Senator Tim Scott waded the row among 2,024 Republican candidates on the country’s slave history, insisting Thursday night: “There is no silver lining in slavery.”
It comes as rivals traded blows over a controversial Florida education policy that forces children to learn there are benefits to living in bondage.
Governor Ron DeSantis drew ridicule when he defended his position.
Asked about the policy last week, he said: ‘They’ll probably show some of the people who eventually made it, you know, to be a blacksmith to do things later in life.’
Vice President Kamala Harris condemned “extremist” positions, but DeSantis allies tried to isolate black Republicans who echoed her horror.
Senator Tim Scott made a campaign stop in Ankeny, Iowa, on Thursday and delved into the slavery controversy. ‘There is no silver lining in slavery,’ he told reporters after town hall event
Governor Ron DeSantis and his allies have accused Republicans who have criticized his stance on slavery, such as Representative Byron Donalds, of siding with Vice President Kamala Harris.
Scott, the only black Republican senator, was asked about the issue after a town hall event just outside Des Moines, Iowa, and was not shy about controversy.
And he asked DeSantis to explain exactly what he meant.
“The truth is all you can learn…all the advantages that people suggest you had during slavery, you would have had as a free person,” he told reporters.
“Slavery was really about separating families, mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating.
“So I hope every person in our country and certainly a presidential candidate appreciates that.”
“Listen, people have bad days. Sometimes they regret what they say. And we should ask them again to clarify their positions.
A day earlier, Representative Byron Donalds, a close Trump ally who is black, drew the ire of DeSantis’ allies.
“The new African-American standards in Florida are good, robust and accurate,” he said. “That being said, the attempt to portray the personal benefits of slavery is flawed and needs to be adjusted.”
Scott made his comments after addressing about 200 Republican voters. His message of unity and optimism saw him rock in the polls, drawing fire from other candidates
The 2023 state social studies curriculum includes lessons on how “slaves developed skills” that could be used for “personal gain.”
But Donalds’ intervention sparked a Twitter firestorm among DeSantis staff, who linked him to Harris and suggested he was bidding on Trump by punching his closest rival in 2024.
Trump aides furiously accused them of smearing Donalds.
And then DeSantis himself joined the fray on Thursday.
“So ultimately you have to choose,” he said. “Are you going to side with Kamala Harris and the liberal media?
“Are you going to side with Florida State? »
“People who walk around and want to be praised as leaders, they want us talking about American leaders, propaganda about our children,” Vice President Kamala Harris said.
Harris traveled to Jacksonville, where she railed against the post.
‘Are you kidding me?’ Harris, the nation’s first black vice president, said of the policy.
“People who walk around and want to be praised as leaders, they want us talking about American leaders, propaganda about our children,” she said.
Although she didn’t mention DeSantis by name, Harris repeatedly attacked “extremists, so-called leaders,” in the state for the new education policy, book bans, and so-called Don’t Say Gay Act – which were all DeSantis Strategies.