Al Sharpton said Thursday that Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott had “embarrassed himself” in his rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s address.
Sharpton joined the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to react to Biden’s first major address to a joint session of Congress — and the ensuing rebuttal delivered by Scott.
Sharpton began with his assessment of President Biden’s speech, which he said was “excellent” and “very effective.” He noted that Biden had opted for a more conversational style, which he said worked out well because Biden was not naturally a “fiery orator.”
“I think that he did himself and the nation a real service,” Sharpton said, praising Biden’s calls for passing police reform bills.
“I was very disappointed in Tim Scott’s rebuttal, but I was more than impressed with the president’s speech,” he added.
“Why were you disappointed with Tim Scott’s rebuttal?” host Joe Scarborough asked.
“I don’t think that he rebutted. I think he came with a lot of talking points from the Republicans,” Sharpton replied.
“He never addressed the specific things that the president laid out. It was more sloganeering and it was more bowing to the throne of Donald Trump; and I met Tim Scott, talked to him. I think he’s brighter than that and better than that. I think he really embarrassed himself last night.”
Scott said in his speech that President Biden, after campaigning to bring Americans together, had offered policies and legislation in his first 100 days that had only driven people further apart.
“Believe me, I know our healing is not finished,” Scott said.
“In 2015, after the shooting of Walter Scott, I wrote a bill to fund body cameras. Last year, after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, I built an even bigger police reform proposal. But my Democratic colleagues blocked it. I extended an olive branch,” Scott said.
“I offered [the Democrats] amendments. But Democrats used the filibuster to block the debate from even happening. My friends across the aisle seemed to want the issue more than they wanted a solution. But I’m still working. I’m still hopeful.”
Sharpton did not offer any specifics regarding what parts of Scott’s speech he found objectionable.