South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott on Sunday evening suspended his 2024 presidential campaign.
Scott announced the news on an episode of 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,’” Scott said.
The senator also emphasized he has no plans to endorse another candidate in the Republican nomination race.
“The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in,” he said.
And Scott gave a thumbs down to the idea that he could serve as the running mate on the Republican Party’s 2024 national ticket.
“Being vice president has never been on my to-do list,” he said.
Scott, a rising star in the GOP and the only Black Republican in the Senate, launched his presidential campaign in May at an event in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The senator repeatedly showcased his “optimistic, positive message anchored in conservatism.”
Scott, standing just a few miles from where he grew up, highlighted that “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.”
The senator told Fox News at the time that “I’m stunned at the hunger for something positive as long as its anchored in conservatism. As long as you have a backbone.”
But his positive and uplifting message failed to resonate in a combative GOP presidential nomination race dominated by former President Donald Trump, who is spotlighting his grievances as he runs a third straight time for the White House.
Scott’s early momentum took a hit at the first GOP presidential primary debate in August, where he avoided the numerous verbal fistfights and rarely enjoyed the glare of the prime-time spotlight.
He told Fox News after the debate that “the loudest voices too often say too little.”
While Scott was more aggressive in the second debate, in late September, he had fallen further behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who are battling for second place in the Republican primary polls, far behind Trump.
Scott struggled to make last week’s third debate, but ultimately qualified. But he faced a tough task ahead in trying to make the stage at next month’s fourth debate, where the donor and polling thresholds to qualify are higher.
In a sign of things to come, the Scott-aligned super PAC late last month canceled its massive ad blitz on behalf of the senator’s 2024 campaign.
And while Scott launched his campaign with a formidable war-chest – thanks to $22 million left over from his convincing 2022 Senate re-election – his fundraising in the July-September third quarter of 2023 was anything but impressive.
The senator had $14 million cash on hand left as of the end of September. And he touted in a Fox News Digital interview on Wednesday night, in the spin room following the third debate in Miami, Florida, that “we still have the most money of any candidate running for president other than Donald Trump.”
But sources in Scott’s political orbit say that campaign cash was going to be an issue going forward.
Reacting to the news, DeSantis said in a social media post that “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.”
And Haley wrote that “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.”
Scott and Haley share many of the same political friends, allies, and donors, which caused some friction away from the spotlight.
Haley, as South Carolina governor, in December 2012 named Scott, who had just been elected to a second term in the House, to the Senate to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.
Scott won a special election in 2014 to serve the last two years of DeMint’s term, and won re-election to six-year terms in 2016 and 2022. Scott is not up for re-election until 2026, but he said during last year’s campaign that it would be his last election for the Senate.
The field of GOP presidential contenders, which ballooned to over a dozen by the summer, is winnowing.
Late last month, former Vice President Mike Pence became the first major Republican presidential candidate to drop out of the 2024 GOP nomination race.
Four GOP contenders who failed to qualify for the debates also ended their presidential bids. They are one-time CIA spy and former three-term Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, business leader and quality control expert Perry Johnson, and 2021 California gubernatorial recall election candidate and former conservative talk radio host Larry Elder.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who qualified for the first debate but didn’t make the stage at the second and third showdowns, remains in the race for now.
Hutchinson, whose shoestring campaign is running low on cash, has said he will reevaluate his standing come Thanksgiving.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who narrowly missed qualifying for Wednesday’s debate, is a multimillionaire due to his private sector success in the tech industry. He has more than ample resources to stay in the race and continues to campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two lead-off states in the GOP nominating calendar.
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