Sen. Tim Scott unleashed scathing critiques of President Joe Biden, House Democrats and several of his fellow Republican presidential candidates, saying “weakness” on the part of American leaders led to Hamas’ attack on Israel.
In a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday afternoon, Scott called the terrorist attacks “disgusting” and called for the perpetrators to “feel the wrath of God.”
But he also pointed blame toward Biden, slamming the president for “a pattern of foolish policy choices that have undermined us and our allies.”
“Joe Biden has blood on his hands,” Scott, R-S.C., said. “His weakness invited the attack. His cash giveaways to Iran helped fund terrorism.”
While Republican presidential candidates have critiqued Biden’s foreign policy in recent days, Scott’s critique was arguably the most pointed, implying that Biden was responsible for the attack.
Scott pointed to the administration’s decision to free $6 billion in blocked Iranian funds in exchange for American hostage releases. Iranian allies helped Palestinian militants plan the surprise attack on Israel for over a year, The Washington Post reported. A spokesman for Hamas later confirmed this with BBC.
White House officials rejected the claim that the U.S. funds supported the attack, noting that the money given to Iran “has yet to be spent by Iran and can only be used for humanitarian needs,” The Associated Press reported.
“How naïve can you be?” Scott said. “Money is fungible. We just gave a terrorist-supporting regime billions of dollars and room in their budget.”
Scott called out several members of the House of Representatives, including Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., saying they should either “repudiate the people who are cheering on deadly terrorism” or “be expelled from Congress.”
Ocasio-Cortez denounced “bigotry and callousness” at a pro-Palestine rally at Times Square this week, saying it “should not be hard to shut down hatred and antisemitism where we see it.”
Scott also challenged several of his fellow Republican presidential candidates, knocking Vivek Ramaswamy for his proposals to “reduce America’s support for Israel” and Ron DeSantis for calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “territorial dispute.”
“The last thing we need is a Joe Biden wing of the Republican Party on foreign policy,” Scott said.
Scott has struggled to gain a foothold in a crowded GOP primary race, sitting around 2% in national polls. Longtime Washington Post columnist George Will — whose wife, Mari Will, is an adviser to Scott’s campaign — called on Scott to drop out of the race and endorse Nikki Haley on Tuesday.