Republican Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott suspended his 2024 presidential Sunday evening.
Senator Scott announced his decision on Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America” with Trey Gowdy.
“I think the voters who are the most remarkable people on the planet have been really clear that they’re telling me, ‘Not now, Tim,’” said Scott.
He noted no plans to endorse another candidate in the GOP nomination race.
Scott gave a thumbs down to the idea he might serve as the running mate on the Republican Party’s 2024 national ticket.
“Being vice president has never been on my to-do list,” said the senator.
The news came as a surprise to some of Scott’s staff. A handful of campaign aides confirmed they weren’t informed of the decision before his live Sunday night appearance.
Senator Scott is a rising star in the GOP and the only Black Republican senator. He launched his presidential campaign in May at an event in North Charleston, South Carolina. He has repeatedly showcased his “optimistic, positive message anchored in conservatism.”
Scott, who made the announcement only a few miles from where he grew up, highlighted, “We live in the land where it is possible for a kid raised in poverty by a single mother in a small apartment to one day serve in the People’s House and maybe even the White House.”
At the time, Senator Scott said, “I’m stunned at the hunger for something positive as long as it’s anchored in conservatism. As long as you have a backbone.”
However, his uplifting and positive message failed to resonate in a contentious Republican presidential nomination race dominated by former President Donald Trump, who is focusing on his grievances as he runs for a third straight time for the White House.
Senator Scott’s early momentum took an early hit at the first Republican presidential primary debate in August, where he avoided several verbal disputes and rarely enjoyed the prime-time spotlight. After the debate, he said, “The loudest voices too often say too little.”
Scott fell further behind after the second debate
Although Scott came out more aggressively in the second debate, he fell further behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor, and former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who are jostling for second place in the GOP primary polls, lagging far behind Trump.
Senator Scott struggled to qualify for last week’s debate but ultimately qualified. However, he faced a difficult task in trying to make the stage at the fourth debate next month, where the polling and donor thresholds to qualify are higher.
While mired in the low-to-mid single digits, the senator’s campaign announced they were going all-in on Iowa — leading off the Republican presidential nominating calendar — at the expense of New Hampshire, which hosts the first primary and second overall contest in the GOP schedule.
The senator had $14 million cash remaining at the end of September. He touted that “we still have the most money of any candidate running for president other than Donald Trump” during an interview Wednesday night following the third debate.
Sources in Senator Scott’s political orbit say the campaign cash would be an issue moving forward.
Only moments before the senator announced suspending his bid for the presidency, Scott’s campaign sent out what would ultimately be the final fundraising email to supporters, with a subject line reading, “One last chance.”
DeSantis, when reacting to the news, said in a post 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.”
Haley wrote, “Tim Scott is a good man of faith and an inspiration to so many. The Republican primary was made better by his participation in it. South Carolina is blessed to continue to have him as our senator.” Haley and Scott share many of the same allies, donors, and political friends, which caused friction away from the spotlight.
As governor of South Carolina, Haley named Scott, who had only recently been elected to a second term in the House, to the Senate to succeed retiring GOP Senator Jim DeMint in December 2012.
The senator won a special election in 2014 to serve the final two years of DeMint’s term and won re-election to two six-year terms in 2016 and 2022. Senator Scott is not up for re-election until 2026; however, he said during his campaign last year that it would be his final run for the Senate.
The field of Republican presidential contenders, which grew to over a dozen by the summer, is narrowing.
Scott’s announcement came after he canceled a campaign swing over the weekend in Iowa. His campaign maintained he had come down with the flu.
During his appearance, Senator Scott said he was “looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail” after he recovered from the flu. He then broke the news that he was suspending his campaign.