On Monday, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott launched his 2024 presidential campaign with a speech at his alma mater Charleston Southern University in his hometown of North Charleston, the Associated Press reported.
In his speech before an enthusiastic crowd at the private Baptist school, Scott offered a message of optimism and compassion, repeatedly mentioning his Christian faith.
In a slight dig at frontrunner Donald Trump, Scott presented what he sees as the challenge Republican voters have in the primary is a choice between “victimhood or victory” and “grievance or greatness.” Scott told the crowd that the country needs a president who can persuade “not just our friends and our base” but can find “common sense” solutions and shows “compassion for people who don’t agree with us.”
The 57-year-old Senator began his campaign with a two-day swing through Iowa and New Hampshire.
His campaign announcement speech began with an opening prayer by South Dakota Senator John Thune who endorsed Scott in the GOP primary. South Dakota’s other senator, Mike Rounds, has also announced his support for Scott’s campaign.
Scott, who easily won reelection to the Senate last November, enters the presidential race with a campaign war chest from his Senate campaign of $22 million, which he can transfer to his presidential coffers.
Currently, Scott is polling in the single digits in national primary polling, with the latest Fox News, Quinnipiac, and CNN polls showing him in 6th place behind Trump, DeSantis, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy. Of those six candidates, only Trump and DeSantis scored double-digit support.
In a statement responding to Scott’s announcement, DNC chair Jaime Harrison, who lost his South Carolina Senate race to Lindsey Graham in 2020, described Senator Scott as a “fierce advocate of the MAGA agenda.”
But Scott’s announcement was quickly overshadowed on Wednesday when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis formally announced his long-anticipated campaign for the GOP nomination. The popular Republican governor hauled in over $1 million in campaign donations during the first hour while launching his campaign during a discussion with Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces.