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‘Humiliating’: Tim Scott slammed by Sharpton, others in Black community after telling Trump, ‘I love you’

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After Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., professed his love for Donald Trump while stumping in New Hampshire, Black leaders say the Republican Party’s highest-ranking Black man is an embarrassment to the African-American community. 

“There are few moments in my life I’ve been more embarrassed than to watch Tim Scott,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said on MSNBC of Scott’s remarks at a Tuesday night Trump campaign event. He added, “It was humiliating to watch what Tim Scott did as a sitting senator.”

After giving brief remarks at the victory rally, Scott interrupted Trump when the former president and leading 2024 Republican candidate jabbed at his remaining opponent, Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who appointed Scott to the Senate in 2012. 

“You must really hate her,” Trump said after pointing out the irony that Scott endorsed him over Haley despite that appointment and their South Carolina connection. The senator quickly jumped to the mic to respond, saying with a wide smile, “I just love you.”

Sharpton said, “It’s not a good day in my life to watch him do that.” The civil rights activist continued, “We fought to see people like him, Black, become a high elected in the South.

“He has a right to be Republican. He has the right to do Donald Trump,” said Sharpton, who does not personally align with Scott’s politics. “But to do it in such a way that is so humiliating was troubling.”

Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist and a South Carolina native, agreed with Sharpton, telling theGrio he was “disappointed but not surprised” by Scott. 

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., greets a crowd during a Jan. 19 campaign rally with former President Donald Trump, a GOP presidential candidate, in Concord, New Hampshire. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Seawright, who serves as an adviser to longtime Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said that when the senator had a chance during Trump’s presidency to “strongly disagree on issues that matter to our community” or “highlight where there has to be some separation from white supremacy, white nationalism, Christian white nationalism, bigotry, and hate,” Scott “didn’t take the opportunity.

“If you love Trump, then that means you love Trumpism and all the things that come along with Trump,” he argued. “Those things don’t align historically with those who look like us.”

He added, “At some point, values have to matter.”

Angela Angel, senior adviser at Black Lives Matter PAC, said of Scott: “All skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.”

“Tim Scott has denied that systemic racism exists, bragged about increasing police funding, and downplayed the impacts of slavery on Black Americans,” she told theGrio. “His latest shuck and jive should come as no surprise. He has clearly shown us who he is.”

Seawright agreed with Sharpton that, as a conservative Republican, Scott has the right to have differing political beliefs. However, he said the senator’s latest actions may leave many questioning “where his head and heart really are.”

“Tim Scott has enough political cache. He doesn’t need to do all that he is doing for the former president. In particular, it’s a slap in the face to the former governor [Haley] because he would not be in the U.S. Senate without her,” explained the political strategist.

As Trump has demonstrated in his attacks on fellow Republicans who disagree with him, Seawright noted that for the former president, “Loyalty is a one-way street.

“Trump is OK with Tim Scott as long as Tim Scott is OK with Trump,” he contended. “The minute there is a half a degree of separation, then Trump will back the Trump bus up and roll it over Tim Scott like he’s done everyone else who has been loyal to him.”

After quickly endorsing Trump upon ending his own presidential campaign, Scott ignited chatter that he could be tapped by the Trump campaign to be the former president’s vice presidential running mate. Days later, Scott, once a notorious bachelor, announced that he was engaged to marry his girlfriend, Mindy Noce, who only recently had been known publicly.

Seawright predicted that if Scott were on the Republican ticket with Trump, this recent clip of him declaring his love for the former president would become campaign “material” for the Biden-Harris reelection campaign. 

He added, “If Tim Scott is on the ticket with the former president as a nominee, I certainly think that not only that clip, but his positions, like a national abortion ban, will become an opportunity for folks to be educated about where he stands.”

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Gerren Keith Gaynor

Gerren Keith Gaynor is a White House Correspondent and the Managing Editor of Politics at theGrio. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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