2024 GOP Presidential Candidate Senator Tim Scott spoke to Brian Kilmeade about his camping strategy and the first GOP primary debate. Scott believes the greatest long term threat facing America is China and the next president needs to go toe-to-toe with Xi and work on eliminating the rising axis of evil from China, Russia and Iran. Scott also believes we have to look at Saudi Arabia and them working with BRICS nations which threaten the American dollar. Responding to Vivek Ramaswamy wanting to let China take over Taiwan and reducing aid to Israel, Scott says you do not disengage from your allies because we need them to reduce the likelihood of having to use the kinetic option. When asked about Ron DeSantis saying he is the only candidate with the sole purpose to run president and not to be a cable news contributor or a cabinet position, Scott fired back “That’s called hogwash.” Scott added that anyone who goes through the process of preparing to be President of United States, who wants to be anything other than the President of the United States should not be in the race.

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Rough transcript

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:58] Senator Tim Scott, that was the last voice you heard. But that’s we have eight candidates going to the stage in Milwaukee. 9:00, it will kick off Eastern time. It will go for 2 hours. And then the debate will be in the books and we’ll see who’s going to shine on Thursday and how the momentum and the wind did their back, perhaps at Senator Tim Scott. He’s near the top of the new brand new Fox Power rankings. Now, third in Iowa. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina joins us now. Senator, how are you feeling? Hours from the big debate?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:01:27] I’m feeling pretty good, to be honest with you. I certainly have butterflies and looking forward to an opportunity to tell America why I believe she can fill in the American people, why I believe that she can do for others what America has done for me. I’m excited about the opportunity to share the story of American progress that I’ve been blessed to live.

Brian Kilmeade [00:01:47] So that’s your story. But there are things like Medicare, Social Security. What do you do to entitlements due to run out in within ten years? What about Ukraine, Russia, China? The challenge of China is Mike Gallagher said, I wish someone would bring up China because no one really fully understands what a threat they are. And where do you stand with Saudi Arabia and other things where you have a previous this president say they’re a pariah nation yet now begging for forgiveness? Well, Senator Tim Scott, first, when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to Saudi Arabia, when that questions posed to you, what do you say?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:02:25] Well, thank you, Brian, for that question and really a great synopsis on many of the issues that are facing the American people and frankly, the global economy and global security. And one of the places that you start first is that the greatest long term existential threat to America is China. The question is, what do we do about that threat? First thing you do is stop China spying on our kids. Number two, stop them from buying our farmland. And number three, stop them from stealing our intellectual property. But in order to accomplish those goals, we’ve got to realize it’s not about the strength of President Xi. It’s actually about the weakness of President Biden. We need an American president who goes toe to toe with President Xi. And additionally, we need to continue to work on eliminating the threat that comes from this rising axis of evil that is China, Russia and Iran. The stronger we are in decimating and destroying the militaries that threaten our nation, the better off we are long term. That also means that we have to take a look at Saudi Arabia that is willing to take a look at the new rise, the axis of evil, and join forces first to threaten the world’s reserve currency, which of course, is the American dollar. And seeing these new coalitions being formed, whether it’s BRICS and or the next iteration of BRICS. These are things that we have to keep our eyes on if we want to understand the complexity of the global transformation that China wants to lead the greatest force for good in the world today, besides our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is United States of America. We must stand strong, firm and committed. Our allies must know we’re loyal and our adversaries must know that we are lethal.

Brian Kilmeade [00:04:16] Here’s what Mike Gallagher said. I know somebody you respect in in Wisconsin. Congressman Mike Gallagher, 25.

Speaker 1 [00:04:22] Seems to me that the CCP is ratcheting up pressure even as the Biden administration seeks to engage China to resurrect diplomatic and economic engagement. They’re getting more and more aggressive. So if nothing else, this would create a political opportunity for a Republican presidential can’t get out there and articulate a strong, sensible alternative to the neo zombie engagement that the Biden administration is putting forth, which ultimately, I think puts us in a weaker position relative to the Chinese communist.

Brian Kilmeade [00:04:51] And he’s not someone just to say rhetoric. He’s not he’s not a he’s not a necessarily political pundit. I think he actually is the most bipartisan committee in Washington. So it’s an opportunity. And Vivek Ramaswamy says, listen, Taiwan, yeah, by 2028, we can let China take it over. But by that time, as soon as we take the tech industry back, the chip industry back, we can do it. Do you feel the same way? Let China take Taiwan? Well, it’s not worth a World War I.

Sen. Tim Scott [00:05:19] Here’s what we can do is that history, The Ronald Reagan strategy of peace through strength needs a 2.0. As president of the United States, I will be the president who restores that. We must carry a very big stick That’s called strength, which leads to peace. If we have that, we are strong, powerful. Standing and looks like to me, Brian simply says that in order for us to engage in the world, we must understand and appreciate the importance of our military strength and our economic strength. Carrying a big stick is one part of the solution. Decoupling in our economy and having a strong independent economy from China is point number two. You always lead with the two strongest points you have. The American economy is the marvel of the world. 27% of the world’s GDP. When we start disengaging from China and becoming independent with our minerals, our microchips and our medicines, we then stand in the strongest position to continue to attract allies to our nation and to create a firewall, keeping Americans safe and frankly, reducing the likelihood of the kinetic option being used. You don’t do that by disengaging from your allies. You do that by leaning into your allies, whether that’s Taiwan or Israel. You never walk away from your allies.

Brian Kilmeade [00:06:52] Right. So Governor Ron DeSantis, he feels as though he’s going to be the target. He’ll be in the center. He’s been a consistent number two, yet good numbers coming out as a solid third in Iowa. I want to get to your take on on the early stage South Carolina, which you feel you must feel you should take. New Hampshire and Iowa. Here’s a Ron DeSantis said knowing he’s going to be a target, cut to.

Speaker 1 [00:07:13] I’m going to make the case that under Joe Biden, this country is in decline. We need to send Biden back to his basement in Delaware and reverse the country’s decline. And I’m the guy that can do it. I’ve proven it in the state of Florida, and I won’t let people down as the next president of anyone on that stage. I’m the only one whose sole purpose is running to be the 47th president of the United States and to reverse this country’s decline. I’m not running to be vice president. I’m not running to be in the cabinet and I’m not running to be a contributor on cable news. We’re running to win.

Brian Kilmeade [00:07:47] He says he’s the only one on the stage who’s not trying to do something except win the presidency. Is he right?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:07:53] That’s called hogwash. Anyone who puts through that goes through the process of preparing to be president of United States, who wants to be anything other than the president of the United States. They should not be in the race. They should not be on the stage and see, it’s just completely ridiculous. Every single person on that stage, I hope and pray, wants to be the leader of the free world. If you do not, don’t show up for the debate. I would simply say that I know that America can do for others what she has done for me. We’re going to focus on restoring hope and creating opportunities and protecting the America that we all love. And for me, that means that we start with the southern border, because our southern border is wide open, unsafe and insecure. If you’re going to be the commander in chief, the greatest act or threat to the American people is an open southern border. Closing that southern border will save 70,000 American lives because of fear, not just in one year. We also have to back to blue. Brian, you know this as well as I do. Making sure that our law enforcement have the best resources, the best training, the best what the where the badge is absolutely essential to domestic tranquility.

Brian Kilmeade [00:09:04] When you look at your strategy, everybody’s got to pick a state they’re really going to battle on. Famously, Rudy Giuliani had the Florida strategy. I’m given up the first two states and I’ll meet you in Florida. And by that time he had collapsed. Some people give up on Iowa. Where are you at now? You are third in Iowa. I see you fourth in single digits in New Hampshire. And South Carolina is your state. But you got Nikki Haley, the former governor, and you got a prison of Trump who is consistently number one in that state. First on Iowa, what’s your strategy there?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:09:34] Well, I will say what we’ve been doing is working in Iowa, as well as the other two states that you just mentioned. People are starving for an optimistic, positive message as long as it’s anchored in conservatism and you have a backbone. My message is not only resonating, but it’s one of the reasons why we continue to climb in the polls and the size of our audiences in Iowa are absolutely exploding. And I thank God Almighty that I was a state that’s very interested in engaging about the critical issues of our time. New Hampshire, we are in fourth place in New Hampshire, from what I understand, the latest polling, that’s only two points from third and four points from second. So the truth is that game on in New Hampshire. I look forward to taking the momentum from those two states, bringing it home to South Carolina, winning South Carolina and becoming the nominee for our party, and restoring hope for the American people that we can bring this nation together under the auspices of conservative values that have never let us down.

Brian Kilmeade [00:10:41] When Chris governor Chris and to run editorial today in the New York Times saying if you don’t win Iowa, you should get out of the race, consolidate around the person that is closest to Trump in Iowa if they don’t win outright. Do you agree with that?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:10:56] Everybody has the right to run. I’m going to let every candidate make their own decisions. But I do believe that as the guy that will win Iowa, I look forward to the team and the field coalescing behind my leadership and frankly, helping me promote and encourage the vision of conservatism that sets captives free. It doesn’t matter what zip code you come from. The one thing I can tell you about the American story and the American journey is it is alive, it is well, and it is healthy. We just need to continue to persuade the American people that we’re not a country in decline. We are actually a country in retreat. And the good news is when you’re in retreat, change the leader and just turn around and we will be the greatest nation on God’s green earth. Because the American people, Brian, we are strong is the government that is weak.

Brian Kilmeade [00:11:52] Senator, sometimes I did stand up for a while and sometimes you think something’s funny and you get up there and like, I don’t get a great response. You go up three or four times, you go, Listen, I over I over thought with how good that was going to be. And sometimes you surprised by some things you say that do get a good response. Now that you’ve been out as a candidate for a few months, meeting people in a groups of five and groups of 501,000, what is the message that you say, Wow, man, I’m going to pull back on that. And what is the message you said following them? I’m going to lean forward. People really care about this. And I you know, I have the stats in front of me that the economy and immigration economy is number one. Immigration’s number two. I got it. But what does Tim Scott see when you roll up your sleeves without your jacket and you’re in the general store and sometimes on the stage?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:12:39] You know, one of the things you’ll hear in a diner in New Hampshire or a town hall in Iowa is that President Biden’s economy Biden nomics has devastated the average household in the nation. What I hear that works really well is authenticity. Having grown up in a single parent household mired in poverty, the one thing I can tell you, having my story feel the same as other people’s story, whether you’re a rural kid in Iowa or you’re a fellow at a welding factory that I was in in New Hampshire, the one thing we all understand is when inflation goes high, your spending power comes a low that devastates families. Today, that simply works because it’s real. What I find that works everywhere I go is authenticity and sincerity. They want it to be anchored in facts. You’ve got to prove your point. But the more you don’t have a canned line, the better off you will be.

Brian Kilmeade [00:13:43] And you listen. Right?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:13:45] Also, I started my Faith in America tour as a listening tour so I could hear what the people were saying around this country to make a decision whether or not my life story. My policy positions over the last few years, do they reflect what I’m hearing on the trail. And thank God Almighty, they did. And I’m excited to have an opportunity, Brian, to be on that stage talking about the goodness of America and why we have to defend the values that made us possible.

Brian Kilmeade [00:14:18] I know you said you thought you wanted Trump to be there and you guys have not had a cross word yet, but now that he’s not there. What changes for you being that we watch Dr. Ben Carson and others say, you know, and Joe Biden for a while, people stopped engaging when they thought they were dropping out. Like dropping back. How do the more you believe it or not, the more you were attacked and engage the the better chance you have of being the headline the next day. So now without Trump, what is Tim Scott do to make sure he’s the lead conversation? Lead in the conversation on Thursday morning?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:14:55] Ryan I think what I do is just said, which is be authentic, sincere, take my optimistic, positive message.

Brian Kilmeade [00:15:01] But someone’s going to take a shot at you, aren’t they?

Sen. Tim Scott [00:15:04] Well, you know, the chances are high that someone will have a disagreement. And frankly, I. I played college football and grew up in tough neighborhoods. Take people taking a shot. It’s called every day. And so when you’re a black Republican, you feed your unicorn. You hear people taking shots at you. So that that’s that’s the everyday thing. What I have to make sure that I do is seal the shot when it’s taken, and I just completely ignore it because I’m so used to them. And so for me on the stage, what I would do is have an opportunity to respond to anyone who has an opportunity to draw the contrast. I don’t think any of this is personal. I see this as an opportunity for us all create the comparison in contrast, that’s necessary for people to make a decision that I want, that I will be the next president, United States, and.

Brian Kilmeade [00:15:44] Hopefully for your party one day. When you say that you said I used to be a black Republican, that used to be a unicorn. Hopefully for the good of your party and for the future, that will be an old phrase that no longer applies at one point.

Sen. Tim Scott [00:15:56] God, I love that. I love that. Right. Keep hope alive and let’s continue to spread the message.

Brian Kilmeade [00:16:01] See you, Milwaukee Senator Tim Scott.