South Carolina U.S. Senator, Timothy Eugene Scott, mainly known as “Tim” Scott, has officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections. He officially became a challenger to GOP frontrunner, former President Trump, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, consistently ranking as the top alternative. Scott, the Senate’s only Black Republican, in an announcement speech in North Charleston, balanced his faith and his family’s story with attacks on Democratic President Joe Biden’s record. “I am living proof that America is the land of opportunity, not a land of oppression,” as Scott asserted. He further continued his passionate speech by saying:
“Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every rung of the ladder that helped me climb, and that is why I am announcing today that I am running for President of the United States of America!”
Trump has continued to relitigate his 2020 election loss to President Biden as he repeats his unproven claims that his defeat was due to an election ‘stolen” through “massive voter fraud.” And the former president’s listing of his many legal grievances also became a campaign staple this year. Scott is persuaded that he can be a real alternative to President Trump. He emphasized this sentiment by stating the following:
“What I’ve seen in Iowa and New Hampshire is that voters are thrilled to have a conversation about optimism, a conversation about how to move this country forward together.”
Shortly after his exploratory committee announcement, Scott struggled to answer specific questions about abortion restrictions. While he said he would “sign the most conservative pro-life legislation that they can get through Congress,” he added: “I’m not going to talk about six or five or seven or 10.” Scott, however, has said he would sign a 15-week national ban.
The South Carolina Republican starts the race with $22 million from his Senate campaigns and has already made a $5.5 million ad buy in Iowa and New Hampshire that will run through the first GOP debate, currently scheduled for August. Ahead of Monday’s announcement, senior campaign officials touted Scott’s fundraising prowess, saying they think he has enough resources to be up on air between the day he announces until the New Hampshire primary starts.
The deeply religious 57-year-old former insurance broker has made his grandfather’s work in the cotton fields of the Deep South a bedrock of his political identity. Yet he rejects the notion that racism remains a powerful force in society because it isn’t. Scott believes that if racism was such a powerful force, he would have never been elected a U.S. Senator, especially from a state that is known for having practiced slavery and Jim Crow. He has cast his candidacy and rise from generational poverty as the realization of a dream only possible in America.
Scott’s political presence and messaging, which champions themes of unity and optimism, also stands in stark contrast to the strident and polarizing rhetorical approach being practiced by much of the rest of the Republican field. In a hint at how Trump perceived Scott’s potential threat to his candidacy, the former president took the senator’s presidential announcement as yet another opportunity to attack DeSantis. He claimed: “Tim is a big step up from Ron DeSanctimonious, who is totally unelectable.” He then added: “Good luck Tim!” The first Republican primary debate is expected to take place in August. We will see how Scott performs against Trump and DeSantis.