The first question leveled at Sen. Tim Scott during his visit Tuesday at Cornerstone Fellowship Free Will Baptist Church involved term limits, specifically whether he thought they were a good idea and whether he believed in them.
Scott said that term limits for Congress are an "absolute necessity."
"I'll be honest with you: In my opinion, while Strom Thurmond served the state well for about two centuries (laughter from audience), I think he was there maybe too long. And Fritz (Hollings) didn't go home too soon, by the way. But especially in those days, having those guys around forever served the state well.
In the times that we live now, I think that term limits (are) the way that we serve the nation well going forward. Too often, too many of us - but not all of us - get so comfortable in our jobs, that we think it's our careers.
I had a career before I got here. I will have a career when I leave here. Now, I don't want you to send me home too soon, but I do believe in term limits.
I voted for the maximum time of 18 years. I think three terms in the house and a maximum two terms in the Senate, and after that, you ought to hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more."
(Constituent points out that if more senior legislators don't like a new legislator, they have ways of getting rid of the newer legislator).
"You're right," Scott said. "The classic example: I was a freshman in the House. I was wide-eyed and bushy tailed. I wanted to be on a certain committee. I had spent my career in insurance and real estate, and I know after 25 years, I might not know everything, but I know more than most people in that area.
I went to Speaker (John) Boehner. I told him how I could serve the country by being on that team.
'Are you going to vote for that Budget and Control Act of 2011?' he asked me.
'Well, sir, I can't vote for that,' I told him. The two finalists for the Financial Services Committee, they both were voting for it.
'You don't understand,' I said. 'I'm your guy. I've got lots of experience.'
And he said, 'Yeah, you do.'
I didn't get on that committee. But that's fine. I'm not using our troops as pawns in a battle over the budget.
You do, over time, get seniority and power and influence, and you can use that in mutliple ways.
Too often, you use it as bait, and I wasn't that hungry that day.
So, yes, I think term limits are important. I think three-and-two or some combination thereof.
I did pretty good in business before I got here, and I can go back, I think, and do it all over again.