GOP Sen. Tim Scott enters 2024 race for US president
The South Carolina senator is the latest Republican to challenge Donald Trump.
Senator Tim Scott declared his candidacy for president on Monday, coming into the 2024 race as the latest GOP challenger to former US President Donald Trump.
"We need a president who persuades not just our friends and our base," he said while addressing his supporters in his hometown.
"We have to have compassion for people who don't agree with us. We have to believe that our ideas are so strong and so powerful and so persuasive that we can actually take it to the highest points in the world and be successful but we also have to be able to take it all the way down to places that today are hopeless and prove that who we are works for all Americans," he added.
"From the time the sun goes down until the sun comes up, Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every single rung of the ladder that helped me climb. And that's why I'm announcing today that I am running for president of the United States of America," he said.
Scott highlighted his ascent from poverty to affluence in his 40-minute announcement speech, claiming that America is not a racist society. It is worth noting that Scott is the sole African-American Republican senator in the United States Senate.
Scott told his supporters, "We need to stop canceling our founding fathers and start celebrating them for the geniuses that they were. They weren't perfect, but they believed that we could become a more perfect union."
A candidate with a little name recognition
Recent polls showcased that Scott is well behind the group of present and future contenders, with support in the low single digits. In contrast, former President Donald Trump's popularity might reach 40 or even 50% at times.
Scott evaded mentioning Trump or any of his opponents in his announcement address. He has stated that Americans want to hear from a candidate that has a good and hopeful outlook on the country. That, of course, does not prevent political attacks, but there were none on Monday.
Scott also revealed one of his campaign stump speech's regular applause lines. With the spotlight now fully on Biden and the Democrats, he's not afraid to engage in the culture wars that have become so prevalent in recent years.
"I will lead a revolution for excellence in our schools. Less C-R-T and more ABCs," adding a pitch for school options for parents. "No child and no child should be forced to attend failing schools simply because they live in the wrong zip code."
Second South Carolina Republican to enter the race
Scott will run with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who announced her campaign in February. Haley appointed him to the Senate to fill a vacancy a little over a decade ago. Both are well-liked in their home state, which is an important early-voting state for both Republicans and Democrats.
The South Carolina primary is the first in the South and frequently places a contender on the route to the nomination. Even yet, an April survey by Winthrop University shows Haley and Scott doing better in South Carolina than they do nationally, although both still lag behind Trump by a large majority.
A war hawk!
The Senator sells himself as a true conservative with a positive story to tell, but his history tells a different story, most notably regarding his stances on foreign policy in West Asia.
He's renowned as a defense hawk, most notably blocking a bill that would have stopped funding for the Iraq war. In May, Scott also approved a Ukraine supply plan.
Read next: Senate votes down repeal of AUMF law authorizing US wars
While Scott backed bipartisan criminal justice reform, he voted against a $550 billion infrastructure plan, a gun safety measure, and last year's government funding deal in the previous two years.
On the US hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, he slammed Biden's choice calling what happened a “crisis which not only empowers the Taliban, but it also sends a message of weakness to our adversaries around the world who will be emboldened to encroach on U.S. allies by this abdication of leadership. Rather than a measured, responsible approach to ending the war in Afghanistan."
At the time, he added, "The Biden administration has presented a false choice between the current total chaos and staying in a ‘forever war'."
Though Scott's tone differs significantly from Trump's, the two politicians' platforms have considerably more similarities. Scott, like Trump, has advocated for a harder approach toward China and stressed the need of stopping migrants from entering the United States. Scott has promised to approve "the most conservative, pro-life legislation" that Congress can adopt on abortion, which will be a major issue in the 2024 race as a result of the Supreme Court's decision last year to overturn Roe v Wade. However, Scott has declined to establish a desired date for a nationwide abortion ban.
Scott's acceptance of his opponent's record has fueled suspicion that this White House candidacy is only a ruse to increase his prospects of becoming Trump's running mate, though the Senator has refuted such claims.