GOP leaders, conservative groups hail pick of Scott to replace DeMint


McClatchy Newspapers

Prominent Republicans and leading conservative groups on Monday cheered the choice of Rep. Tim Scott to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint as South Carolina’s junior senator.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a leading potential 2016 presidential candidate who has pushed for greater diversity in the party, praised the selection of Scott to become the second African-American Republican senator since Reconstruction, and the first from the South.

“I’ve gotten to know Congressman Scott since his election to the House of Representatives two years ago,” Rubio said in a prepared statement. “I know him to be a passionate, thoughtful and sincere advocate for the people of South Carolina and for limited government principles.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed Scott to the bloc of 47 Senate Republicans.

“As a solid conservative who fights hard for the values and principles he believes in, Tim will help us find real, lasting solutions to the economic challenges facing our nation in the 113th Congress,” McConnell, of Kentucky, said in a statement. “This is truly an historic moment for the Palmetto State from a governor who’s broken more than a few barriers in her own career.”

Scott will be the first black U.S. senator from South Carolina. Nikki Haley, the daughter of Indian Sikh immigrants, became the state’s first female and first ethnic minority governor with her 2010 election. She announced Monday that she’d chosen Scott to replace DeMint.

McConnell and DeMint tangled numerous times over fiscal issues as the South Carolinian pushed his Senate boss to take hard-line stances for spending cuts. Scott, a former state legislator and Charleston County commissioner, had strong tea party support but will likely cooperate with McConnell more often than did DeMint.

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also welcomed Scott. DeMint had undercut Moran’s predecessor, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, by backing more conservative candidates to challenge party establishment choices in Republican primaries.

Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, a national organization, said she expected Scott to follow in DeMint’s conservative footsteps.

“Tim Scott has taken our core values seriously in the House, and we have every reason to expect similar principled behavior in the Senate,” Martin said.

Chris Chocola, head of Club for Growth in Washington, noted that his fiscally conservative advocacy group has given Scott a 92 percent lifetime rating on its congressional scorecard.

“Congressman Scott is a fighter for limited government and pro-growth policies in Washington,” Chocola said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see him in the Senate.”

Lesley Clark, David Lightman and William Douglas contributed.

Email:; Twitter: @jamesmartinrose

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

FILE - In this March 8, 2010 file photo, US Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah Jones is seen in Kuwait City. On Saturday, July 26, 2014,The United States shut down its embassy in Libya and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.  On Sunday, July 20, 2014, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones tweeted about “heavy shelling and other exchanges” of fire in the vicinity of the embassy.

    US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the economy at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in Los Angeles, Thursday, July 24, 2014, on the final day of his three-day West Coast trip. Striking a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, Obama is demanding "economic patriotism" from American corporations that seek overseas mergers to avoid U.S. taxes. Obama and congressional Democrats are pushing to severely limit such deals, a move resisted by Republicans who argue the entire corporate tax code needs an overhaul.

    Obama: Offshore 'tax inversions' are unpatriotic

    President Barack Obama says a loophole that lets companies dodge U.S. taxes by moving their headquarters overseas is unpatriotic.

FOR RELEASE SUNDAY, JULY 27, 2014, AT 12:01 A.M. EDT - This combination of campaign provided photos and staff photos shows Congressional candidates in the 2014 Michigan primary election. Top row, from left, are Tom Whitmire, Fred Upton, Douglas Radcliffe North, and Tim Walberg. Bottom row, from left, are Mike Bishop, Tom McMillin, Ken Darga and Susan Grettenberger.

    Michigan primary is start of US House shakeup

    Michigan primary voters will begin determining what could be one of the bigger shake-ups in the state's congressional delegation in years, a revamp that could become even larger if business-supported Republican challengers can topple tea party-backed congressmen.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category