Tim Scott, the only Black Republican senator and the first Black senator from South Carolina, announced that he was dropping out of the 2024 presidential race on Sunday. He said that he did not see any path to the nomination, as Donald Trump remained the frontrunner in the polls.
“I am proud of the campaign we ran, and I am grateful for the support of so many Americans across the country. But after much prayer and reflection, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today,” Scott said in a statement.
Scott launched his campaign in May, promising a positive and optimistic vision for America. He touted his personal story of rising from poverty to success, and his legislative achievements on criminal justice reform, opportunity zones, and school choice. He also highlighted his role as the lead negotiator for the Republicans on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed in August.
However, Scott failed to gain traction with the Republican base, and resorted to more divisive rhetoric in recent months. He made several controversial statements during his campaign, which drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. He said that slavery was not a racist institution, but a necessary evil. He also blamed the Great Society programs of the 1960s for creating a culture of dependency among Black Americans. He also accused President Joe Biden of being weak on foreign policy, especially on China and Iran.
Scott’s departure leaves a crowded field of Republicans vying to challenge Trump, who has not formally announced his candidacy but has hinted at running again. Among them are former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.
Scott’s exit may benefit other candidates who are trying to challenge Trump, especially those who are also from the South or have appeal to evangelical voters. Scott had endorsed Pence before launching his own bid, and he may throw his support behind him again. Alternatively, he may back DeSantis, who has emerged as a rising star in the party and a fierce defender of Trump.
Scott said that he would continue to serve in the Senate and fight for the conservative values that he believes in. He also thanked his family, friends, staff, and supporters for their loyalty and encouragement.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve this great nation, and I will never stop working to make it a more perfect union,” Scott said.
– Tim Scott suspends 2024 GOP primary bid, The Hill, November 12, 2023
– Tim Scott, lone Black Republican in US Senate, ends White House bid, Reuters, November 13, 2023
– Tim Scott suspends presidential bid as Trump leads Republican pack, The Guardian, November 12, 2023
– Tim Scott Drops Out of 2024 Race, Townhall, November 12, 2023