The chatty daytime talk show “The View” might seem like an unlikely platform for South Carolina senator and presidential candidate Tim Scott to catch on with Republican primary voters, but Monday saw an opening and tried to make the most of it.
Mr. Scott, the first black Republican elected to the Senate since Reconstruction, had called for an audience on the show after a co-host, Joy Behar, said Mr. Scott « he doesn’t understand » when he denies the existence of systemic racism, which is why, he said, he is a Republican.
Before a largely white, partisan crowd in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, Mr. Scott promised his appearance would cause sparks to fly, but in the end, the senator and co-anchors spoke largely the each other.
She said suggesting that black professionals and leaders are exceptions to the black experience, not the rule, is « a dangerous, offensive, and disgusting message to send to our youth today. »
« The fact of the matter is, we’ve had an African-American president, an African-American vice president, we’ve had two African-American secretaries of state, » Scott said. « In my hometown, the police chief is African American who is now running for mayor. »
At one point, she defended Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in his fight against Disney, saying legislation limiting what teachers can say about gender and sexuality in the classroom « was the right issue as far as our kids are concerned. » and what they are being indoctrinated with.
The comment drew boos from the studio audience. Whoopi Goldberg, another co-host, loudly chided the crowd and said that on « The View, » audience members « don’t boo. »
The field of candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 includes Mr. Scott and Larry Elder, a black conservative commentator, and two children of American Indian immigrants, Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and ambassador of the United Nations, and Vivek Ramaswamy, entrepreneur and author.
All four have put personal stories of isolation and struggle at the center of their campaigns, saying family histories of discrimination and racism are relics of the past and do not reflect a form of prejudice still entrenched in American society.
In « The View, » Mr. Scott spoke again about his grandfather, who couldn’t make eye contact with a white pedestrian in his small South Carolina town of Salley and had to step off the curb to let the White man.
« Progress in America is palpable, » he said. « It can be measured in generations. »
Such speeches go well with the largely white audience that Republican presidential candidates speak to in the primary season. But on « The View, » liberal anchors protested. Sunny Hostin, a co-host who is Black, said she was an exception in Black’s success story, as were Mr. Scott and the show’s most popular co-host, Whoopi Goldberg.
« When it comes to racial inequality, it persists in five fundamental aspects of life in the United States: the economy, education, health care, criminal justice and housing, » she said. « Nearly every time, these achievements have been fought against, threatened and undone, most often by white violence. »
For Republican candidates, such appearances have multiple benefits. They can use them to appeal to an audience beyond the Republican base and to say they are willing to break out of the primary electorate bubble. They can then amp up the carousel before Republican voters, as Donald J. Trump did with his CNN Town Hall last month and as Mr. Ramaswamy does when he tells Republican audiences that his CNN appearance cost anchor Don his job. lemon.