EASLEY — S.C. Governor Henry McMaster spoke to a crowd on Tuesday praising the state and its people for its advancements in industry and manufacturing.
The Governor’s appearence was part of an event billed as a “family friendly political event” hosted by Rep. Neal Collins at Gettys Middle School.
“Politics are a lot of fun, but we are right on the edge of seeing great things in South Carolina,” McMaster said. “The assets and the people we have right now in this state have put us in a position to enjoy the greatest prosperity we’ve ever had.”
Back in the time of the Revolutionary War, this (S.C.) was the richest place out of all the colonies, he said, crediting much of the state’s success to it’s natural resources.
“Over the years we have added institutions to (capitalize on) our natural resources and they are just now reaching full speed,” McMaster said. “This is what we call a ‘hand-shake’ state, I have people all the time tell me this is the only place in the world where you can make a deal with someone, and your word is your bond.”
The Governor mentioned the recent announcement of a new Samsung plant coming to S.C. as well as the established manufacturing plants like BMW and Boeing.
“They (Samsung) have 489,000 employees worldwide. We have companies with two, three, 400,000 people working for them — and they’re all coming to S.C.,” he said.
Letting free enterprise “blossom” and eliminating “non-beneficial” regulations were key to the continued success of the state, he said.
“You know, money solves a lot of problems, I’ve seen it myself,” McMaster said. “When you have less poor people — a whole bunch of other things become a lot less too. Domestic violence rates go down, alcoholism and drug usage goes down, crime rates go down, divorce rates go down — marriages go up. People do better when they have a good job, when they’re not struggling to put food on the table.”
Appearances around the state by the Governor have been on the increase since he announced his intention to run again for the office he succeeded to when then Gov. Nikki Haley left to accept the UN Ambassadorship.
But despite speaking here in Pickens County, McMaster elected not to speak on any local issues and left the stage without accepting questions from the audience.
The majority of his short speech — he spoke for just over 10 minutes — was focused on the Low Country and Charleston, specifically the dredging of the Port of Charleston.
“It’s deep and it’s getting deeper,” he said. “We put the money aside, we’ve got the federal approval and we’re starting in October to do the dredging. That means the biggest boats in the world coming through the expanded Panama Canal can get here and come up the East Coast.
“In a few years New York, New Jersey and Charleston will be the dominant ports on the Atlantic coast,” he said. “And do you know how to spell ‘port?’ M.O.N.E.Y.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.