Addressing a crowd of vocal members of the left-leaning group Indivisible Charleston, Sen. Tim Scott conducted a Town Hall meeting in the Charleston County Council chambers Sat. in North Charleston. He answered shouted and written questions for more than two hours.
All questions at the event were supposed to be submitted on slips of paper, but many in the audience shouted out questions. The group uses tactics mapped out in a training manual from the tax-exempt group Organizing for Action. They submitted questions with statements included and cheer when the statements are read. They booed when they disapproved of Sen. Scott’s answers.
Many questions addressed the pending repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, which Scott predicted would happen in mid-April. Scott called the current healthcare law “unsustainable” and cited statistics showing the rapidly increasing premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket medical expenses. He said the replacement plan would ensure that people who are currently ensured would keep their coverage.
There were several questions which were directed at President Donald Trump’s disputes with the New York Times, CNN and several other media outlets. Scott responded, “The press has been more biased than I have ever seen before, but that does not make them our enemy.”
Many in the audiences have grievances against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and cited that Scott has received campaign contributions from the DeVos family. Scott read a list of the dozens of public schools he has visited in the Lowcountry and addressed a teacher from Burke High School who blasted him in a Mt. Pleasant Town Hall Feb. 18, noting that he has visited her school five times.
Scott pointed to the superior results achieved by low-income students at Western Michigan Aviation Academy, a charter school funded by the DeVos family. He cited similar results at the Meeting Street Academy Brentwood campus in North Charleston, where 78% of students are proficient in reading and 82% proficient in math, compared to rates of 20% and 13% at other North Charleston public elementary schools. He said, “I want schools that work.”
Several people shouted out questions about Russia “hacking the election.” Scott consistently noted that there are ongoing investigations in the House and Senate involving the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies. He said, “We will get to the truth, and the public will be informed.”
On a question concerning prisons, Scott said the incarceration rate for minorities is concerning. He pointed to a correlation between poor education and incarceration and the need to better educate our students.
Scott also addressed questions about trade with China, the proposed border adjustment tax, offshore drilling and Trump’s senior advisor Steve Bannon, who leftists accuse of being a white supremacist. Scott said he sees no racist overtones coming from the Trump Administration.