Republicans wasted no time getting to business on day one of the Republican National Convention.
The highly anticipated political convention launched in North Carolina — but a rising conservative star from South Carolina stole the show.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. headlined the Monday night festivities and his speech earned rave reviews from both sides of the aisle. Supporters say Scott’s powerful message that put liberals on notice — conservatives aren’t out of the 2020 election.
Scott sent an optimistic message during a moment of racial strife and denounced the radical left vying for power.
He ended the night with a speech praising President Donald Trump’s economy, and discussing his personal story of struggling financially and in school. But, Scott noted, his family overcame socioeconomic and racial adversity to go “from cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” adding that he, as a “poor, Black kid from a single-parent household,” could win in an overwhelmingly white district “because of the evolution of the southern heart.”
Fox News’ Dana Perino called Scott a “national treasure,” in light of the address.
His delivered speech touched on a number of issues facing America, and supporters said it meant one thing:
The Democrats are in trouble.
Scott capped off a night in which President Donald Trump campaign sought to persuade Democratic voters to join the Republicans in November. Scott joined Maryland Congressional candidate Kim Klacik, Georgia Democratic Rep. Vernon Jones, and NFL Hall of Famer Herschel Walker in welcoming Black voters into the GOP fold.
The Trump campaign is hoping to peel off just a sliver of the black vote to steal the 2020 election. After Monday, those efforts are not off to a bad start at all.
You can watch the powerful speech below:
Scott, the first Black American elected to both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, has become a leading Republican voice in Washington. He has occasionally distanced himself from Trump’s comments about race and spoken out about his personal experience with law enforcement.
Former Gov. Nikki Haley also spoke during the final hour of the Republican National Convention, putting forward an optimistic and diverse vision for her party.
Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, served as Trump’s first ambassador to the United Nations. Scott, the sole Black Republican in the Senate, has advised the White House on policing and criminal justice issues. And both have tried throughout Trump’s tenure to be supportive allies of a president who is wildly popular with his Republican base while maintaining some modicum of independence.
Haley used her convention remarks to praise what she characterized as Trump’s commitment to telling “the world what it needs to hear” with a tough foreign policy. But she also focused heavily on her own personal story and record as South Carolina governor, including after the 2015 shooting of nine parishioners at a historic Black church in Charleston. South Carolinians “came together — Black and white, Democrat and Republican,” she said, and together “made the hard choices needed to heal.”
Haley took aim at Democrats, who she says label America as racist: “That is a lie. America is not a racist country.”
Haley has long been seen as one of the rising Republican stars who may be positioning herself for a next step. She served at the United Nations until an abrupt departure from her post in late 2018 fueled rumors she might mount a campaign to block Trump from a second White House term. But Haley has voiced steadfast support of Trump, and worked to tamp down unsubstantiated rumors that she might be picked to replace Mike Pence as Trump’s running mate.
Last year, Haley officially moved back to South Carolina, a Republican bastion, feeding speculation that another political run might be in the offing. In March, she resigned from the board of Boeing Co. because of her opposition to a bailout of the airplane manufacturer that is in the works amid the new coronavirus outbreak. That gave her a chance to draw a distinction from the Trump administration — which some strategists have said could be helpful if Haley pursues the White House herself.
Haley and Scott had some shared history. In 2012, it was Haley who, as governor, picked Scott to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint. At the time, Scott had just been elected to a second U.S. House term in South Carolina’s 1st District. In 2016, Haley and Scott served as honorary co-chairs of South Carolina’s delegation to the RNC. Back then, Haley gave only reluctant and somewhat lukewarm support to Trump after heavily criticizing him during the primary process.
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On Monday night, Haley said the country can “build on the progress of our past and unlock the promise of our future,” a future that will start “when the American people reelect President Donald Trump.”
The Associated Press contributed ti this article