Freshman Rep. Tim Scott on Thursday said that, as a black American, he's proud of President Obama's accomplishments, but that Mr. Obama is failing as a leader.
"Americans have come a long in the last 40 years, and President Obama being elected is in fact another indicator of how far this country has come," Mr. Scott, South Carolina Republican, said during an interview on The Washington Times-affiliated "America's Morning News" radio broadcast. "We can be proud of what he's accomplished, [but] the only thing that matters to the American people and to me is what he does ... not what he looks like."
"When you take a look at the last three years of President Obama's performance, one must stop and say, 'If you have an 84 percent increase in domestic spending, and you have 9-plus percent unemployment, can he lead economically?' I would say the answer is no. When you spend $3.5 trillion in stimuluses and bailouts and gimmicks to try to get the economy going and yet you still wind up with 9 percent unemployment — does a president have a plan? I would say no."
The 45-year-old Mr. Scott, of Charleston, is hosting a Thursday-evening town-hall meeting in his hometown with GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann. He said his congressional colleague would bring her own unique set of qualities to the White House.
"As a tax attorney, she understands the ramifications of the tax code and its impact on our lives and the generations that follow us. If we can have a president who understands the tax code and who understands business, that would be monumental shift from the current White House," he said.
Mr. Scott said the emergence of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who now is leading the GOP field in national polls and in the most recent poll of South Carolina Republicans, is "impressive," but the congressman cautioned that it's still early.
"The question for Mr. Perry will be whether or not he goes the distance. Our news media loves new opportunities to throw someone into the fray, but then they look immediately for the next somebody. They're always looking for someone else to get into the race. ... We'll see what happens."
Mr. Scott said he and Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, will take questions from an expected crowd of more than 500 at the town-hall meeting.
"We know that if you can win the Republican primary in South Carolina, you will be the Republican nominee. That's been the case since 1980. We want to make sure we continue to have that be the case," he said.
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