Scott: GOP must 'embrace people' to win elections

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) preached compassion as a winning strategy for the GOP in the 2014 elections and beyond during his Friday address at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting.

Flavored with personal stories and Scott’s trademark brand of Southern folksiness, the address urged Republicans to focus on education and skills training programs to help improve the economy and win over voters.

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Scott, who is himself up for reelection in 2014 after being appointed to former Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) seat in 2012, declared that “2014 is the year that the Republican Party takes back the United States Senate.”

But to do so, Scott said the party must appreciate the old adage that “people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

“For us, for we the Republican Party, the great opportunity party, for us to see our greatest success in 2014 we are going to have to embrace people in a way that they deserve to be embraced. And I will tell you that as we embrace people in a new and fantastic way, we will encourage them to find the potential within themselves to maximize their potential,” Scott said.

He added: “When we win people, elections will take care of themselves.”

His comments come as party leaders gathered in Washington for a three-day conference to reevaluate the GOP's platform and strategies, a year out from a disappointing election that revealed not only deep rifts within the GOP but the party’s electoral inadequacies with women and minorities.

Many within the GOP have urged Republicans to work on connecting with voters on a personal level.

A number of Republican lawmakers — many of whom are potential 2016 presidential candidates — have in recent weeks put forth Republican proposals to tackle poverty, an issue they believe could help them combat the perception that they’re out of touch with average Americans.