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South Carolina Sen. Scott blasts NAACP chief over civil rights comment

 

Newly minted Sen. Tim Scott is speaking out after the president of the NAACP claimed Scott does not believe in civil rights, calling the allegations "ridiculous." 

The Republican from South Carolina, who became the Senate's only black member after his swearing-in Thursday, told Fox News he believes "some folks" are trying to put an emphasis on race in politics moving forward, despite the "amazing" progress America has made in race relations.

"I think that it's time for us to continue to move forward as a nation," Scott told Fox News. "If you really think about where we are, we have the most diverse freshman class in the Senate, perhaps in its history."

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous made the comments to CNN on Wednesday, saying the organization has given Scott an "F" on its Civil Rights Legislative Report Card every year, which is based off of politicians' voting records.

According to the NAACP, Scott's votes only aligned with the wishes of the organization 5 percent of the time while he was a member of the House of Representatives. 

"We have Republicans who believe in civil rights," Jealous said. "Unfortunately (Scott) is not one of them."

Scott says Jealous' allegations stem mostly from his political beliefs, especially his desire for smaller government. 

"No doubt one of the things I realized, that folks like him believe larger government means more freedom," Scott said. "I just completely disagree."

Scott says he intends to focus on growing businesses and reducing regulations while in the Senate, using the expertise he gained from over 14 years of being a small-business owner. 

"The way I look at it, honestly, we have some serious issues and some serious opportunities and I want to focus on the serious opportunities," Scott said.