South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) stuck to ideological lines on Monday in choosing Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint when DeMint leaves office next month, NBC News reported.
Scott was part of the Tea Party election wave two years ago that also put Haley in office. And like Haley, Scott — the only African-American senator in Congress, as well as the first African American Republican to serve in the Senate since 1979 and the first in the South since the Reconstruction era — offers the Republican Party what it hopes will be inroads with communities of color, as well as a defense against allegations of racism.
“I’ve been to dozens of Tea Party rallies,” Scott told the Christian Broadcasting Network before being elected. “I’ve given at least a half a dozen or more speeches. I have not yet to find the first racist comment or the first person who approaches me from a racist perspective.”
Scott, an evangelical Christian, has gone on record as opposing marriage equality and restricting abortion access, saying, “The federal government’s role is not to protect government from religion, but to protect religion from government intrusion.”
According to Think Progress, Scott has also proposed legislation that would have disqualified a family from being part of the SNAP Program, commonly known as “food stamps,” if any member went on strike against an employer. Scott also supported a proposal that cut his home state’s funding for HIV/AIDS treatment.
While Scott was reportedly always on Haley’s short-list for the position — as well as recommended by DeMint — a survey by Public Policy Polling showed comedian Stephen Colbert was a more popular choice among voters, an idea Haley repeatedly rebuffed on social media.
[Image via Tim Scott For Congress Facebook page]