South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said on Fox last night that she picked Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to succeed the retiring Jim DeMint in the Senate because of his credentials, not his color.
“I will tell is that what we were looking for South Carolina and for the country was leadership, courage, and passion. And Congressman Scott had shown leadership on the way he rapidly moved up through the House leadership without compromising his principles,” Haley said.
“So while I get this minority female head to appoint this minority male and that’s what everybody wants to talk about, I want to remind everybody he earned this.”
Haley does hope, though, that people can take out of the “minority situation” the fact that “only in this country can an Indian female become governor, can an African-American male become U.S. senator, because every child, no matter what race or gender, can grow up to be anything they want in this country.”
Scott said he agreed to the appointment after a rather short conversation with the governor.
“And she said well, do you want to be a U.S. senator. And of course my answer was yes.”
Scott said he expects his views to be noticed more in the smaller, sharply divided Senate. “And I think that will shape up my experience drastically and very differently,” he added.
He credits his success to “the strong faith in the Lord above, number one.”
“Number two, it’s a mother who believes that sometimes love has to come in the end of the switch, and she loved me. And number three was a mentor who came along at the right time, and he taught me some very basic business principles about creating a profit, not just having an income, and about creating jobs and not just having one. Those stuck with me my entire career in public service, but it helped me to start my own business. It helped me to escape poverty,” Scott said.
“And I think about the single moms out in America today, and I would love to tell them hold on, don’t give up. The best is yet to come. And one of the best ways to get there is by getting government out of the way, out of the pockets as much as possible.”
Scott will become the only African-American in the Senate, and the first black Republican in the upper chamber since 1978.