Sworn into office yesterday as the South’s first black senator to win election since Reconstruction, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said he hold no ill will toward the NAACP for not recognizing his historic victory.
“It’s no slight, to be honest with you,” Scott told Fox News on the Hill.
“Ultimately, I’m thankful for those who actually know who I am, who celebrate the success of me and my family, particularly my grandfather and my mother, who paid a high price to make sure that I had an opportunity to succeed,” he said.
“This is a good day. Frankly, the fact that the NAACP does not weigh in, in a positive position has been my experience for the last four years of elected office. Nothing has changed. That’s OK with me.”
Scott also gave some insight into how communities can move forward in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury verdict and protests.
“Perhaps one of the things that we could focus on as a nation and as a community is having a vision, a positive, constructive vision about the future,” he said. “I am so thankful that we have law enforcement officers who are willing to put their life on the line to serve people that they never met before. And at the same time, I understand the pain and misery that comes with living in poverty.”
“So when you put those two together, I would love to see a positive outcome. One of the ways that we have a positive outcome are to bring stakeholders to the same table and have a serious conversation about moving forward.”
Scott said he’s reached out to “friends of mine” in the Congressional Black Caucus and at the Urban League.
“I also reached out to Hispanic leaders, as well as white leaders, so that we could bring people together,” he said.
“The one thing that has made America the most amazing country on Earth is the ability to overcome obstacles. We are good at that when we focus on the future and not simply getting mired in the past.”
By focusing on his “opportunity agenda,” which includes school choice, the senator said he believes “we can move the country in the right direction.”
“But we need more mentors showing up in neighborhoods that are at risk. We could take those at-risk kids and make them into high-potential kids. This takes work. It doesn’t take just merely having a good vision. It takes rolling up your sleeves up and going to work.”
Asked if his next stop is the White House, Scott replied “no” before quipping, “I think the next step is going to vote in about three minutes.”