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Scott campaigns on education and law enforcement, claims legal system is 'weaponized' against Trump

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina makes his pitch for the Republican presidential nomination to potential voters at the Iowa State Fair.
Grant Gerlock
/
IPR
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina makes his pitch for the Republican presidential nomination to potential voters at the Iowa State Fair.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina says he is running a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination based on the “substance of the issues.” At an appearance at the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday, he laid out how he would govern on issues such as education and law enforcement.

On education, Scott said if he becomes president he will promote programs to increase competition in among K-12 schools. He praised Gov. Kim Reynolds for signing into law one of the broadest voucher-style programs in the country which makes state-funded education savings accounts available to families to pay private school tuition.

“I believe in public schools. I also believe in competition. And so, I want competition to improve our public schools,” Scott said on stage with Reynolds as part of her series of appearances with Republican candidates that she calls “Fair-Side Chats.” “I don’t care whether it’s a public school, a private school, a charter school, a virtual school or a home school — give parents the choice and their kids get a better chance.”

If he wins the White House, Scott said he will increase federal support for local law enforcement as part of his national security strategy. He would push to grow federal funding for local police departments “500%.” He would also increase support for training and recruiting to fill the shortage of officers in departments across the U.S.

“We can close that gap by respecting the police,” Scott said. “But instead of defunding them, let's re-fund the police. Let's give them the money they need.”

Scott struck a different tone when asked by reporters about the latest criminal charges against former President Donald Trump, who, along with 18 associates, now faces charges in Fulton County, Georgia, where they are accused of attempting to alter the results of that state’s 2020 presidential vote. Scott stood by previous statements claiming the charges against Trump are politically motivated.

“I’ll just continue to say it as I see it, which is that we see the legal system being weaponized against political opponents,” Scott said. “That is un-American and unacceptable. I frankly hope to be the President of the United States where we have an opportunity to restore confidence and integrity in all of our Departments of Justice in the country.”

When pressed on the details of the indictment — including a call asking the Georgia secretary of state to find votes — Scott said he draws a different conclusion on whether the conversation warrants charges.

Grant Gerlock is a reporter covering Des Moines and central Iowa