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Tim Scott Makes New Push to Woo Black and Hispanic Republicans

Tim Scott Makes New Push to Woo Black and Hispanic Republicans


Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, views former President Donald J. Trump’s 34 felony convictions as politically positive for his party — and a circumstance that will help increase Black and Hispanic support in November.

“The decision last week is actually helpful to driving more folks to the Republican Party,” Mr. Scott told reporters, adding that the convictions would help conservatives win over Black men who “are so fed up with this two-tiered justice system.”

Mr. Scott announced a $14 million plan led by his super PAC to help persuade Black and Hispanic voters to support Mr. Trump and other Republican candidates.

In his announcement, Mr. Scott portrayed himself as one of the best spokesmen to achieve a goal that has long proved difficult for the Republican Party. But it also appeared aimed at communicating with one man in particular, Mr. Trump, for whom Mr. Scott is a potential running mate.

The former president, who has prioritized his campaign’s courtship of Black voters, is said to be considering potential vice presidents who can, among other things, help his campaign raise money and offer it some political upside.

Mr. Scott said he was positioned to help Mr. Trump and other Republicans win more Black and Hispanic voters because of the role he has played as a South Carolina senator, including in increasing funding for historically Black colleges and universities and backing new criminal justice laws aimed at reducing recidivism rates among federal prisoners and expanding early-release programs.

Mr. Scott argued that Republicans, including those in his office, had long led on these issues. “This seed in the soil has been germinating,” Mr. Scott said. “Now the question is whether there are laborers available to take advantage of the harvest.”

Recent polls show that Mr. Trump has an opportunity to win over Black voters, who have been hit hard by inflation and who overwhelmingly disapprove of how the economy has fared.

But Republicans have long struggled in their appeals to people of color.

The latest example was on Tuesday, when Representative Byron Donalds, a Black Republican whom Mr. Trump has also discussed as a possible running mate and as a potential governor of Florida, suggested that the Jim Crow era of racial violence and segregation had some virtues for Black people.

“During Jim Crow, the Black family was together,” Mr. Donalds told supporters at an event in Philadelphia. “During Jim Crow, more Black people were not just conservative — because Black people have always been conservative-minded — but more Black people voted conservatively.”

Mr. Scott’s Black and Hispanic outreach program will be financed by the Great Opportunity super PAC, which is run by Mr. Scott’s allies and funded by pro-Scott donors. A memo by Jennifer DeCasper, the head of the super PAC, noted that the effort would include direct mail, digital marketing and other paid advertising in battleground states. Plans also include events and appearances featuring Mr. Scott and other elected officials.

This month, Mr. Scott will host a gathering of high-profile Republican donors who have largely remained publicly uncommitted to Mr. Trump. The event, which seeks contributions of up to $250,000, underscores Mr. Scott’s role as one of his party’s most prodigious fund-raisers. It also may position him as a more palatable political figure for centrist donors whose financial resources Mr. Trump could tap into this year.



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