A group of Democratic lawmakers met with Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) on Thursday to discuss police reform legislation in a direct rebuke to liberal pundits who recently denounced Scott as a lying, self-hating racism denier.
Sens. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) were among the Democrats who took part in the meeting, as was Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.), whom Biden considered picking as a running mate in 2020 because she lacked the ruthless ambition of Kamala Harris.
Scott was the subject of intense media scrutiny after giving the Republican response to President Joe Biden's congressional address on Wednesday. Scott's speech, which drew upon his personal struggles with racism and poverty, enraged professional journalists and other online liberals who were unable to contain their contempt for the successful black man.
MSNBC host Joy Reid said watching Scott's speech left her feeling "shocked and a bit embarrassed for him." Reid's colleague, Nicolle Wallace, said the speech was "delivered from a planet where facts don't matter." Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott suggested the senator had been speaking in code to an intended audience of white people, urging his Twitter followers to pay attention to the "demographics" of those praising Scott's speech.
Democratic analyst Jason Nichols, in a since-deleted tweet, called Scott a "clown" whose "ancestors are ashamed of him." At least one left-wing media personality had to apologize for "an ironic joke" using racially charged language. The term "Uncle Tim" started trending on Twitter.
Days earlier, Scott came under fire in the pages of the Post, which challenged his claim that his grandfather—who grew up in South Carolina during the Great Depression—lived a relatively unprivileged life.
Scott called out the Post's egregious fact check during his speech and criticized Democrats for refusing to work with him on police reform during the Trump administration. "My friends across the aisle seemed to want the issue more than they wanted a solution," he said. "But I'm still working, I'm hopeful that this will be different."