Tim Scott Launches Run: It's 'Grievance or Greatness'

GOP has to choose, South Carolina senator says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2023 1:09 PM CDT
Tim Scott Officially Launches White House Bid
Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott hugs his mother Frances Scott after announcing his candidacy for president of the United States on the campus of Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, SC, Monday, May 22, 2023.   (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott launched his presidential campaign on Monday, offering an optimistic and compassionate message he's hoping can contrast the two figures who have used political combativeness to dominate the early GOP primary field: former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Scott, the Senate's only Black Republican, kicked off the campaign in his hometown of North Charleston at Southern University, his alma mater and a private school affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the reports. At one point, he summoned his mother to the stage and gave her flowers and at times offered stirring oratory reminiscent of church, leading the crowed in chants of “Let's Go!”

But Scott also said “our party and our nation are standing at a time for choosing: victimhood or victory?" He added that Republicans will also have to decide between "grievance or greatness." "I choose freedom and hope and opportunity," Scott said. He went on to the crowd that, "We need a president who persuades not just our friends and our base" but seeks "commonsense" solutions and displays “compassion for people who don't agree with us." Scott, 57, planned to huddle with home-state donors later Monday then begin a whirlwind, two-day campaign swing to Iowa and New Hampshire, which go first in GOP presidential primary voting.

His announcement gathering included an opening prayer by Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate Republican, who said, "I think our country is ready to be inspired again." A number of high-profile GOP senators have already backed Trump’s third bid for the White House, though, including Scott’s South Carolina colleague, Lindsey Graham. Trump nonetheless struck a conciliatory tone to start, welcoming Scott to the race in an online post Monday and noting that the pair worked together on his administration's signature tax cut.

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A source of strength for Scott, who filed paperwork to run last week, will be his campaign bank account. He enters the 2024 race with more cash on hand than any other presidential candidate in US history, with $22 million left in his campaign bank account at the end of his 2022 campaign that he can transfer to his presidential coffers. It’s enough money, his team says, to keep Scott on the air with continuous TV ads in early voting states until the first round of votes next year.

(More Tim Scott stories.)

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