Tuesday, South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott slammed the NAACP chapter president who called him a ventriloquist’s dummy for the tea party.
According to Scott, North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber II is an example of how not to behave.
“To reflect seriously on the comments a person, a pastor, that is filled with baseless and meaningless rhetoric would be to do a disservice to the very people who have sacrificed so much and paved a way,” Scott told The Daily Caller in an emailed statement. “Instead, I will honor the memory of Dr. King by being proactive in holding the door for others and serving my fellow man. And Rev. Barber will remind me and others of what not to do.”
Over the weekend, on the eve of Martin Luther King Day, Barber derided Scott, one of the U.S. Senate’s two black members, for his views.
“A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” Barber said, as reported by South Carolina’s The State. “[T]he extreme right wing down here [in South Carolina] finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the tea party.”
Scott explained that he has never met Barber and implied that the NAACP chapter head knows nothing about him.
“I did not meet him when I was failing out of high school. I did not see him on the streets of my neighborhoods where too many of my friends got off track and never recovered. I did not meet him when I was working 85 hour weeks to start my business, nor did I meet him when I was running for Congress against long odds. But who I did meet were people everywhere across this state who were willing to work hard and to help me succeed — and I them,” Scott said.
Noting that he has experienced the dreams of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “as a proud South Carolinian,” Scott pointed to his “Opportunity Agenda” as a way to promote success by providing Americans more opportunity and making government less intrusive.
“That is why we will remain focused on our Opportunity Agenda, promoting better outcomes in education, filling the skills gap for many in our workforce and improving the prospects of our success through tax reform and regulatory reform,” he said.