Speed Reads

Biden's joint address

'Never-Trump' conservatives really liked Tim Scott's GOP rebuttal to Biden's speech

Sen. Tim Scott's (R-S.C.) response to President Biden's address to Congress on Wednesday was met with high praise from conservatives, including those who fall under the "never-Trump" label.

Scott began his speech by saying Biden "seems like a good man," then promised not to "waste your time tonight with finger-pointing or partisan bickering. You can get that on TV any time you want." Instead, Scott said, he wanted "to have an honest conversation. About common sense and common ground. About this feeling that our nation is sliding off its shared foundation, and how we move forward together."

That's not to say Scott, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate, highlighted any aspects of Biden's speech with which he agreed. On the contrary, he was quite critical of the remarks. But proponents of the speech noted that he tended to focus on policy differences on issues like police reform, infrastructure, and school re-openings rather than the so-called "culture wars."

The Dispatch's Jonah Goldberg tweeted that Scott delivered a "very, very good speech," especially "given that responding to presidents in these situations is almost always a political crap sandwich." His colleague David French agreed, also noting that he found the ending — in which Scott emphasized an American narrative defined by "redemption" — to be "powerful and true."

French and Goldberg also probably didn't mind the absence of former President Donald Trump from the speech. While Scott certainly touted accomplishments of the previous administration, Trump himself didn't get a direct shout-out. Read a full transcript of Scott's speech at CNN.