South Carolina Senator Tim Scott Unexpectedly Withdraws from 2024 Presidential Race, Leaving His Team Astonished

by Ryan Lee
2024 Republican Presidential Race

In a surprising turn of events late Sunday, Republican presidential hopeful Tim Scott announced his withdrawal from the 2024 presidential race. This unexpected decision left his donors perplexed and his campaign team in shock, especially as the Iowa GOP caucuses, marking the start of voting, are only two months away.

Joining the race in May with considerable optimism, the South Carolina senator made this unforeseen announcement on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Night in America,” hosted by Trey Gowdy, a close ally. The abruptness of the news was such that some of his campaign staff learned of his decision while watching the program, as one of them disclosed to The Big Big News.

“Today, my love for America is even stronger than it was on May 22,” declared Scott on Sunday. “However, my next visit to Iowa won’t be as a presidential candidate. I am halting my campaign. It seems the voters, whom I regard as the most extraordinary people globally, have unequivocally indicated that now is not my time.”

Scott’s withdrawal occurs amid a struggling GOP field, overshadowed by former President Donald Trump’s dominant presence. Despite facing four criminal indictments and numerous legal hurdles, Trump maintains a significant lead in the polls. This dominance has led many within the party to consider the race virtually decided, barring an unexpected turn of events.

Scott particularly struggled to gain momentum in the polls, despite significant investment from prominent donors. His attempts to maintain a positive campaign often saw him being eclipsed by other contenders, especially during debates where he appeared less visible. His participation in the upcoming fourth debate was uncertain due to requirements for higher poll numbers and increased donor support.

Scott becomes the second major figure to exit the race since late October, following former Vice President Mike Pence, who suspended his campaign, acknowledging that “This is not my time.” Pence was lagging behind Scott in the polls and faced a more challenging financial situation.

Declining to endorse any remaining Republican candidates immediately, Scott stated, “The voters are highly astute. The most helpful thing I can do is not to influence their choice of endorsement.”

He also dismissed the possibility of accepting a vice-presidential nomination, clarifying that it was never an objective of his campaign and remains off his agenda.

With Scott’s departure, Nikki Haley, Trump’s former United Nations ambassador and ex-South Carolina governor, is now the sole South Carolinian in the race. Their concurrent candidacies had previously caused discomfort among donors and supporters, as both have shared a long-standing alliance and, at one time, political consultants. This overlap led to tense exchanges in the first three GOP debates. Following Scott’s announcement, some of his backers indicated a shift in support to Haley.

On X, Haley lauded Scott as “a man of faith and an inspiration,” acknowledging that his involvement enriched the GOP primary.

Just minutes before his announcement, Scott’s campaign was still actively soliciting donations, underscoring his “strong leadership and optimistic vision.” However, campaign staff members expressed their frustration to the AP, especially considering the recent strategic shift of resources and manpower from New Hampshire to Iowa to bolster his caucus prospects.

A senior campaign staff member described the situation as incredibly frustrating, given the extensive efforts to support the strategic shift, only to have it abruptly reversed.

Many donors expressed disappointment at Scott’s decision but commended him for his dignified exit, allowing the party to unify behind an alternative to Trump.

Eric Levine, a New York donor and vocal Trump critic, praised Scott for his honorable exit and declared his support for Haley as the best candidate to defeat Trump and reclaim the White House.

Chad Walldorf, a South Carolina businessman and Scott supporter, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need for the GOP to quickly rally behind a strong Trump alternative.

Mikee Johnson, a South Carolina businessman and Scott’s national finance co-chairman, was aware of Scott’s impending withdrawal before the TV announcement. He commended Scott’s honor and readiness for the next phase of his career.

Several of Scott’s former rivals in the 2024 race expressed their good wishes on social media. DeSantis recognized him as a “strong conservative with bold ideas,” and Pence praised him as “a man of faith and integrity.”

Trump’s campaign did not immediately comment on Scott’s exit, though Trump had previously refrained from criticizing the senator, hinting at possible consideration for a vice-presidential role.

Scott’s future plans remain uncertain. He has indicated that his 2022 Senate reelection would be his last, and he has been mentioned as a potential candidate for South Carolina governor, with the next election scheduled for 2026. The GOP primary for this position is anticipated to be highly competitive, with current Governor Henry McMaster, a Trump supporter, being term-limited.

Jill Colvin and Steve Peoples of Big Big News in New York contributed to this report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tim Scott 2024 Presidential Withdrawal

Why did Senator Tim Scott withdraw from the 2024 presidential race?

Senator Tim Scott unexpectedly withdrew from the 2024 presidential race, citing voter feedback and a realization that it was not his time. He made this decision known on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Night in America,” surprising even his campaign staff.

What impact did Donald Trump have on Tim Scott’s decision to withdraw?

Donald Trump’s strong polling numbers and dominant presence in the GOP field significantly impacted the dynamics of the race. Despite legal challenges, Trump’s lead led many to believe the race was effectively decided, contributing to Scott’s decision to withdraw.

How did Tim Scott’s campaign staff react to his withdrawal?

Tim Scott’s campaign staff were taken aback by his sudden withdrawal, with some learning about it only during his announcement on television. This left them frustrated, especially after recent efforts to reallocate resources for better standings in the Iowa caucuses.

Will Tim Scott endorse another candidate in the 2024 presidential race?

As of his announcement, Tim Scott stated he would not immediately endorse any of his Republican rivals. He emphasized the intelligence of voters and expressed his intention to remain neutral to allow voters to make their own choices.

What are Tim Scott’s future plans after withdrawing from the presidential race?

Tim Scott’s future plans remain uncertain. He has mentioned that his 2022 Senate reelection would be his last, and he has been speculated as a potential candidate for South Carolina governor in 2026. However, he has not made any official declarations regarding his political future.

More about Tim Scott 2024 Presidential Withdrawal

  • Tim Scott’s Presidential Campaign Withdrawal
  • Impact of Trump’s Dominance in GOP Race
  • Reactions to Tim Scott’s Sudden Exit
  • 2024 Republican Presidential Candidates
  • Future Political Prospects for Tim Scott

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Mark_in_SC November 13, 2023 - 1:19 pm

its a shame, I really thought Scott had a shot. But politics is unpredictable, these days even more so.

JennySmith78 November 13, 2023 - 2:11 pm

wow didnt see this coming, Tim Scott always seemed like a strong contender? Guess Trumps still the big name in GOP, huh?

CryptoKing November 13, 2023 - 2:34 pm

Surprised by Scott’s move but maybe it’s for the best, the field is too crowded anyway. Wonder who he’ll endorse now…

NewsJunkie24 November 13, 2023 - 3:39 pm

honestly, Scott’s campaign never really took off like some thought it would. Maybe its not his time yet, or maybe he’s eyeing something else? Governor maybe?


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