‘Convinced in the goodness of our nation’: Sen. Scott speaks to Hartsville audience
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., wants to make one thing clear: “I am standing here before you today as someone who is completely convinced in the goodness of our nation and of our state. From that, I will never back one iota, not an inch,” Scott told the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce May 3. “We are a jewel on Earth. … There’s nothing like this country. Never has been. Never will be,” Scott told chamber members meeting at the Hartsville Country Club. For about an hour, Scott took questions from chamber members, and defended himself against criticism he took after delivering the GOP’s rebuttal to Democratic President Joe Biden’s recent address to Congress. While saying in the rebuttal that “I have experienced the pain of discrimination; I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason,” he added: “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.” Scott explained to the chamber members: “I’m looking for ways to make South Carolina better. In order to do that, from my perspective, you actually have to believe in South Carolina. You can’t not believe in something that you want to make better. … When I said, ‘I believe in America’ … somehow that was taken as a negative.” Here’s what Scott had to say about some questions posed by the audience: On the future of nuclear energy: “I think the future of nuclear is going to be fantastic.” He said it’s a “stable and safe” power source. “I think we’ll see more, not less, nuclear.” (The H.B. Robinson nuclear plant is near Hartsville.) On building the nation’s “infrastructure”: “If we were going to accomplish what is best for America, we would start with a discussion about infrastructure being defined as roads, bridges, waterways, ports, maybe airports, broadband, especially in rural and minority communities.” On technical education vs. four-year colleges: “A college degree may not always be necessary. You can make more money as a welder than you can with most four-year degrees.” On “Opportunity Zones,” one of which exists in the Hartsville area: “We give investors a calculated break in order to go into areas where the risk is higher and the returns are lower.” Opportunity Zones are a federal program to encourage economic development and job creation in low-income urban and rural communities. There are about 135 Opportunity Zones in South Carolina.