Tim Scott speaks to Packed House at Barley’s in Council Bluffs
Tim Scott speaks to a packed room at Barley's Bar & Grill in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Tim Scott speaks to Packed House at Barley’s in Council Bluffs

The organizers of Tim Scott’s town hall at Barley’s in Council Bluffs got a larger crowd than they were anticipating. Before the doors were even opened at five o’clock, the seats were full and the room was nearly at capacity. “It’s better than we ever expected,” said one of the organizers.

Tim Scott

Barley’s Bar & grill on Broadway Ave. in downtown Council Bluffs has been host to several Presidential candidates over the past few years, most of them lower-tier candidate who choose a smaller venue that is easier to fill, creating the appearance of a larger crowd within the smaller venue.

Tim Scott seems to be a favorite among the “establishment” GOP this Presidential cycle. He was a keynote speaker at Pete Ricketts’ steak fry in 2022 and also at the Elephant Remembers dinner in Omaha in 2019. At a recent speaking engagement at an Omaha Pizza Ranch, congressman Don Bacon named Tim Scott when asked his pick for the next President of the United States. “I love the guy personally, I know him. He gets back to me,” Bacon said. “I think he can win swing voters over too, and independent voters.”

Scott gave a brief stump speech, talking briefly about his mother using a tree branch as a “Southern apparatus of encouragement” after he receiving failing grades in English, Spanish, and Civics. “After ten years in the US Senate, I’m not the only one failing civics,” Scott said. Among the issues he discussed included border security and building a wall on the southern border and preventing the Chinese Communist Party from buying farmland.

Scott also praised Gov. Kim Reynolds’ recently passed school choice plan, saying American children’s success is determined, “not by the color of their skin, but by the quality of their education.” He also talked about American exceptionalism as taught by his grandfather, “I’m not the exception, I’m just the rule,” Scott said. “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

The backroom of Barley’s Bar & Grill was quickly filled to capacity

Scott took around a dozen questions from the audience on topics such s the war in Ukraine, a centralized (cashless) digital currency, and reforming the FBI. A woman in the front row asked about the financial cost of illegal immigration, which Scott assessed at $2 trillion over ten years.

Another woman asked about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which Scott referred to as “a ridiculous idea,” drawing a round of applause. “Why would I ask mechanics and electricians to pay off the students loans of doctors and lawyers making $100-200k a year?” Scott said. “And frankly, the ROI on a student loan is an extra $1-1.5 million of lifetime income. I think it’s absolutely unfair.”

Scott refused to answer one question from a reporter for the The Daily Nonpareil, drawing brief applause from the audience. Scott stated, “This is for all the people who showed up and waited to be here to ask questions.”