Tim Scott, a minor presidential candidate and black Republican, responded to criticism from former president Barack Obama regarding his views on race during an interview on Sunday. The interviewer drew a comparison between Scott’s history of addressing racial prejudice against himself and similar remarks made by Obama.
In an appearance on a podcast, Obama commented on black Republicans, including Scott and Nikki Haley, stating, “I think there is a long history of African American or other minority candidates within the Republican Party who will validate America and say everything’s great and we can all make it.”
Scott, who has frequently spoken about instances of racial profiling he has experienced, was asked by the interviewer, Shannon Bream of Fox News, whether he agreed with Obama’s claims given his own experiences.
In response, Scott firmly denied that he and Obama were referring to the same phenomenon and made efforts to distance himself from the former president. He stated, “Absolutely not. There’s no higher compliment to be attacked by President Obama. Whenever the Democrats feel threatened, they pull out, drag out the former president and have him make some negative comments about someone running, hoping that their numbers go down. And if anyone should be standing and shouting at the mountaintops that America is not a racist country, it should be the man that Americans supported twice for the nomination and becoming president. The evolution of America is palpable.”
Scott’s stance appeared to be somewhat contradictory. On one hand, he acknowledged instances of racial profiling and bias despite his own success. On the other hand, he rejected the idea that these alleged instances constitute systemic racism as discussed by left-wing activists. Although Bream did not further press Scott on this perceived contradiction, such questions may become more prominent as the campaign season progresses, causing voters to question the extent of Scott’s conservatism as a black Republican.