The 2024 GOP Race Just Got More Interesting

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina officially files the paperwork to run in 2024
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2023 7:48 AM CDT
Updated May 19, 2023 10:55 AM CDT
The 2024 GOP Race Just Got More Interesting
Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, gives a speech at a Black History Month dinner hosted by the Charleston County GOP on Feb. 16, 2023, in Charleston, SC.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
UPDATE May 19, 2023 10:55 AM CDT

He's in. GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina filed the paperwork Friday to run for president in 2024 with the Federal Election Commission, reports CNN. Scott, the only Black Republican senator, is expected to have a traditional campaign launch on Monday. The paperwork isn't the only Scott development: He is about to roll out a $6 million ad campaign in the early primary states of New Hampshire and Iowa, per the Hill.

Apr 12, 2023 7:48 AM CDT

It looks like former President Trump will have another big-name challenger for the GOP nomination. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott launched a presidential exploratory committee on Wednesday, reports Politico. While not an official entry into the 2024 race, that final step is now seen as a mere formality. A look at coverage:

  • The launch: The 57-year-old Scott is described by the New York Times as the "most prominent Black leader in the Republican Party." He is also currently the only Black Republican in the Senate. In his launch video, Scott said he hoped to heal the nation's divisions, per the Washington Post. He accused President Biden and Democrats of fostering a "culture of grievance" and "victimhood."
  • A theme: “All too often when (Democrats) get called out for their failures, they weaponize race to divide us, to hold onto their power,” Scott said in the video. “When I fought back against their liberal agenda, they called me a prop. A token. Because I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control. They know the truth of my life disproves their lies.” At another point, he declared, "Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”

  • Echoing that: Axios notes that Scott, who was raised by a single mom and overcame poverty to reach the Senate, sounded a similar theme in a February speech. "The story of America isn’t the original sin, it’s about redemption," he said. "We have to stop buying the lie that this is the worst time in American history."
  • The choice: The Post and Courier of South Carolina sees Scott's near-entry into the race as one that sets up a choice for GOP voters. He often refers to the GOP as the "great opportunity" party. Thus, his "first—and perhaps greatest—challenge will be testing if Republican primary voters want the optimistic vision Scott is selling over the us-versus-them rhetoric coming from repeat favorite Donald Trump."
  • Trump: The former president endorsed Scott in his 2022 reelection, and the senator has been "largely supportive" of Trump while in office, per the Post. However, Scott has publicly rebuked Trump on a few occasions, including when Trump referred to "very fine people on both sides" in the Charlottesville white-supremacist rally of 2017. He also accused Trump of "unacceptable personal attacks" when the then-president said four Democratic congresswomen (including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) should "go back" to their native countries.
  • Same state: Scott's move sets up an unusual South Carolina showdown: Former Gov. Nikki Haley already is in the race, and she appointed Scott to the Senate back in 2012. Also in the race is former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, while Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, John Bolton, and Mike Pompeo are among those expected to enter later.
(More Tim Scott stories.)

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