Portrait of Tim Scott

Remarks at the Republican Party of Iowa's Annual Lincoln Dinner in in Des Moines, Iowa

July 28, 2023

I am so proud to be an American. My granddaddy, who was born in 1921 in the Deep South, taught me two really important lessons about being an American. The first thing he taught me was that we kneel to the father in prayer. He taught me that James 5:16 says "the prayers of the righteous avail much." And even though we kneel to the father in prayer, he said, lesson number two is that we stand for the flag in respect. He said, "our American flag is a symbol of freedom and liberty and justice for all." These were powerful words from a man born, as I said, in the Deep South who understood a very different America. So when I moved into his home, when my parents divorced, when I was seven years old, we moved into his home, 700 square feet, a rental. He taught me very quickly, he said, "son, you can be bitter or you can get better, but you can't be both." These were valuable lessons and my mother helped so much. She was a lady who taught me because she works 16 hours a day as a nurse's aide, changing bed pans and rolling patients. She taught me that there is dignity in all work and that if you're able-bodied in America, you work. That's called America.

If you take out a loan, you pay it back. And if you commit a violent crime, you go to jail. And if God made you a man, you play sports against men.

These are simple common sense lessons of America. But Joe Biden and the radical Left, he is attacking the values that made us possible. He is tearing down every rung of the ladder that helped me climb. I was a kid trapped in poverty who did not believe that in America all things were possible. But because of the values of this nation, the kid who nearly flunked out of high school as a freshman, I failed four subjects, Spanish and English. When you fail Spanish and English, no one calls you bilingual. No, they call you by bi-ignorant. But I had a mentor who told me all things were possible. And so protecting the values of America is protecting the rungs on the ladder that allow the poorest, most vulnerable students in this nation to climb. We must protect our values. I'm running for president because I know America can do for anyone what she's done for me. Focusing on restoring hope, creating opportunities, and protecting the America we all love. To protect the America we all love, we must first start by backing the blue. Every law enforcement officer in this country deserves our respect and our admiration. You see the radical Left. They want to defund and demonize and demoralize the police. It's our responsibility to refund and rebuild local law enforcement. We must restore dignity and respect, but we also have to get tougher on violent criminals from carjackers to cop killers who should never see the light of day again.

And by doing so, we will allow grandmothers like the one that raised me not to be trapped in our house from the time the sun goes down until the time the sun comes up. But in order to protect America, we must also protect our southern border. We must build the wall. Finish it. 70,000 Americans have lost their lives to fentanyl. A good friend of mine in Charleston, a business school former Dean, Alan Shao, just this year, a few months ago, lost his son to fentanyl. Too many American families are being devastated by a drug whose precursors come from China, manufactured in Mexican labs, and then the cartels bring them across our unsafe, insecure, and wide open southern border. We deserve better. And as president of the United States, I'll use the power of the presidency to stop the cartels in their tracks. Without question, they must cease to exist on our side of the border.

But we must also close our southern border so that 6 million illegal immigrants under radical Joe Biden do not continue to cross our southern border. And that's before they ended Title 42, which could make it 10 million illegal immigrants crossing our borders. We deserve better. But also as commander in chief, I'll stand toe to toe with China and say, not on my watch, will you continue to spy on our kids, buy our farmlands, and steal our jobs in our supply chain. We will stop them and win this economic war by creating jobs in America, high tech, high manufacturing jobs, the marvel of the world. We have the power to get these things accomplished at home. Minerals, medicines, and microchips. Three specific areas that as president of the United States, I would focus the intellectual ability and the workforce to make sure that we create 10 million new American jobs and start creating the essentials at home, creating great jobs for Americans.

And finally, for any of this to happen, we have to win the cultural war here at home. The radical Left and Joe Biden has us as they continue to sell this drug of victimhood and the narcotic of despair leading to a culture of grievance in America. We have survived the most challenging times from a civil war to World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam era. But we must win this battle against the culture of grievance. And as president of the United States, I will make sure that the truth of my life continues to disprove the lies of the radical Left. This is the greatest country on God's green earth. I am living proof that all things are possible in God's country, and that as we hold on to his dear hand, we can remember that he is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or imagine. We can remember that all things are truly possible, but we must choose greatness over grievance, victory over victimhood, and we must protect this land of opportunity so it doesn't become, with the radical Left, the land of oppression. God bless America and God bless you.

Tim Scott, Remarks at the Republican Party of Iowa's Annual Lincoln Dinner in in Des Moines, Iowa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/364048

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