opportunity Knocks How Hard Work Community and Business Can Improve Lives and Poverty. Senator, good to have you here.
Sen. Scott: Thank you, guys. Good to be back with you. Hope you're doing well.
Guy Benson: Hanging in there, I think, as we all are trying to do, because, look, these are really difficult times in the country and we're grappling through them. And I wonder if you can help us, because you are one of very few black Republicans in Congress. You're the only African-American U.S. senator on the Republican side of the aisle. And I think for a lot of conservatives who do not grow up here have an experience of being a black person in America, you see some of this rhetoric about the disparate treatment by police. You look at some of the other statistics and you can maybe make an argument, hey, maybe this issue is overblown or not really real, maybe that this isn't actually a problem. And I wonder if you can maybe shed some light and give us some insight into why sometimes disparate police treatment and abusive police practices truly are a problem.
Sen. Scott: Well, I'll just say that. Thank you for the question number one. Thank you for covering this on your show. This is very important because from my perspective, the best way to get conservatives to listen to the discussion on issues that are really important to the future of our country is to have people like you, strong credibility, powerful thinkers who are zeroing in on how we have our nation work together for the future of the country. And this is a very important topic that we need to cover. So on the underlying issue of why the patterns of police brutality are important is not simply the death of George Floyd, though, that one death is one death, too many unnecessary and certainly avoidable. The question is the pattern for the last. My lifetime, 54 years ago, five decades in my life, I've seen consistently the use of force has been in the minority communities overwhelmingly as it relates to a percentage of the population. That means that we start eroding the trust and the confidence that communities of color have in the systems of government, the systems of authority in this nation. That is bad news not just for the black community. So it will manifest itself first there. It is bad news for the nation. It is the justice of society that leads to the greatest level of justice. And that's what I'm hoping for in the outcome of the challenges that we face today.
Guy Benson: And what I see, especially on social media, is a lot of now arguing about whether people are posturing properly. Are you posting exactly the right thing at exactly the right time with exactly the right hashtag? And if not, you're getting scolded and other people, if you try to do anything they say, well, you're just virtue signaling. You don't really care. You're part of the problem. And we're all screaming at each other. And I find it to be tedious B.S. Frankly, a lot of that I am much more interested in. Are we going to improve things in terms of actual lived experiences for people? And if that means changing some laws or making some reforms? Sign me up if they make sense or are there things that you think Washington can do beyond all of the all of the genuflection and public preening, some of which I think are fine and necessary, some of which I find exhausting. Are there actual solutions here that you think as a U.S. senator you can be a part of specifically?
Sen. Scott: Yes, guy. I think there are some things that we can do. We have put out a piece of legislation called the Walter Scott Notification Act that is named for Walter Scott, who was shot by a police officer in my hometown of North Charleston five times in the back, about 30 feet away. And it would be nice and necessary for us to be able to know how many times a law enforcement officer pulls his weapon and it ends in death. Having that information would help us to uncover patterns that would tell us who would give us a chance to talk about the practices that are necessary. And it would do so without federalizing law enforcement. I think law enforcement should always be a local issue. So what I am opposed to is nationalizing law enforcement while I am in favor of having a national picture of what's happening in local law enforcement and the Walter Scott Notification Act is one way to do it. Another way to do it is the legislation we're working on the. George Floyd notification, right? This is the use of when the use of force ends in death. Let's take a look. Let's see. Let's get the facts. Let's get the information so that we can understand what's going on around the country. Those two pieces of legislation move us in the right direction from my perspective. And then there are a number of others that we've been talking about here in Washington that will be helpful.
Guy Benson: Senator, as I mentioned in my first question, I think there are some people who missed the boat on this being a problem and they have some blinders on from their experience. On the other side of the equation, you see some on the left and I think too many in the media either downplaying, dismissing or even almost endorsing violence, rioting, looting and that sort of thing, trying to pretend like it's not really that big of a deal, even though it can be catastrophic to communities, to individuals and businesses. And of course, when you have lawlessness, violence against people also follows. And tragically, we're seeing that, including the death of law enforcement officers and retired law enforcement officers, several of whom we know are African-American just in these last few days, which is just outrageous and horrible. I wonder what your message is for people who are very angry, very frustrated, see people breaking things, stealing things and say, well, the system's broken and I'm going to use this opportunity to sort of engage in catharsis and break the lock as I'll probably get away with it this time. What's your message on that?
Sen. Scott: Well, I think you started off on the right the right message on George Foy. I think you're still the right message of relates to the violent protesters. They are not even protesters or agitators. I think the greatest act of selfishness today can be seen by the violent protesters that make it nearly impossible for the media to continue to focus on George Floyds death. The fact of the matter is, if you are actually interested in justice for the Floyd family, you cannot be a part of violent protesting and tell that domestic dawn, the 77 year old retired African-American police officer who is dead. Tell that to his family that somehow your violent protesting has led to more justice in America. You cannot once again, as I said, you cannot take something that is unjust and create and produce justice out of it. This is antithetical to what people like John Lewis in the 1960s marched with a nonviolent absolute focus and produced remarkable change in this country because sooner or later, what ultimately happens. People of good conscience stop and say, I need to spend more time intentionally diffusing this situation so that all of God's children have the opportunity to embrace the American dream and live out their full potential, which is going to be in my child's best interest no matter what they look like. You can't go there if you have riots in the streets. You cannot go there if you have violence in the streets and you cannot go there if you have an officer with his knee on the throat of a suspect. So we should be equally as ticked off on both sides.
Guy Benson: Senator, I wonder, do you think in a volatile moment like this where we're just seeing explosions of anger and there are recriminations and it just keeps going? Do you think President Trump's leadership has been helpful, harmful somewhere in between?
Sen. Scott: Yeah, I think the president has done a pretty good job overall. I give him at least a B plus. The truth is that I've spoken to the president after a mod Opry in Georgia being hunted down in the middle of the street by two folks with a shotgun in the back of a pickup truck. He thought that was an atrocity situation. I've talked to him about George Floyd and the officers involved in that. He had a very strong message for them. What I hear from the president is what I want to hear from my president. He is doing what he's. He is following what he says he's going to do. That is good. Now, is there a chance for the president to say more that could be lead to more of a constructive conversation? Everybody can do more. The question is, if he did more to satisfy any of the critics, the answer is no. Is that a reason not to do more? The answer is no. I think he is pacing himself and trying to absorb as much information. And it's like drinking from a fire hydrant because every single night is totally different. So I give him I give a margin because no one in that situation can deal with if evidence and facts that you haven't seen yet. And so I think if the press would actually focus on the underlying issue. The president would be able to see further and deal with the challenges that are coming his way.
Guy Benson: Fair enough. Relatedly, I'm sure by now you've heard all about or perhaps have read the op ed from General Mattis, the former defense secretary under this administration. And he said, among other things, quote, Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people, does not even pretend to try. Instead, he divides us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. I wonder what your reaction is to a pretty stinging rebuke from President Trump's own former defense secretary.
Sen. Scott: General Mattis certainly has served our country in so many ways, and I thank God for him and they come for a service. But on this issue, I just disagree with him. And let me just explain why. Guy, the facts are very simple. The president over the last three years has embraced this notion. And this happened honestly after Charlottesville. He and I had a very challenging and difficult conversation. And the parting question after Charlottesville that he asked me was, how can I help those communities that I've offended if you are trying to divide the nation? That is not the question you ask. And then I presented solutions to him, an opportunity those. He said, yes, I came back to him about helping historically black colleges and universities. He said, yes. I came back to him and asked him about helping people with sickle cell anemia, almost 100 percent African-American. He said, yes, I came back to him during the kids to say, let's help more funding for HBC use. He said yes. I came back to him about economic opportunity and mobility. He said yes. So how is it that the man who's trying to divide us always says yes to the policies that actually unite us?
Guy Benson: That's an interesting perspective, especially given your inside track and your personal interactions with him on some of those policy issues. Finally, I want to ask you this, Senator Scott. We haven't had you on since this happened. It kind of feels like it was a lifetime ago, but it wasn't that long ago. The Democratic nominee for president, presumptive former Vice President Joe Biden, appeared on a podcast right around Memorial Day weekend. Again, that was pretty recent. And he was asked a question by the host, Charlamagne the God, about people who might be teetering, about where they're going to vote, African-Americans in particular. And Joe Biden infamously said, if you are confused, I'm paraphrasing between whether you're gonna vote for Donald Trump or me. Then, quote, You ain't black. And he has since walked that back and sort of apologized for it and clarified. That's not really what he meant. But then he went on to sort of blame Charlamagne, the God for asking the question, said that he was baiting him and being a wise guy. I can only imagine, as a black Republican U.S. senator, hearing something like that from a presidential candidate has to probably fall on your ears rather heavily. And I wonder what your response was.
Sen. Scott: Well, my responses have been the same the entire time. Arrogant comments. Unbelievable that Joe Biden would tell me what it means to be black. Number one. He also speaking to one point three million other African-Americans who voted for President Trump number two. And I would imagine that their mothers and fathers or brothers and sisters all would assume that they were black as well. So just multiply that by five or six and you start getting a picture that's we're getting close to 25 percent of the African-American population. He did. He not only offended me at one point three million supporters of President Trump's, but I'm sure that that bled over into the family members. And frankly, the social conversation around the Biden agenda, not the one that he talks about, but the one that he supported, includes Corey Booker calling him out on the 1994 crime bill. It includes Kamala Harris calling him out on the busing back in the 60s and 70s. So literally, Joe Biden's agenda is antithetical to what we think of as progress. It's one of the reasons why President Trump had the support. And I said they had supported the first step on making up for the damage is done by the 1994 criminal justice reform of that year. So long story short, if you want to be pro people who have been underrepresented and underserved, President Job and his policy positions have been far better than Joe Biden's.
Guy Benson: U.S. Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina. His book is Opportunity Knocks Here on the Guy Benson Show. Senator. We love having you on. Thanks for stopping by. And we'll talk to you soon.
Sen. Scott: Thank you, Guy. Have a great day.
Guy Benson: We will come back and continue in the happy hour of the Guy Benson Show after this break.