Published On:

Tim Scott drops out of the 2024 presidential race

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina announced Sunday night that he is dropping out of the 2024 presidential campaign.

“When I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign,” Scott said in an appearance on former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Fox News program.

“I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they’re telling me: not now,” Scott continued.

The announcement was a surprise: Gowdy appeared to do a double-take as Scott made his statement on the program, and multiple Scott staffers told NBC News they only found out the campaign was ending by watching the candidate say so on TV.

Scott’s campaign even sent out a fundraising email not long before he announced he was leaving the race. “We want to give you ONE LAST CHANCE to donate this weekend and help Tim reach his campaign goal. Can you chip in to help Tim win?” the campaign wrote.

His decision comes days after the third Republican presidential debate in Miami, after which the South Carolina senator canceled a scheduled weekend campaign swing in Iowa, citing the flu.

Scott started the 2024 campaign relatively little-known compared to some of his competitors. But his campaign and an allied super PAC spent nearly $25 million on ads in Iowa and other early states promoting him as an optimistic conservative, according to AdImpact, an ad-tracking service. Scott saw an uptick in early-state polls soon through the summer.

But he never caught fire in the GOP debates, and his poll numbers stagnated as an in-state rival caught attention. Scott is dropping out of the presidential race just as former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has pulled into second place in early-state primary polls.

Last month, Scott’s super PAC canceled millions of dollars in planned fall advertising, saying the Republican electorate wasn’t “focused or ready for a Trump alternative.”

Scott indicated in the interview with Gowdy that he wasn’t looking to endorse one of his former rivals at this time.

“I’m going to recommend that the voters study each candidate and their candidacies and frankly, their past and make a decision for the future of the country,” Scott said. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”

And Scott seemed disinterested in the idea of becoming a candidate for vice president later on in the campaign. “Vice president has never been on my to-do list for this campaign, and it’s certainly not there now,” Scott told Gowdy.

Scott’s departure from the race comes after another well-known candidate dropped out. Former Vice President Mike Pence also suspended his campaign in late October, as the Republican presidential field winnows down.

Several of the South Carolinian’s now former 2024 rivals have reacted to the news on social media.

“Tim Scott is a strong conservative with bold ideas about how to get our country back on track. I respect his courage to run this campaign and thank him for his service to America and the U.S. Senate. I look forward to Tim continuing to be a leader in our party for years to come,” Flordia Gov. Ron DeSantis posted on X.

Vivek Ramaswamy praised Scott as a “good dude,” before referencing an interaction the two had on stage during last week’s Republican debate (and taking a dig at Haley).

“I gave @SenatorTimScott a congratulatory [gold fistbump emoji]  on stage when the other South Carolinian shamelessly copied *exactly* what he said,” Ramaswamy posted on X. “Wishing Tim all the best back in the U.S. Senate.”

Source link