Scott names Sununu as on his veep ‘short list’
WINDHAM — Republican presidential candidate and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott on Wednesday said outgoing New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is on his short list of possible running mates, if he wins the nomination.
Scott, viewed by some as a leading contender for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket, called Sununu “a smart player, without question.”
Other possibilities Scott mentioned were former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, ex-South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy and John Ratcliffe, a former national director of intelligence who represented Texas in the U.S. House from 2015-2020.
“It’s hard not to think about the folks I have gotten to know,” Scott said.
Scott has received praise from several opponents, including former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.
While Scott has been competitive in campaign fundraising, he has had difficulty breaking into the top tier of hopefuls in New Hampshire polls.
Scott said he remains convinced that Republican primary voters are looking for a proven conservative “alternative” to Trump and believes he fits the bill.
Scott came to the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center here Wednesday to address the Politics and Eggs forum sponsored by the New England Council.
Traditionally, these forums are at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, but Director Neil Levesque said the conference space is undergoing renovations.
NEC President and CEO James Brett said he has been struck by how popular Scott is on Capitol Hill among both parties.
“That speaks very well of you,” Brett said.
Scott, who turned 58 Tuesday, is the only Black politician in American history to win election to both the U.S. House and Senate.
Throughout the campaign, Scott has said the left claims to represent minority voters, but it’s conservative policies that would help working families get ahead.
On the economy, Scott said he would push to lower corporate and other business taxes to make America more competitive with other industrialized nations.
Scott said the Trump tax cuts passed in 2018 helped, but “we need more of the same.”
Although the legislation cut the corporate income tax from 35% to 21%, that’s still higher than many countries in Europe, Scott said.
“I’d like to take that down to 15%,” Scott said.
Scott said he also would look at lowering the capital gains tax.
“My fear is those who have the resources will just wait a while for the tax environment to be positive to make that investment happen,” Scott said.
In addition, Scott said he wants to provide federal Pell Grants to students who take work apprenticeship courses.
“Many people want to work with their hands as well as use their minds. Why not give them the path? Why suggest there is only one path to success in America?” Scott said.
Roy Walker, a management consultant from Milton, Mass., said, “I liked some of his ideas.
“I would consider voting for him. I thought all his answers today were well thought-out.”
On abortion rights, Scott said he would pursue a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks.
“It is unethical for us to allow states like California, New York and Illinois to allow abortions up to the date of birth,” Scott said, noting that most European nations ban the procedure after “14-to-16 weeks.”
Scott acknowledged it would be difficult to pass this change, which would require at least 60 votes in the U.S. Senate to break a filibuster.
“I believe it would take my entire presidency, my first four years, to even get that accomplished,” Scott said. “We have to convince the minds of the American people.”
Scott said many media outlets did not quote him completely when he was asked Monday about the ongoing strike of the nation’s autoworkers.
Scott had said the late President Ronald Reagan set a “great example” when he fired striking air traffic controllers during the 1980s.
A president would not have any such authority over autoworkers in the private sector, Scott noted.
“I used that as a bridge to have a conversation that unions, often when negotiating a contract, over-promise and under-deliver,” Scott said.
“We need to have front and center the example of a president who stands strong. Today’s president is weak.”