What does it take to get a Huffington Post journalist to apologize? The class and grace of someone like GOP Senator Tim Scott.
On Wednesday, videos and photos circulated showing the South Carolina Senator standing alongside President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and various members of Congress during a presser celebrating the passage of the tax reform bill. As The State notes:
Scott was at the front of the crowd because that’s where he was as Republicans pushed to write, sell and pass the bill in both chambers of Congress.
Trump acknowledged the efforts and called on Scott to speak.
“He came in and he would solve some problems when we weren’t looking too good a couple of times,” Trump said, looking at Scott. “Thank you, Tim.”
Scott spoke, saying “This is not about Washington. It’s not about the left. It’s not about the right. It’s about single parent moms who are looking for a reason to be hopeful in 2018.”
Scott’s prominence and remarks prompted a number of Democrats to take to the Twitter machine to express their displeasure.
One of them was liberal Huffington Post writer Andy Ostroy who, in a now-deleted tweet, accused the Senator of being a token prop for the White House:
Deleted tweet he was quoting: pic.twitter.com/SsYmFdJFeH
— J.R. Holmsted (@JHolmsted) December 21, 2017
Scott’s reply was a textbook example of how to respond to disparaging remarks without sinking to the level of the person making them:
Uh probably because I helped write the bill for the past year, have multiple provisions included, got multiple Senators on board over the last week and have worked on tax reform my entire time in Congress. But if you'd rather just see my skin color, pls feel free. https://t.co/KLLNXqIZ3i
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) December 20, 2017
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Tim Scott has had to defend himself against accusations from Democrats that he’s allowing himself to be used by Republicans because of his skin color.
In 2014, North Carolina NAACP president and de facto Moral Monday leader Rev. William Barber called Scott a “ventriloquist’s dummy” for “articulating the agenda of the Tea Party.” The Senator’s response, as reported on at the time by the Daily Caller, was all class:
“To reflect seriously on the comments a person, a pastor, that is filled with baseless and meaningless rhetoric would be to do a disservice to the very people who have sacrificed so much and paved a way,” Scott told The Daily Caller in an emailed statement. “Instead, I will honor the memory of Dr. King by being proactive in holding the door for others and serving my fellow man. And Rev. Barber will remind me and others of what not to do.”
“I did not meet him when I was failing out of high school. I did not see him on the streets of my neighborhoods where too many of my friends got off track and never recovered. I did not meet him when I was working 85 hour weeks to start my business, nor did I meet him when I was running for Congress against long odds. But who I did meet were people everywhere across this state who were willing to work hard and to help me succeed — and I them,” Scott said.
As for Ostroy, after attempting to “stay the course” and dig in in defense of himself, he eventually apologized:
.@SenatorTimScott, earlier I tweeted something that I now agree was unfair. Senator, I regret that tweet & apologize for it. There were many other ways I should’ve and could’ve made my point.
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) December 21, 2017
Well done, Senator Tim Scott. Well done.