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Scott To Share ‘My Family’s American Dream’ in Republican Rebuttal to Biden Speech

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After President Joe Biden lays out his ambitions to reshape the U.S. economy and address racial injustice on Wednesday, Republican Senator Tim Scott will make his party’s argument that the Democratic agenda is a path to misery for working Americans.

A rising star in his party and the sole Black Republican in the Senate, Scott has promised to deliver an “honest conversation” and an “optimistic and hopeful message” in his own nationally televised remarks.

“I can’t wait to share the story of my family’s American Dream. The Republican vision can make that dream a reality for everyone,” Scott, of South Carolina, said on Twitter earlier this week.

A week after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man, Biden is expected to use his speech to make the case for far-reaching police reforms.

Scott, 55, who is helping to lead renewed congressional talks on police reform legislation, will be able to address Biden’s remarks from his own experience as a poor Black child from a single-parent home who became a self-made businessman before entering national politics.

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“I think it’ll be an excellent outline of what our party believes ought to be the direction of the country,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted at a news conference.

Scott is known for his ability to weave his personal story into a political message about who the Republican Party represents. His appearance comes at a time when Republican state legislatures across the country are advancing new voting restrictions, which Democrats denounce as a return to “Jim Crow” segregation.

Republicans are promoting Scott as one of the country’s most inspiring and unifying political leaders. Scott’s office declined to provide specifics on his planned remarks.

His will not be the only speech responding to Biden. Unusually, progressive Democrats have tapped Representative Jamaal Bowman to deliver their own address afterward.

In an August speech to the Republican National Convention, Scott extolled the party’s positions on school choice, economic opportunity and low taxes, while arguing that Biden wants to create a “socialist utopia” in America.

“History has taught us that path only leads to pain and misery, especially for hardworking people hoping to rise,” he said.

Scott has even described Democratic partisanship as a barrier to policies that help Black communities.

“As a Black guy, I know how it feels to walk into a store and have the little clerk follow me around, even as a United States senator,” Scott said in a floor speech last year after Democrats blocked his own police reform legislation, which they argued was not sufficiently far-reaching.

“The stereotyping of Republicans is just as toxic and poisoned to the outcomes of the most vulnerable communities in this nation,” he said.

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Scott has come under scrutiny in recent days, after the Washington Post reported that his narrative about a grandfather dropping out of elementary school to pick cotton overlooked the fact that his family owned the farm where he worked.

Republicans jumped to Scott’s defense, along with some Democrats including Representative Karen Bass, a Black lawmaker involved in police reform legislation.

“Tim Scott is an honorable man,” Bass tweeted. “It doesn’t matter what party you’re in – the journey of his family, from cotton to Congress in one lifetime, should be celebrated.”

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney)

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