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GOP Sen. Tim Scott Announces Presidential Run. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired May 22, 2023 - 11:30   ET




SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): Thank you, Jordan. Jordan is Janice's granddaughter. And my mother gave her flowers when she was first born. So, I wanted to return the favor to these two women who made this possible.

All right, let's get the speech started, which also means going back to the beginning of the speech. There you go. We live in the land of opportunity. We live in the land where it is absolutely possible for a kid raised in poverty in a single-parent household, in a small apartment to one day serve in the people's house and maybe even the White House. This is the greatest nation on God's green earth.

Today, I'm thinking back to my grandfather, born in 1921, in Sally, South Carolina in the Deep South. By the time he was in the third grade, he was forced out of school, his education was over, and he was forced to start picking cotton. But my grandfather lived long enough to watch his grandson pick out a seat in Congress. That's the evolution of the country we live in. My family went from cotton to Congress in his lifetime. And it was only -- it was only possible because my grandfather had a stubborn faith.

Faith in God, faith in himself, and faith in what America would be. He looked beyond the pain of his present, and he saw the promise of his future. That black man who struggled through the Jim Crow South believed then what some doubt now in the goodness of America.

I was seven years old when my parents divorced. We moved in with my grandparents. My mom and my brother, we all three shared one bed and one bedroom in that 700-square-foot rental home. But my grandfather said to me, Son, you can be bitter or you can be better. But you can't be both.

You see, he chose patriotism over pity. He focused on the windshield of his life and not on the rearview mirror. And today, I'm living proof that America is the land of opportunity and not a land of oppression.

But you see, this isn't just my story. It's all of our stories. The circumstances and the situations may be different. The details may change but every single one of us are here because of the American journey where there were obstacles that became opportunities and our pain revealed our purpose. If you believe that, can somebody say amen?

But unfortunately, under President Biden, our nation is retreating away from patriotism, and faith. The fewest people in 30 years believe that their kids will be better off than their parents. And the radical left is pushing us into a culture of grievance instead of a culture of greatness.


My mom worked 16-hour days as a nurse's aide, changing bedpans and rolling patients. It was hard work. It wasn't glamorous. But those 16- hour days put food on the table and kept the lights on. They empowered her to move her boys out of a place filled with pain into a home filled with love.

My mom's work ethic taught me that there is dignity in all work and that's why -- and that's why I know if you are able-bodied, you work. Period. Everybody should go to work if you can.

My mom said to me, Son, you can be a victim or we can be victorious. She chose victorious. But under President Biden, our nation is retreating away from work and dignity. Millions and millions of people have dropped out of the workforce entirely. And the share of working- age men choosing to work is the lowest it has ever been. That is pathetic.

My mom working those 16 hours, and I was kind of feeling sorry for myself. My mom was too busy. My dad wasn't there. We didn't have money for the simple little treats. I felt disillusioned and angry.

And I was a challenged young man, I felt like the weight of the world was accumulating on my shoulders. And that's why I love the Monice family because when I was 15 years old, I met John Monice, (PH) a Chick-fil-A operator, a Citadel graduate who came into my life right when I needed a mentor the most.

He started teaching me some very basic life principles. He said, Tim, having a job would be good but creating jobs would be better. I like that concept, by the way. I really appreciate that lesson.

He also said that one day, you'll know the difference between your income that helps your lifestyle and a profit that can change your entire community. John taught me that anyone from anywhere at any time can rise above their wildest expectations and imagination. But first, I had to take responsibility for myself.

He told me in the most loving way possible to look in the mirror and to blame myself. He said don't blame your mom who's working those 16- hour days. Don't blame your dad because he's not around. He said, if you see the problem in the mirror, then you see the promise. If you see the obstacles, you undercover the opportunities.

I chose personal responsibility over resentment. I became the master of my fate. But today, the Biden administration has us retreating away from earning success, aspiration, and accountability. He wants to make waitresses and mechanics pay for the student loans of lawyers and doctors making six figures.

I believe them. This administration has taxed, borrowed, and spent trillions of dollars trying to replace a hand-up with hand-outs. And all they bought us -- all they bought us was crushing inflation that has devastated families like the one I was raised in.

Like many poor families, we moved around a lot. By the time I was in the fourth grade. I had attended four different elementary schools and as my nephew shared so publicly. Wow, little Ben, my little buddy, gosh, darn, thanks so much for that.

But when I was a freshman in high school, I wasn't doing very well. As he said I felt for subjects, Spanish and English, World Geography and Civics. Now, for those of you not familiar with Civics, Civics is the study of politics.


I will say this though -- I will say this. A hallelujah. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I'll say this, though -- I'll say this. After 10 years in the Senate, I am not the only one failing Civics in the nation's capital. I'm not the only one failing civics in the American capital.

But that is where I found my unhappy self. My mom was a tireless encourager and she still is. But when she saw my report card that year at the end, come on, come on, she said. Come on. I wish that's what she said.

But she had a different approach. She introduced me to a different form of encouragement. It was a fly from right about here, all the way down to here.

You all know what I'm talking about? OK, good. Well, then you realize, I went to summer school, caught up with my class, and I never failed another subject for the rest of my life. Thank God for a good mama.

I started college on a very small football scholarship at a Christian school. But that's where I learned that Jesus was my life and football just a game. I found -- I found my true hope in the words in Ephesians 3:20 that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or imagine.

And I graduated -- Hallelujah. And I graduated with a degree in political science from Charleston Southern University. Home of the Bucks.

You see, I have lived that the closest thing to magic in America is a good education. But today, the far left has us retreating away from excellence in schools. Extreme liberals are letting big labor bosses trap millions of kids in failing schools.

They're replacing education with indoctrination. They spent COVID locking kids out of the classroom and now they're locking kids out of their futures. And in Biden's America, crime is on the rise, and law enforcement is in retreat. The far left is ending cash bail. They're demonizing, demoralizing, and defunding the police. I grew up in neighborhoods alongside people who ended up incarcerated in the seminary -- cemetery not seminary. Seminary too, but cemetery as well.

We needed more public safety, not less. We cannot have innocent people at risk. Police officers getting ambushed and attacked. And seniors locked in their homes from the time the sun goes down until the sun comes up.

Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every single rung of the ladder that helped me climb. And that's why I'm announcing today that I'm running for President of the United States of America. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

You see, they're attacking our American values, our schools, our economy, and our security. But not on my watch -- not on my watch. That will work. I cannot stand by while this is done to America. She's done too much for me. Our nation, our values, and our people are strong but our president is weak.


America is not a nation. (AUDIO GAP) All right, all right. Thank you. Let's see if this all works. All right. Good catch.

But under Joe Biden, our nation is not a nation in decline. But under Joe Biden, we have become a nation in retreat. Retreating from our heritage and our history. Retreating from personal responsibility and hard work. Retreating from strength and security, even retreating from religious liberty and the worship of God, Himself.

They say opportunity in America is a myth and faith in America is a fraud. But the truth of my life, this proves their lies. The good news is all we need to do is turn around.

On my first day as Commander in Chief, the strongest nation on earth will stop retreating from our Southern border. If you don't control your back door, it's not your house. And if our southern border is unsafe and insecure, it's not our country.

Hundreds of people on our terrorist watch list are crossing our borders. Chinese nationals are flooding into Mexico to break in. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are doing nothing when 70,000 Americans lose their lives to fentanyl.

Every county in this country has become a border County. The left shut down -- the left shut down our schools and churches in the name of slowing a virus but they won't secure the border to protect our families from fentanyl. When I -- when I am president, the drug cartels using Chinese labs in Mexican factories to kill Americans will cease to exist.

I will freeze their assets, I will build the wall, and I will allow the world's greatest military to fight these terrorists because that's exactly what they are. Security needed starts on our border but it doesn't end there. We have spent decades getting deeper and deeper into debt to the Chinese Communist Party. Their goal is not just to surpass us, their goal is to beat us.

I'm reminded of a Bible verse, Proverbs 22:7 that says the borrower is a slave to the lender. It goes beyond our finances though. It's about our supply chains. It's about medicines and microchips and critical minerals. It's about China buying American farmland, infiltrating our airspace, and tracking our kids.

It's about President Xi siding with Putin and Iran. America can win this competition, but Joe Biden cannot. As president -- as president, I will rebuild a military so lethal and powerful that our adversaries will fear us and our allies will respect us.


My father who's with us today, spent 27 years in the Air Force. My two brothers spent two decades each in the military. Three decades from my older, better-looking brother 85 years of combined military service between them.

When I'm president, our service members will have every tool they need, and our veterans will have every resource they deserve. And we will not try to be the world's police, not our job. But we will always defend America's national vital interests and our people wherever they are. And we will win the next century by the strength of our economy.

China started this new economic Cold War, but America, we're going to finish it. I was a lead -- I was one of the lead authors for the Republican tax reform bill that slashed taxes for families, brought jobs and investment back from overseas, and created my signature legislation the opportunity zones. That has brought billions of dollars back in the poorest communities that have been left behind. We created high employment, low inflation, and the fastest-growing economy for the working-class people we've seen in 50 years.

That was just one bill. Imagine what we could do with an entire agenda. I will be the president who ramps up research and development, reclaims our supply chains, and re-energizes our manufacturing base with opportunity zones 2.0 and an entire Made in America agenda.

I see an era of exponential innovation where America leads the world with new breakthroughs, where new medical cures and cheaper drugs, and lower healthcare costs become the norm. Lengthening the lives of our citizens where law enforcement has advanced equipment to keep each and every one of them safe. Where American -- where we have huge new American factories creating high-paying American jobs running on -- running on plentiful cheap American energy.

But America cannot be safe or secure if we sink into a cultural quicksand here at home. As president, I will rebuild and restore every rung of the ladder that helped me climb because I want my story to pale in comparison to your stories. As president, I will motivate, inspire, and require every able-bodied citizen to take responsibility and go to work. We will back to blue, secure our streets, and finally, make it a federal crime to kill, ambush, or assault a cop in this country. I will lead a revolution for excellence in our schools with less CRT, and more ABCs. I will not rest until every family has a choice and every parent has a voice giving every child a chance.


And no child -- and no child should be forced to attend failing school simply because they live in the wrong zip code. I will be the president who destroys the liberal lie that America is an evil country.

I think back to a couple of years ago when I addressed the nation and I said America is not a racist country. We need to stop canceling our Founding Fathers and start celebrating them for the geniuses that they were. They weren't perfect, but they believed that we could become a more perfect union.

Finally, my grandfather's stubborn faith was not just faith in the goodness of America. It was faith in God himself. Amen. I will be the president who stops the far left's assault on our religious liberty. I will preserve one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Yes, we will. Yes, we will. We will be a nation where we honor our Creator and respect every innocent life. This is who we are. This is who we can be.

This is the freest, fairest land where you can go as high as your character. And your grit and your talent will take you. I bear witness to that. I testify to that. That's why I'm the candidate the far left fears the most.

You see, when I cut your taxes, they called me a prop. When I refunded the police, they called me a token. When I pushed back on President Biden, they even called me the N-word.

I disrupt their narrative. I threatened their control. The truth of my Life disrupts their lives. I will proclaim these truths from the highest mountaintop. And I will proclaim these truths in the deepest Valley.

I will take our message to the boardrooms but I will also take it to the classrooms. I will take it to a gymnasium filled with friends. But I will also take it to an inner-city church filled with skeptics.

I have lived the American dream. I hold these truths to be self- evident that all men and women are created equal and endowed by our creator with the right to be free. Our party and our nation are standing at a time for choosing victimhood or victory. Victimhood or victory? Victimhood or victory? Grievance or greatness?

I choose freedom and hope and opportunity. Will you choose it with me? Will you join me as messengers of hope, as visionaries that believe that the strength of our ideas can change our nation again? I will Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go