South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced today that she will appoint Rep. Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate. “It was pretty easy,” Haley said at a noon press conference.
Scott becomes the first African-American to represent the state of South Carolina in the Senate. He would also be the only African-American in the Senate. Scott is also a favourite of the Tea Party types of his party, as he is viewed as a bona fide conservative.
Scott opened his remarks at the press conference by holding a moment of silence for the 27 victims who died in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
He thanked his mother, who raised him in a single parent household. And he also took a shot at House Speaker John Boehner, two days after he reportedly offered the White House a fiscal-cliff deal that includes raising the debt ceiling for one year and raising taxes on millionaires.
“We have a spending problem in America, and not a revenue problem,” Scott said.
DeMint is leaving the Senate to become the president of the Heritage Foundation. In a statement, he praised Haley for the selection of a “good friend.”
“Governor Haley has made a great choice for South Carolina and the nation,” DeMint said. “Tim Scott is a principled leader and will make an outstanding senator for the people of the South Carolina and an important voice for conservatives across the nation. I’ve known Tim for years and am confident he will serve our state with honour and distinction. He’s become a good friend who I know he cares deeply about the future of our nation and will fight to increase freedom and opportunity for everyone.”