Politics & Policy

Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, and Nikki Haley: A Republican ‘Rainbow Coalition’

Trey Gowdy, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Tim Scott on the campaign trail. (Alex Wong/Getty)

The next time the Left screams that the GOP is a racist party, wave the above photo like a banner.

The scene is South Carolina — the state in which the Confederacy fired the shot that launched the Civil War. Those pictured include Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), 51, a former federal prosecutor and ethical watchdog on Capitol Hill. His probe of the Benghazi massacre uncovered Hillary’s E-mailgate. Gowdy happens to be white.

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), 44, is the son of a bartender and a maid. His parents came from Cuba. With his second-place showing in Saturday’s Palmetto State primary, Rubio is now locked in a likely three-man race for the GOP nomination, along with real-estate magnate Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas), another American of Cuban descent. Rubio is arguably America’s most prominent Hispanic public servant.

Governor Nikki Haley (R., S.C.), 44, is the daughter of immigrants from India. She leads a market-friendly state government that has attracted new manufacturing facilities for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jet, Mercedes-Benz’s automobiles, Volvo’s cars, Giti’s tires from Singapore, and even the textiles of the Keer Group from Hangzhou, China.

Haley told the Wall Street Journal, “Some of the presidential candidates are tone deaf to the fact that we’ve had this major renaissance of ‘Made in America.’”

‘Take a picture of this, because the new group of conservatives that’s taking over America looks like a Benetton commercial.’ — Nikki Haley

While South Carolina’s 5.5 percent unemployment rate tops the 4.9 percent national figure, its outward-looking attitude offers promise for continued growth in employment and the state economy. Exports equal 15.6 percent of South Carolina’s total output, versus 9.3 percent nationally. Jobs increased a record 78,500 last year, and 2.14 million South Carolinians are working, a record as well.

Haley also gained widespread praise for leading the effort to remove, at long last, the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol. While this thorny challenge had frustrated her predecessors, Haley took the grief and anger after Dylann Storm Roof’s alleged massacre of nine people in a Charleston church last June and re-directed it into something positive: bipartisan, multiracial agreement that the Confederate battle flag belongs in a museum, not on a flagpole just yards from where state legislators make laws in Columbia.

Haley’s successful and lauded efforts amid mayhem and potentially explosive ethnic tension give her tremendous credibility to walk into any black neighborhood or gathering in America and be welcomed and heard.

#share#Senator Tim Scott (R., S.C.), 50, won a long-shot primary bid in 2010 for the U.S. House against Paul Thurmond, the son of South Carolina’s legendary GOP senator Strom Thurmond. The son of a single mother went on to win that House seat, then became the first black American to reach the Senate from the South since Reconstruction; Haley appointed him in 2013 to fill the seat that Republican senator Jim DeMint vacated when he took the reins of the Heritage Foundation.

Scott then was elected to that seat in 2014 to fill the remaining two years of DeMint’s term. He won 757,215 votes. That total was 84,273 ballots higher than the 672,942 cast for Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), a white man who faced reelection on the same ballot that November 4.

Some pundits have called this “a Republican rainbow coalition.” While campaigning with Rubio and Scott, Haley said, “Take a picture of this, because the new group of conservatives that’s taking over America looks like a Benetton commercial.”

Such scenes will make it impossible — even laughable — for Democrats to resort to their predictable and repugnant race baiting this fall. They routinely campaign on the notion that if the GOP wins, blacks will be oppressed and even lynched. This is no exaggeration, as demonstrated by this despicable pro-Democrat flier from North Carolina’s 2014 U.S. Senate contest. (Note the black men dangling from nooses in the middle of this handbill.)

The antidote to this racial venom is Rubio and his openly inclusive campaign. He speaks optimistically about securing “a new American century” by expanding the conservative movement and the GOP.

“Ronald Reagan made us believe that it was Morning in America again. And it was,” Rubio told his supporters in South Carolina. “Now the children of the Reagan revolution are ready to assume the mantle of leadership.” Marco Rubio added: “I know that our campaign gives us the best chance not just to come together, not just to unify our party, but to unify our country and to grow this movement.”

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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