U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is speaking out against Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida for his support of new standards that require middle school teachers to instruct students about the skills developed by slaves and their personal benefit.
Speaking at a town hall in Ankeny, Scott, the sole Black Republican in the Senate, emphasized the devastating impact of slavery, including family separation, human mutilation, and rape. He expressed his hope that anyone running for president would appreciate the true nature of slavery.
While acknowledging that people can have bad days and make regrettable statements, Scott called on politicians to clarify their positions.
DeSantis has faced criticism from various groups, including Florida teachers, civil rights leaders, President Joe Biden’s White House, and even Black Republicans, over the controversial curriculum. Vice President Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black vice president, traveled to Florida to condemn the standards.
Responding to the backlash, DeSantis accused D.C. Republicans of accepting false narratives and lies perpetuated by the left. He vowed to defend Florida against false accusations and continue speaking the truth.
It remains to be seen how this disagreement will impact both the ongoing debate over school curriculum and the larger political landscape.
Shifting Campaign Styles and Curriculum Criticisms
The campaign styles of both Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott took a new turn as they engaged in a back-and-forth critique of each other. This shift in their approach diverges from their usual focus on targeting President Joe Biden. Meanwhile, DeSantis has recently made staffing cuts in his campaign to manage expenses, showcasing a mid-campaign reset.
DeSantis faced criticism from several individuals, including former Texas Congressman Will Hurd, Florida Representative Byron Donalds, and Texas Representative Wesley Hunt. These Black Republican figures, who also support former President Trump, voiced their concerns about the curriculum adopted by DeSantis.
Scott’s remarks on the matter were made during campaign stops in Iowa, where he and DeSantis participated in the state Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner. This event will bring together 13 GOP presidential primary candidates, including the front-runner Donald Trump, to address around 1,200 activists on Friday. Scott, representing the most diverse presidential field ever seen within the GOP, expressed his opinion on the curriculum standards shortly after DeSantis defended them to reporters.
DeSantis, in defense of the curriculum, emphasized the need to choose between aligning with Kamala Harris and liberal media outlets or supporting the state of Florida. He cited Democrats’ criticism of the wording related to slavery but maintained that the standards were well done without any political motivations.
In response to posts on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) that featured Scott’s video, a super PAC supporting DeSantis criticized them as “incredibly sloppy or intentionally disingenuous.” The super PAC then reposted a video of DeSantis defending the curriculum earlier that day.