WASHINGTON — In the Republicans' official response to President Joe Biden’s maiden speech to Congress on Wednesday, Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, accused Democrats of tearing the country apart.
Scott, the only Black senator in the Republican ranks, suggested in his response that Democrats are wielding race as “a political weapon.”
“America is not a racist country,” Scott said. "...race is not a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants.”
He also said that while Biden has preached united among America's two political parties, the president's policies are "pulling us farther apart."
"Our president seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words," Scott said. "But President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership. He promised to unite a nation. To lower the temperature. To govern for all Americans, no matter how we voted."
In addition, Scott took aim at the Biden administration's next landmark piece of legislation — a proposed $1.9 trillion infrastructure bill. He called that bill a "liberal wish list" that went far beyond just rebuilding roads, airports and expanding internet coverage.
"They won't even build bridges to build bridges," Scott said.
The rebuttal also covered major Republican talking points, including support for bills that would make it more difficult for Americans across the country to vote in elections, saying that "Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat."
Across the country, dozens of states have proposed bills that would make voting more restrictive despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Among the highest-profile laws was passed in Georgia, a law that has sparked backlash from political opponents and corporations alike.
Scott also credited the GOP for leading the country out of its pandemic struggles and toward a hopeful future.