In an interview broadcast on Fox News on Sunday, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott revealed that he will be terminating his bid for the presidency.
As of today, May 24, I adore America even more than I did on May 22. But I won’t be a presidential contender when I return to Iowa. I’m calling off the campaign,” he announced.
Many of Scott’s supporters and funders were caught off guard by the news late on Sunday. Even though it was becoming evident that Scott was facing an uphill task to break through in the GOP primary, two people close to his campaign say they were not given advance notification.
After the third Republican presidential debate last week, the super PAC backing Scott opted not to commit any more money and dropped its entire slate of television advertising in October.
Scott’s chances of becoming president have been dwindling for a while, but especially since the super PAC pulled its commercials. The Scott team announced last month that they were going “all in” on Iowa, the first nominating contest on the GOP calendar, in an effort to gain ground on their primary opponents.
According to sources close to Scott’s campaign, the timing of his announcement was more shocking than the decision itself. After being the last candidate to reach the donation and polling standards for last week’s debate, his team was concerned about qualifying for the fourth Republican debate next month. He had been hoped a great debate performance would ignite his candidature, but even he confessed to advisers and allies that hadn’t happened.
People close to his campaign say he can avoid an ugly finish in Iowa if he withdraws from the race now. He stays out of Donald Trump’s crosshairs and protects his future political options in the event that the former president becomes the nominee.
“Tim ran an optimistic, hopeful message — but that’s not where the Republican base is right now,” a GOP official who backed Scott told AWN.
Scott told Fox News’ Trey Gowdy that he will not back another Republican candidate, saying he believes “the best way for me to be helpful” is to withhold an endorsement in the primary.
Scott reiterated his statement from the campaign trail that he has no plans to accept a nomination for vice president.
“I ran for president to be president,” he declared. I feel like I was supposed to leave. Although I wasn’t meant to triumph, I was commanded to take part in the race. I never intended to run for vice president in this election, and I have no intention of doing so now.
Metal entrepreneur and prominent Scott fundraiser Andy Sabin told AWN that he is “disappointed but not surprised” by the senator’s decision to stand down, and that he will now be supporting former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the GOP primary.
Scott kicked off his campaign in May with the goal of bringing a more upbeat message to the Republican field, which had been dominated by individuals like Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who painted a bleak picture of the United States. He frequently recounted his childhood in poverty in South Carolina with his single mother and how he used that to oppose Democratic views on matters ranging from criminal justice to education and economic policy.
He frequently proclaimed, “The truth of my life disrupts their lies,” at political rallies.
After converting his Senate campaign account into a presidential fund, the South Carolina senator joined the race with a considerable financial head start. He was able to get an early start on advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire thanks to his $21 million financial advantage. In the early states, Scott’s TV advertising were so pervasive by the summer that people in the audience at campaign events could recite lines from the ads back to him.
Scott’s campaign staff frequently brought up his financial backing to explain their nomination strategy, saying that they could afford to keep going through the South Carolina primary while their rivals were forced to bow out.
The Scott campaign, however, felt the heat in the fall after the super PAC backing the senator’s White House bid, Trust in the Mission PAC, cancelled the rest of its $40 million TV ad reservation due to problems “breaking through” to Republican voters. The declaration followed the publication of fundraising data that showed the campaign was rapidly depleting its funds.
In response, Scott’s team decided to put all of its resources into the Hawkeye State, including more staff, more TV ads, and more visits. The shift to Iowa coincided with a more combative tone from Scott, who had previously taken a more congenial approach to the campaign but has since become increasingly critical of President Joe Biden and Republican rivals like DeSantis, Haley, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Scott, who was arguably the most visible Black Republican politician in the country, routinely used discussions of race as a way to increase his fundraising and win over people. He used his own life to argue that racism in America was something of the past. Scott made waves at the second Republican primary debate in California when he harshly criticised anti-poverty programmes developed in the 1960s and stated his conviction that America has moved past its history of slavery and Jim Crow-era segregation.
“Black families survived slavery. We got through illiteracy tests and poll taxes. We withstood bigotry being woven into the laws of our country. “What was difficult to endure was [President Lyndon] Johnson’s Great Society, where they decided to… take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail,” Scott stated during the discussion.
Scott, who is a Christian, made his faith a central part of his campaign by frequently referencing Bible texts. The religious voters and community leaders in Iowa who make up a sizable coalition of Republican caucusgoers were a top priority for his campaign. Anti-abortion groups and prominent Christian politicians applauded Scott when he publicly declared his support for a federal ban on abortion beyond 15 weeks and pressured his opponents to do the same.
Scott has been involved in politics since 1995, when he was elected to the Charleston County Council in a special election. He served for over a decade before being elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2008. Scott served one term in the South Carolina state legislature before being elected to represent the state’s 1st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.
Scott was selected by then-governor Haley to fill the seat of retiring Republican senator Jim DeMint in the United States Senate in 2013. Scott has held onto this position from a special election in 2014, first being elected to a full term in 2016, and then again in 2018.
Scott has shown greater willingness than other Republicans to cooperate with Democrats in Washington; he and New Jersey Democrat Sen. Cory Booker spearheaded unsuccessful bipartisan discussions to reform the nation’s policing system. His voting record in Congress is extremely conservative. He rarely disagreed with Trump as president and frequently promoted his conservative views on taxes, criminal justice, and education when campaigning.
Scott’s criticisms on Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, were less harsh than those on the other primary candidates. Although he frequently contended that Trump lacked the support in crucial swing states needed to bring Republicans to victory in a general election, he did express support for initiatives enacted during the Trump administration, most notably the 2017 tax cuts he helped craft in Congress.
You may be wondering, as I have, “What’s the difference between Tim Scott and other candidates, Donald Trump in particular, if you look at the results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada?” Scott spoke to reporters at an Iowa campaign event in October. The difference is that, in my opinion, I am the most electable of the available candidates.
On Sunday, Scott hinted that he would keep searching for “another opportunity” to run for president.
To paraphrase one candidate, “I think the voters, who are the most wonderful people on the earth, have been really explicit that they are telling me, ‘Not now, Tim.’ Trey, I don’t think they’re saying ‘no,’ but I think they’re saying ‘not now,'” Scott remarked. I will, therefore, listen to the voters… and keep up the good work; in the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for another break.