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Tim Scott Abandons 2024 Presidential Bid

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican presidential hopeful Tim Scott revealed late Sunday his decision to withdraw from the 2024 race, approximately two months ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

The South Carolina senator, who kicked off his campaign in May with enthusiasm, made the unexpected announcement on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Night in America” with Trey Gowdy, a close friend. The news was so sudden that a campaign worker informed The Associated Press that the staff learned about Scott’s withdrawal by watching the show. The worker spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations publicly.

“I love America more today than I did on May 22,” Scott said on Sunday. “But when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign. 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.’”

Scott’s decision comes as he and the rest of the GOP field have faced challenges in a race dominated by former President Donald Trump. Despite facing four criminal indictments and other legal challenges, Trump continues to lead the polls by a significant margin, leading many in the party to believe the race is effectively over unless there is a surprising turn of events.

Scott struggled to gain traction in the polls, despite substantial financial support from high-profile donors. His efforts to run a positive campaign were often overshadowed by other candidates, particularly on the debate stage, where he seemed to fade into the background while others engaged in heated discussions. It remained uncertain whether Scott would qualify for the fourth debate, which requires higher polling numbers and more unique donors.

Scott is the second major candidate to exit the race since the end of October. Former Vice President Mike Pence suspended his campaign two weeks ago, acknowledging at a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas, “This is not my time.” Pence, however, was polling behind Scott and faced a more precarious financial situation, accruing debt more than two months before the Iowa caucuses that he had pinned his hopes on.

Scott stated that he would not immediately endorse any of his remaining Republican rivals.

“The voters are really smart,” Scott said. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”

He also appeared to rule out serving as vice president, stating that the No. 2 position “has never been on my to-do list for this campaign, and it’s certainly not there now.”

Scott‘s withdrawal leaves Nikki Haley, Trump’s first United Nations ambassador and the former South Carolina governor, as the lone South Carolinian in the race. Haley appointed Scott to the Senate in 2012 when she was governor, and the fact that both of them were in the 2024 race created discomfort for many donors and voters who had supported them both throughout the years.

It also led to unpleasant moments during the first three GOP debates, with the former allies exchanging tense remarks.

In a post on X on Sunday night, Haley called Scott “a good man of faith and an inspiration to so many,” adding that the GOP primary “was made better by his participation in it.”

Scott, a deeply religious former insurance broker, emphasized his grandfather’s work in the cotton fields of the Deep South as a foundation of his political identity and his presidential campaign. However, he refused to shape his life story around the country’s racial disparities, asserting that those who disagree with his views on the issue are trying to “weaponize race to divide us,” and that “the truth of my life disproves their lies.”

He aimed to focus on hopeful themes and avoid divisive language to set himself apart from rivals favoring grievance-based politics, including Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Scott‘s team was so surprised by his exit that just 13 minutes before announcing his departure, his campaign sent out an email soliciting supporters for donations to further Scott’s “strong leadership and optimistic, positive vision to lead our country forward.” Saying that “EVERYTHING is on the line” to…

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