While discussing his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., told Newsmax's "Eric Bolling The Balance" on Tuesday that he firmly believes the most existential threat facing the U.S. is China.
"If you're thinking about it from a foreign policy standpoint, there's no question that the existential threat facing America is China," Scott said. "Not only because they're breaching our sovereign borders with their balloons. Not only because they're spying on our kids through TikTok. Not only because of their 'Made in China 2025' plan. It's the fact that this Communist Chinese Party [is] buying up our farmlands to spy on our military.
"[China is] doing things that are so maligned that if we don't have a strong president standing in the gap and saying, 'Not on my watch,' that threat grows larger and larger," he added.
Scott told host Eric Bolling that the best way the U.S. can push back on China is "by becoming more independent from China, making sure that we don't go deeper and deeper in debt to the Chinese Communist Party."
"It requires America to be strong economically and prepared militarily."
When Bolling asked where Scott might stand as president should China decide to invade and reunify with Taiwan, the South Carolina senator emphasized the importance of continuing "to have a proper harmonization and alignment with our military and the Taiwanese military," and that standing "shoulder to shoulder with Taiwan should be our approach to solving the problem with China."
"The stronger we are, the weaker they become," Scott said. "The weaker our president, the stronger [Chinese] President Xi [Jìnpíng] becomes."
He also said that America's tense relationship with China is not a result of Xi and China's strength, but "a result of weakness in the presidency of the United States."
"That is one big difference that we can change literally overnight with one election," Scott said. "That change is coming. It's good news for America."
Scott also spoke at length with Bolling about his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, which he officially announced on May 22. Asked if he would describe himself as more establishment or more MAGA (Make America Great Again), the senator told Bolling, "I'm just a biblical conservative, to be honest with you."
As for why he decided to join a packed field of GOP candidates that includes former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Scott said, "I believe that America can do for anyone what she has done for me."
"Restoring hope and creating opportunities, but protecting the America that you and I love, which means starting with our border, starting with the security concerns of the average American, is one of the reasons why I'm excited to get involved in this race," he explained. "Because I believe the truth of my life disproves the lives of the left."
Asked for his thoughts regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin and his propaganda wing's assassination call Monday on Sen. Lindsey Graham, following the South Carolina Republican's comments regarding the war in Ukraine, Scott called it "incredibly ridiculous."
"Thank God that Senator Lindsey Graham has the backbone to stand up to Putin and all of his amazing efforts to literally create a genocide that will last for generations in Ukraine," he said. "It's one of the reasons why decimating the Russian military has to be a part of our objective. America needs to understand the national vital interests that our country has on siding with Ukraine."
After criticizing President Joe Biden for doing "a terrible job" in telling the American people why the U.S. is supporting Ukraine, Scott praised Graham for "taking a strong stance" and supporting Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
"Having the courage and the backbone to take that stand is exactly where we want the United States president to be," he said. "And frankly, it is in our national vital interest. By degrading the Russian military, we reduce threats on the home front, and we also secure our NATO partnerships."
Before the senator signed off, Bolling asked if — depending on how the Republican primary played out — he thought a "Donald Trump-Tim Scott" ticket would be stronger against Joe Biden in next year's election, or if a "Ron DeSantis-Tim Scott" ticket would fare better.
Scott smiled and answered, "The Scott ticket, no matter who my vice president would be, is the strongest ticket possible."
Pressed if he had a vice presidential candidate already in mind, Scott said, "I would say, 'Never say what you'll never do,' number one. … 'Never give away your top secrets,' number two, and number three, 'Wait until we win the nomination, and I'll let you know as we head towards that nomination who my vice presidential pick will be.'"
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