DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., visited Des Moines on Wednesday for his “Faith in America” tour, adding to speculation about a potential presidential campaign in 2024. Scott has visited Iowa before, but on behalf of other candidates, like U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, in 2020.
He toured St. Anthony’s Catholic School near downtown Des Moines Wednesday morning with Gov. Kim Reynolds. Scott spoke at a smaller gathering at Cowels Library at Drake University in the afternoon. He capped off his visit to Iowa by speaking at the Polk County Republican Party’s Lincoln Dinner.
Scott is the first black member of the U.S. Senate from South Carolina. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate by then Governor Nikki Haley following the resignation of former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint to lead The Heritage Foundation. Before serving in the U.S. Senate, Scott served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before his election to Congress, Scott also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives and Charleston County Council.
He painted a positive vision of America during his speech at Drake.
“I am living proof that American dreams do come true,” Scott said to those gathered for his speech at Drake.
“My mom spent her teenage years surrounded by segregation. My grandfather, her father, had to step off of the sidewalk to let white folks pass by. He had to drop out of school in the third grade and start picking cotton. When I was a kid, I remember my granddaddy coming to the kitchen table with a newspaper in his hands. Only later do I realize that he had never learned to read. But he was determined that he would set an example for his grandsons to follow,” he said.
“Life handed my granddaddy every single temptation to lose hope, but he would not. He had faith, deep and stubborn faith, faith in God and the future and in America. And you know what? That man lived long enough to see his family go from cotton to Congress in his lifetime,” Scott added. “I am here because my family chose faith over anger, responsibility over resentment, and patriotism over pity.”
He said that America is a land of opportunity, not oppression. Scott said his “soul is pained” by the country’s current state. He said the United States has crises of optimism, hope, and faith.
“Fentanyl isn’t the only poison flooding our country. Politicians and the culture are getting communities hooked on the drug of victimhood and narcotic of despair,” Scott said. “They are addictive and they are lethal.”
He attacked the left’s agenda, saying it is destroying America and that it isn’t politics but personal to him.
“These people who call themselves progressive are attacking every rung of the ladder that helped me climb,” Scott said. “I was the teenager whose spirit would have been crushed by a culture obsessed with identity politics and racial strife. We were the family with the fragile budget that the Democrats’ inflation would have destroyed. I grew up in North Charleston, South Carolina, in the kind of neighborhood that liberals claim they are helping when they defund and demonize the police. I was the poor African-American kid they claimed they are protecting.”
He added that it is personal to him when President Joe Biden invokes the pain of the past to cover his failures in the present.
Scott gave the example of Biden calling Georgia’s new voting law “Jim Crow 2.0., stating his family lived through Jim Crow. “Let me be clear, these painful parts of our past are not Joe Biden’s to dredge up and exploit just because he’s losing an argument,” he said. “We need new leaders who will lift us up, not tear us down.”
He said that leadership would have faith in Americans by lowering taxes, cutting regulations, and offering school choice.
“Faith in the American people means faith in freedom, free enterprise, free speech, because we are a free people,” Scott said.
He added that freedom requires personal responsibility.
You can watch his full remarks in the video above.