Republican Sen. Tim Scott said race is being “weaponized” by the left, referring to Democrats’ opposition to Georgia’s election law and the filibuster.
In a podcast with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, “Real America,” Scott, of South Carolina, discussed “two streams of consciousness” regarding race.
“One is a political statement or stream of consciousness on the issue of race,” Scott said. “Race, from a political perspective, is being weaponized in a way that it’s never been done before, and it’s being weaponized by the left because they find that to be very profitable.”
“And frankly, if you can tell someone who the boogeyman is, then you don’t have to worry about that part of society anymore,” he said. “It’s a very dangerous weapon.”
But Scott said when you “weaponize it in the way that Democrats are doing,” chances for passing reforms can be blocked.
“Think about just last year, when in fact, we had a chance to pass police reform that could have helped in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when the young man that was having a mental episode was shot and killed by the police,” Scott said. “If we had passed the police reform, we could have had the resources for training on de-escalation.”
Scott said Democrats instead “decided to hold on to the issue of police brutality as opposed to the solution of police reform, a solution that was voted on in a bipartisan fashion.”
“The Democrats used a filibuster to block the very debate on the very bill that could have saved lives, period,” he said. “Now they say that the filibuster is a racist relic, a relic from a racist time.”
Scott went on to refer to speeches given in the past by President Biden and former President Obama about the filibuster, saying the speeches were “espousing the virtue” of it and working to protect the “necessary power of the minority party in Congress or in the Senate.”
“To have these same folks today talk about the racist filibuster, it’s like they’re living in an alternate universe where no one has the ability to go back three or four years and see what they themselves said when they were trying to protect the filibuster,” Scott said.
Scott also referenced Democrats urging the GOP, when they were in the minority, not to get rid of the filibuster.
“Now that they’re in the majority, the cynicism and the hypocrisy knows no end, and yet they’re doing such damage to the American people,” Scott said.
Scott also discussed Georgia’s election law, which the Justice Department is challenging in federal court as being in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Prominent Democrats have also cast the state’s law as “racist.”
Georgia’s new law requires voter ID for absentee voting rather than relying on signature matching for verification; limits ballot drop boxes to one per county or one per 100,000 voters; and expands early voting days and standardized early voting hours to a minimum of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a maximum of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The legislation also barred outside groups from passing out food and water to those in line, which Republicans say can be used as a method to illegally influence people waiting to vote.
The law also handed more election authority to the GOP-controlled state legislature. It states that the General Assembly is to select the chair of the state elections board, rather than the board being chaired by the Georgia secretary of state. It also shortens runoffs from nine weeks to four. The state election board can also now investigate county election boards and has the power to suspend county election superintendents – though the board can only suspend four at a time.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit targeted a number of provisions, including a ban on government entities handing out unsolicited absentee ballots; fines on civic groups, places of worship and advocacy organizations for distributing follow-up absentee ballots; and shortening absentee ballots; restricting the distribution of food and water close to a polling place; and shortening absentee ballot deadlines to 11 days before Election Day.
“African Americans like it, and Hispanics like it, and the majority of the population likes it,” Scott said, referring to the law and its provision requiring I.D. at the polls. “Actually, voter I.D. is supported by every cohort of Americans in the country.”
“I want to make it easier to vote, but harder to cheat. I want to hold everybody to the same standard,” Scott said. “There’s nothing discriminatory about that, and yet Democrats want people to believe, who have not read the law, that there’s something insidious in our objective of making it easier to vote early.”