GOP Sen Tim Scott accuses Biden of 'pulling the US apart' and says America is NOT racist in response to Congress speech

REPUBLICAN Sen. Tim Scott accused Joe Biden of "pulling the US apart" and insisted America is "not a racist country" when he delivered the GOP rebuttal to the president's first speech before Congress.

Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, further suggested in his remarks on Wednesday night that Democrats are wielding race as a "political weapon".

“America is not a racist country,” Scott said. "…race is not a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants.”

Scott spoke at length about race, even detailing racism he's personally experienced growing up as a black man in the South – from being unfairly discriminated against by police and facing racial slurs from liberals.

But he made the argument that it's just as racist to teach white children that they're an "oppressor", and called for children to stop being taught that the color of their skin defines them.

"If they look a certain way, they're an oppressor,' he said. "From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress.

"It's backwards to fight discrimination with different discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present," he added.    

The senator also said while Biden has called for unity among the nation's two political parties, the president's policies are actually "pulling us further apart."

"Our president seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words," Scott said.

"But President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership. He promised to unite a nation. To lower the temperature. To govern for all Americans, no matter how we voted.

"That was the pitch. You just heard it again," he continued. "But our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes."

Scott vowed not to waste viewers' time with "finger-pointing or partisan bickering. You can get that on TV any time you want. I want to have an honest conversation."

Later he added: "Nowhere do we need common ground more desperately than in our discussions about race."

In addition, Scott took aim at the Biden administration's next landmark piece of legislation — a proposed $1.9 trillion infrastructure bill to Build Back Better.

Scott called the bill a "liberal wish list" that went far beyond just rebuilding roads, airports and expanding internet coverage, as a typical infrastructure plan would.

"They won't even build bridges to build bridges," Scott quipped.

He also knocked Biden for passing the landmark $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan with only Democratic support.

"COVID brought Congress together five times," Scott said of a slew of bipartisan Covid relief bills that were passed last year, under former President Donald Trump. "[But] This Administration pushed us apart."

Scott thanked Trump, crediting him for the development of the COVID-19 vaccines.

"This Administration inherited a tide that had already turned. The coronavirus is on the run!" Scott said. 

"Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump Administration, our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines," he continued.

"Thanks to our bipartisan work last year, job openings are rebounding."

But still, Scott said, the nation is felling "divided and anxious".

Asking why that was, Scott said it was because the nation has a president who promised to bring the US together, but is instead "tearing" the nation apart.

In his speech, Biden took a thinly veiled dig at Trump, saying he took on a "nation in crisis".

The President – who did not mention Trump directly in his speech – drew criticism for saying the January 6 riots were the "worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War".

In a swipe at his predecessor, he told lawmakers: "We have stared into the abyss of insurrection and autocracy."

The President said he inherited a "nation in crisis" as he pitched his $2 trillion "America Jobs Plan," which he described as the largest infrastructure program since World War II.

"One hundred days since I took the oath of office—lifted my hand off our family Bible—and inherited a nation in crisis," he said.

"The worst pandemic in a century. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”

"One hundred days ago, America's house was on fire. We had to act."

But the President's description of the Capitol riots prompted a backlash across social media.

Some Twitter users were quick to point out other historical events that, they felt, were much more severe attacks on U.S. democracy.

The examples included the September 11 terrorist attacks, presidential assassinations, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Journalist Glen Greenwald tweeted: "January 6 was worse than 9/11? Or Pearl Harbor?"

He continued in a second tweet: "Or the Oklahoma City bombing? Or the dismantling of civil liberties in the name of the Cold War and War on Terror? Or the mass surveillance program secretly and illegally implemented by NSA aimed at US citzens (sic)?"

Greenwald, dubbing Biden a "drama queen" then added: "How about the War on Drugs, mass incarceration and Jim Crow? Were those worse "attacks on democracy" than the 3-hour Capitol riot on Jan. 6?

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