WASHINGTON — As a politician tinged with a dash of evangelist, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told the Republican National Committee today that the party needs to fully embrace people who are hurting in this country without pausing to count their votes first.
“We have an opportunity to raise the potential for folks who want a hand up and not a hand out,” Scott told the committee as the meeting’s special lunchtime speaker.
That means focusing on the people and not worrying about whether or not they’re immediately marking their ballots for a Republican candidate. “It’s more important for us to build the best country — and everything will take care of itself,” Scott said.
With a seasoned delivery and the hope-infused tone of a senator bent on redefining change, Scott noted in his journey away from the podium that “Mama wanted a preacher, not a politician.”
“Think about the road this nation has traveled,” he noted. “My journey has been filled with potholes. I hit them all.”
Overcoming those challenges, the senator stressed, is “the story of America, but also the story of conservatism.”
“You can think your way out of poverty,” he said, adding that over the past few years “government thought us into poverty… we were spending $3.6 trillion and only bringing in about $2.5 trillion.”
Scott confidently declared “2014 is the year that the Republican Party takes back the United States Senate.”
“In 2009, Democrats had the White House, the Senate and the House — where was their remedy for poverty then when they had the whole control?” he continued. “Instead they focused on Obamacare without any Republican support.”
The senator noted how the cost estimates for Obamacare just keep climbing: from $900 billion at the bill’s passage to $1.8 trillion and now soaring past $3 trillion. Whereas the law was passed citing 15 percent of Americans as not having health insurance, Scott said the $3 trillion investment is projected to leave 10 percent of Americans without coverage by the year 2023.
“I’ll tell you, I’m not impressed,” he said.
Scott predicted that the healthcare law is going to “eliminate — unless we have some congressional action — the 40-hour workweek” as employers try to avoid the mandates. And if people want conservative solutions, “the welcome mat is out.”
Scott said the GOP should be branded the “great opportunity party.”
The senator said he’s “absolutely confident” in the party’s midterm hopes and said they need to mind the old adage “people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
“We are going to have to embrace people in a way they deserve to be embraced,” Scott stressed. “If we win people, elections will take care of themselves.”
He also encouraged greater communication with constituencies, noting “too often politicians want to speak for somebody before they speak to somebody.”
The “great Americans” he meets in his home state are usually struggling because of two main factors, he said: educational opportunities that fall short and skills that do not meet those required in a 21st century workforce.
Scott described folks he has met in Charleston looking for a way up. “They’re hungry and thirsty, looking for someone to present an American solution.”