April 24, 2024

Sen. Tim Scott talks global conflicts, ‘axis of evil’ at Newton campaign stop

Republican presidential candidate says Biden’s weakness ‘invites bullies’

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican presidential candidate, speaks with potential voters at a campaign stop Oct. 12 at the Pizza Ranch in Newton.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott quoted the Bible when asked by reporters Thursday, Oct. 12 during a presidential campaign stop in Newton if anything but full condemnation was the appropriate response to militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah, especially after former President Donald Trump called the latter “very smart.”

“Psalms 122:6 is very clear: ‘You pray for the peace of Jerusalem and those who do will prosper,’” Scott said after speaking with prospective voters at the local Pizza Ranch just off the 164 exit of Interstate 80. “I guess the former president just disagrees with that. I don’t know where he’s coming from. He’s just wrong.”

However, the Trump campaign later said in a statement that “smart does not equal good,” and that Trump was pointing out the incompetencies of the Biden Administration for supposedly telegraphing to Hezbollah the areas where Israel is most vulnerable to attack. Still, Scott emphasized messaging is important.

“We cannot extend a single message to any of the enemies of Israel, that anyone in leadership stands against, or in opposition to or questions the leadership of the prime minister,” Scott said in Newton after spending considerable time with voters talking about global conflicts and his Bush-like “axis of evil.”

Similar to how George W. Bush labeled Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an axis of evil for threatening to use or arm terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, Scott has his own new axis of evil comprised of Iran, Russia, China and South America. He wants America to engage these conflicts simultaneously.

To be prepared for such conflicts, Scott suggests it takes a strong military. He also criticized President Joe Biden, saying his weakness invites conflict. Several other Republican candidates for president have put blame on Biden, particularly when it comes to the war in Ukraine and now the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

Scott said the real breadcrumb trail starts with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021 and the subsequent fallout.

“Weakness invites bullies to pick on you,” Scott said. “An appeasement is not a strategy. I am a guy born and raised in the Reagan philosophy of ‘peace through strength,’ and so I want a strong, capable, focused military with no social experimentation, from vaccine mandates to issues around gender.”

To put it bluntly, Scott wants “men and women in uniform to do one thing: Go and come back safely.” But to accomplish that, he added, requires the United States to fund its military. According to USA Spending data, the Department of Defense has $1.8 trillion in budgetary resources in fiscal year 2023.

Which is about 13.2 percent of the fiscal year 2023 U.S. federal budget.

Degrading Russia is of “vital national interest” to the United States, Scott said. And he is thankful that America’s resources without putting troops on the ground has had “a very strong impact” on degrading the Russian military. Which, according to his logic, would also degrade China, who has aligned with Russia.

In addition to degrading the Russian military, Scott said the United States needs to look south and close its southern border to Mexico and South America.

“Because it is a national security risk to know you have nationals in our country from Iran, from Yemen. Thousands flew over to South America from China and walked across our border, 7,000 at least since October of last year,” Scott said, though the real number is 6,500 between October 2022 and March 2023.

On the topic of Israel, which was raised by a guest who had not asked a question but rather wore a shirt with the passage of Psalms 122:6 on the front, Scott said the United States has provided Israel with more than $35 billion of assistance over the past 10 years.

“We have a great relationship with their military. I’ve been there four times. I will tell you their philosophy of ‘never gain’ is a stamp on the hearts, the souls and in the minds of our Jewish brothers. The one thing I can tell you is they have the firepower and the manpower to wipe Hamas off the face of the Earth,” Scott said.

“And I hope they do.”

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.