Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina has announced the suspension of his presidential campaign in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, leaving many of his aides and donors taken aback. While Scott expressed his deep love for America, he revealed that his return to Iowa would not be as a presidential candidate.
The timing of the announcement came as a surprise, as insiders suggest that even though Scott faced an uphill battle in the GOP primary, no advance notice was given. His campaign had been grappling with the challenge of qualifying for the upcoming Republican debate, having been the last candidate to meet the donor and polling requirements for the previous debate.
Despite his hope for a strong debate performance to revitalize his campaign, Scott acknowledged that the desired momentum did not materialize. By exiting the race at this juncture, he can avoid an embarrassing finish in Iowa and preserve the possibility of a future political endeavor. Additionally, this move allows him to avoid the scrutiny of Donald Trump, should the former president become the GOP nominee.
Scott clarified that he will not endorse another Republican candidate in the primary, asserting that his best way to be helpful is by abstaining from endorsements. He also reiterated his lack of interest in accepting a vice presidential nomination, emphasizing that his campaign was driven by the desire to be president, not vice president.
Scott’s campaign, launched in May, aimed to bring an optimistic message to the Republican field, diverging from the narratives of other prominent figures like Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who portrayed the nation as in decline. He prominently featured his personal story of rising from poverty in South Carolina, raised by a single mother, to counter Democratic arguments on various issues, including criminal justice, education, and economic policy.