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Nikki Haley Downplays Tim Scott’s Race on Fox News

South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott will be the first African-American senator to represent the South since Reconstruction—a fact Gov. Nikki Haley chose to downplay on Fox News.

After Greta Van Susteren noted that Scott will be the first Southern black senator since 1881, and the first to represent the GOP since 1979, Haley said she appointed Scott to succeed departing Sen. Jim DeMint because of his record and nothing more: “I get this minority female has appointed this minority male and that’s what everybody wants to talk about, I want to remind everybody, he earned this.”

Other top Republicans also called Scott’s appointment “historic” but pointed to his credentials as a fiscal conservative rather than to his race.

When Scott takes his seat next month, he will be the lone black senator.