GREENVILLE — After months of working together on the tax overhaul that passed Congress, Ivanka Trump and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott took their victory tour on the road, telling a crowd of South Carolina women its effects are just beginning to be felt.
"This is a celebration of something we're all so proud of," Trump said Friday. "It's been an incredible experience for me and I think for everyone. I'm very proud of what has been accomplished in the last 12 months, and I know we're just getting started."
The president's daughter, who serves as a senior adviser in her father's White House, worked closely with Scott during tax reform negotiations to double the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000.
At one point during those efforts, Scott said he told Trump that getting the credit to $2,000 would be impossible — so she responded by telling him to get back to work.
"She took a step forward," the North Charleston Republican told the invite-only audience of 200 local women. "If you know anything about getting things done in Washington, it takes a strong backbone. Ivanka has a strong and powerful backbone."
The result, Scott and Trump said, is that working women with children will be able to hold on to more of their paychecks.
The pair highlighted the many companies around the country that have offered bonuses or raises since the corporate tax cut passed.
As President Donald Trump flew back to Washington after speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, his daughter told the crowd she and Scott spoke to him by phone before coming on stage. His message: "America is open for business."
That dispatch was somewhat contradicted by new tariffs the Trump administration announced this week on imports of large residential washing machines and solar panels. Scott joined many other South Carolina Republicans in decrying the move, telling reporters after the event it could have a "devastating impact" on companies in his home state.
Some prominent Republican men also were in attendance Friday. Easley Pastor Mark Burns, a regular pro-Trump commentator on cable news shows, said tax reform is critical for enacting Trump's "Make America Great Again" agenda.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, watched from the front row.
"Tim's the smartest guy in Washington," Graham said of his fellow South Carolina senator. "That's not saying much, but he is."
Gov. Henry McMaster's wife, Peggy, sat a couple seats down from Graham, and the governor's 2018 running mate, Pamela Evette, also attended.
After recently stepping into the public arena after years in business, Evette said she views Ivanka Trump as a role model for strong female leadership and particularly admires her because she's "not a mud thrower."
"If your only message is how you're going to rip down the person you're running against, then you really don't have much to offer," Evette said. "People throw darts at Ivanka all the time and she's poised and she holds her head up high and doesn't get in the fray."