More private innovation and less public debt can make America prosperous again, two Republican lawmakers said during visits Monday to Beaufort County.
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and U.S. Rep. Tim Scott stopped at Riverview Charter School and Marine Air Corps Station Beaufort before speaking before the Sun City Republican Club at Sun City Hilton Head.
The visit to Riverview was the first for the two proponents of charter schools.
"It's not so much about the system of education as it is about the education of the student," DeMint said of Riverview.
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During a tour of the school on Burroughs Avenue in Beaufort, students told the visitors what they are learning, and one class sang the state names alphabetically -- or at least to Ohio. They were still learning the rest.
Scott was impressed by sixth-graders using iPads to help them with discussions such as the characteristics of a good leader.
"Most students are engineered to handle whatever you give them," Scott said. "We just have to give them more."
DeMint and Scott were joined in the afternoon by state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, at Sun City, where more than 150 residents had gathered.
Both talked about the upcoming general election.
DeMint has four years remaining on his term. Scott, who lives in Charleston, is seeking reelection after his 1st District was redrawn to include most of Beaufort County after the 2010 Census. In 2010, he became the first black Republican congressman -- along with Allen West of Florida -- since J.C. Watts in 2003.
Republican voters need to stand by their principles and take back the White House and the U.S. Senate in the fall elections, DeMint said.
"This really is a tipping point," he said. "We can't take four more years of what this president has done to us."
Scott focused on Americans having the courage to make the country a superpower. He said it comes from the private sector and advancements in electronics, science, medicine and military tactics. Among his concerns is mounting U.S. debt.
"If you're spending more than you're making, you're not making progress," Scott said. "That's impossible."
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonBeaufort.