Tim Scott led the GOP indictment of President Joe Biden’s first speech at a joint session of Congress on Wednesday – and found the space to nod to his mentor John Moniz.
When the South Carolina senator gave the Republican rebuttal, he said he was “blessed” by Moniz, who grew up running a Chick-fil-A restaurant in North Charleston.
In a post on his campaign website, Scott says that Moniz taught him “biblical principles and conservative values” while in high school, and said his mentor helped him get back on track.
“In this three or four interval of years, John changed my way of thinking, which changed my life,” Scott said in 2012, according to Buzzfeed News. “The lessons John taught me may have been simple lessons, but they were deep lessons.”
The South Carolina state newspaper reported that Moniz gave Scott free chicken sandwiches when he couldn’t afford more food than fries and water. It added that Scott wrote a poem for Moniz, a veteran when he died suddenly in 1985.
Speaking to the Island Packet in 2012, Scott said that Moniz would occasionally meet him at the movie theater where the teen worked part-time and that they would talk about values. They also went to basketball games together, the Packet reported.