Sen. Scott vs. MSNBC's Thomas Roberts: I Got An "F" From NAACP Because I Believe Liberal Policies Failed

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THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC: Sir, you said you that are concerned. This is Thomas Roberts, by the way. You said you are concerned about kids that are growing up in the wrong zip code and like yourself that had a tough start on the way out. But if we look at agencies that are following some of your voting records, they have concern and the NAACP has given you an "F" on their annual scorecard. They also say you voted against the ACA. You voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. You oppose the Congressional Black Caucus' budget. Delayed funding on a settlement between the U.S. and black farmers who say that they were prejudiced against because of their race. So how do you respond to that, if your true concern is about lower income families and kids?

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): Well, let's just ask ourselves as we look back over history when the Congress was controlled by the Democrats for 40 consecutive years. If we look at the result of that control what has happened in black America. We saw greater poverty. If we take the statistics from 1970s to the 21st century, what we see very clearly is that poverty has gone from 11% to 15%. These are classic examples that the policies of the left have not worked.

I will tell you if I have an "F" on the NAACP scorecard it's because I believe that progress has to be made and the government is not the answer for progress. I was a kid growing up in poverty. I had a mentor who was a Chick-Fil-A operator who taught me that the brilliance of the American economy happens through business ownership and entrepreneurial spirit. So whether you own the business or not, success is possible if you, a, have a good education, b, have a strong work ethic. For the average person who can work, these two key components come together and form a foundation. That is the way that you eradicate poverty.

All the social programs that we've had -- we've had the largest government we've ever had in the history of the country. We have more nonprofit organizations working on the same issue and yet we have a higher percentage of people living in poverty. The key it seems like is individual freedom and economic opportunity, fusing those together in an agenda that focuses on education seems to lead forward. This is clearly the case in D.C. where the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship has produced higher percentage of kids going to college. It's produced 91% of the kids graduating from high school versus 56% for those who are simply in everyday schools in D.C. I want that to be the case for either child.

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