Republican presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott says his public policy priorities might not be for everyone.
“For those who don’t like commonsense, conservative principles driven by the Judeo-Christian foundation, choose another candidate,” said Scott, R-S.C. “It’s that simple.”
Scott made his remarks during a nearly 30-minute onstage interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Family Leadership Summit, a Christian gathering focused on addressing some of the major political issues facing America.
The summit features interviews by Carlson of six GOP 2024 presidential candidates: Scott, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Scott told the crowd he is running on five primary issues:
- “If you take out a loan, you pay it back.”
- “There is dignity in all work. Therefore, if you’re able-bodied, you work.”
- “If you commit a violent crime, you go to jail.”
- “Men should compete in sports against men.”
- “Our southern border is the major security issue our nation faces.”
Scott was the first candidate to take to the stage and field questions from Carlson before the largely Christian and conservative audience attending the event.
Carlson’s questions to Scott focused largely on how he would lead America militarily in light of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, how he would address the nation’s homelessness epidemic, and what he would do to address America’s open-border crisis and stop the flow of fentanyl into the country.
America’s Military, War with Russia
“We should never allow American soldiers to be engulfed into the challenge between Ukraine and Russia,” Scott said when Carlson asked him whether America was at risk of being drawn into a war with Russia. “Our boots on the ground should not be there.”
Scott’s comments came less than 24 hours after President Joe Biden announced the mobilization of 3,000 U.S. reserve troops to Europe.
“America’s national vital interest is degrading the Russian military,” Scott said. “When we degrade the Russian military, we make sure that our home front is safer and that our NATO ally partners, that would cause us to send soldiers over, [are] safe.”
Carlson continued to press Scott on his foreign policy position toward Russia and Ukraine, asking a number of times whether Scott supports sending cluster munitions to Ukraine as Biden has just announced.
The South Carolina lawmaker didn’t answer the question directly, instead saying, “If I was president of the United States, we wouldn’t have to.”
“We would have the resources and a defense industrial complex that provides the weapons that we need and our Western allies need,” Scott said. “We wouldn’t be in this position at all.”
He noted that America’s most immediate military threat is Russia, but the greatest long-term threat to the nation is China.
‘Why is Mexico Less of a Threat Than Russia?’
The fentanyl crisis claiming hundreds of thousands of American lives annually quickly arose as a key policy issue as Carlson questioned Scott on America’s epidemic of homelessness and the open border.
“Why is Mexico less of a threat than Russia?” Carlson asked, noting that he does not know anyone who has been killed by Russia in the U.S., but holds Mexico responsible for those he knows who have lost their lives to fentanyl.
“Mexico allows fentanyl to be made in its country and to come over our border, as remittances from Mexico are a huge part of their economy,” Carlson said.
Scott said he thinks the U.S. can address the threats Russia and Mexico pose to America at the same time. He noted that legislation he has sponsored “freezes the assets of the Mexican cartels, targets the Mexican cartels, and hopefully eliminates the flow of [fentanyl].”
The first step to stopping fentanyl from crossing the border, according to Scott, is to complete the wall along the southern border and implement additional technology to surveil it more thoroughly.
‘I Don’t Stand for Donors’
Scott’s faith in Jesus Christ was a theme throughout his conversation with Carlson, as he made clear he serves God above his campaign donors.
“Count me as a guy who believes that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that you ask or imagine,” Scott said, adding that “if you write a check, and you don’t like that, you can have your money back, because I don’t stand for donors. I don’t stand for folks who contribute. I stand because there was a man who walked on this earth for 33 years, who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.”
According to Scott, it is the biblical truths that guide his life that America is most in need of right now.
“America needs positive, powerful biblically sound leadership to regain the high ground,” Scott said.
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