Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said Friday he has given presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “a pass” in the past over race issues — but not anymore.
Scott specifically ridiculed a suggestion that Biden once made that black children are affected by poverty while white children are not, during an interview with “ABC News Prime.”
During last August’s Iowa Democratic debate, the former vice president commented that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” (RELATED: Van Jones Tells Democrats To ‘Wake Up’: Trump Is ‘Causing Us Problems’ With the Black Vote)
“Is that to suggest that every single kid in America that is living in poverty … has to be black,” Scott asked Friday. “Is that to suggest that the high poverty rate in this nation is 100% black. Or all those needing assistance in this nation are all black? I don’t know how to read into his comments.”
“The comments he’s made in the past, I did not come out and talk about the comments. I gave him a pass,” Scott told viewers, noting that he makes certain to be consistent in his criticism. “When Republicans say things I don’t appreciate on racial lines, I speak out against it. When Democrats say it, I speak out against it.”
Scott said what prompted him to reassess Biden’s remarks about poor kids not being white was the Democratic leader’s comments Friday that black Trump supporters “ain’t black.”
“I did come out on this comment,” Scott said, who earlier in the day condemned the “crickets” that he heard coming from some Democratic quarters that didn’t want to acknowledge Biden’s words.
Biden apologized some hours later and suggested the exchange had all been an awkward joke from “a wise guy.”
Biden advisor Symone Sanders also addressed the comments, tweeting: “Vice President Biden spent his career fighting alongside and for the African American community … The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day.”
Scott also suggested Friday that Biden, along with most Democratic Party personalities, have a habit of taking the black vote for granted. Biden has a less than ideal record on civil rights: he once declared that segregation was a source of “black pride” and opposed mandatory school busing as a means of integrating classrooms. (RELATED: Sen. Tim Scott Predicts Trump Could Get 15% Of Black Voters in 2020)
Scott praised President Donald Trump’s record on responding to the the needs of black voters. “He sat there for an hour discussing the issues of this nation, the issues of race and then we came out of that, and he said … ‘Tim, help me help those I have offended.'”
“And what did we do? We created opportunity zones that are now bringing in more resources into the poorest communities in this nation and let’s compare it to what Joe Biden has said.”