US Senator Tim Scott withdraws from presidential race

Tim Scott has not endorsed any of the remaining candidates. Credit - Reuters

US Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina has withdrawn from the 2024 presidential race.

His campaign aimed to make history by securing the Republican nomination, potentially making him the first African-American nominee from the party.

He told Fox News: “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.’”

Despite being well-funded, Tim Scott’s presidential campaign failed to gain significant traction in opinion polls. He has not thrown his support behind any of the remaining candidates and has explicitly ruled out running for the vice-presidency.

“I’ll be honest with you: I ran for president to be president,” he told Fox host and personal friend Trey Gowdy in the interview on Sunday, saying being vice-president was not on his “to-do list”.

Republican Senator Tim Scott, who entered the presidential race in May, positioned himself as a deeply conservative candidate aiming to bridge political divides in the United States, differentiating himself from former President Donald Trump. His campaign centered on a positive message, vowing to reinvigorate the American ethos of greatness and highlighting his personal narrative as a realization of the American dream.

The 58-year-old, the grandson of a Southern cotton field laborer, spoke of his upbringing by a single mother and the generational rise from cotton fields to Congress within his family.

Despite this optimistic vision, his withdrawal from the presidential campaign followed the third debate in Miami. In these debates, he struggled to stand out among other candidates, failing to resonate with voters. His chances of qualifying for the upcoming Republican debate on December 6 seemed uncertain.

As Mr. Trump maintained a commanding lead over other Republican contenders, he chose not to partake in the televised debates, further altering the dynamics of the Republican race.

The decision to suspend his campaign came unexpectedly for many of Scott’s team members, as reported by the BBC’s US media partner CBS.

Mr. Scott’s departure marks the second high-profile exit from the crowded 2024 US presidential race. Former Vice-President Mike Pence, aged 64, withdrew from the race in late October after encountering difficulties in securing Republican voters’ support.

Mr. Scott’s decision to exit the race comes just two months before the start of the presidential primary season in Iowa. A recent CBS News/YouGov poll indicated that he only had the support of 4% of voters, placing him in fifth place in the Republican race and trailing behind Mr. Trump.

Several major donors who had previously supported Mr. Scott, a US senator since 2013, have now shifted their allegiance to former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who hails from South Carolina as well.

In a Sunday night post on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, Ms Haley called Mr Scott “a good man of faith and an inspiration to so many”.

“The Republican primary was made better by his participation in it.”


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