Suspended by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott on Sunday night his 2024 presidential campaign.
Scott announced his decision on an episode of Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America” with Trey Gowdy.
“I think the voters who are the most wonderful people on the planet are really clear that they’re saying to me, ‘Not now, Tim,'” Scott said.
The senator also emphasized that he has no plans to endorse another candidate in the Republican nomination race.
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“The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in,” he says.
And Scott gave thumbs down to the idea that he could serve as a running mate on the Republican Party’s 2024 national ticket.
“Being vice president was never on my to-do list,” he said.
The news came as a surprise to some of the senator’s staff. Several campaign aides confirmed to Fox News that they were not given a heads-up on Scott’s decision before his live appearance Sunday night.
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Scott, a rising star in the GOP and the only Black Republican in the Senate, launched his presidential campaign in May at an event in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The senator repeatedly presented his “optimistic, positive message anchored in conservatism.”
Scott, standing just a few miles from where he grew up, emphasized that “we live in a land where it is possible for a child raised in poverty by a single mother in a small apartment to serve in the House of People someday and maybe even the white house.”
The senator told Fox News at the time that “I’m stunned at the hunger for something positive as long as it’s anchored in conservatism. As long as you have a backbone.”
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But his positive and uplifting message has failed to resonate in a contested GOP presidential nomination race dominated by former President Donald Trump, who is drawing attention to his grievances as he runs for a third straight term for the White House.
Scott’s early momentum took a hit in the first GOP presidential primary debate in August, where he avoided many verbal fistfights and rarely enjoyed the light of the prime-time spotlight.
He told Fox News after the debate that “the loudest voices often say too little.”
While Scott was more aggressive in the second debate, in late September, he fell further behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is fighting for second place in the Republican primary polls, is far behind Trump.
Scott struggled to make the third debate last week, but ultimately qualified. But he faces a tough task ahead in trying to make the stage in next month’s fourth debate, where donor and poll thresholds are higher to qualify.
Stuck in the low to mid-single digits, Scott’s campaign announced that they are going all out in Iowa — which leads the GOP presidential nominating calendar — at the expense of New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and second general contest on the schedule. of Republicans.
In a sign of things to come, the Scott-aligned super PAC last month canceled its massive ad blitz on behalf of the senator’s 2024 campaign.
And while Scott launched his campaign with a bang — thanks to $22 million left over from his convincing Senate re-election in 2022 — his fundraising in the July-September 2023 third quarter was impressive.
The senator had $14 million in cash on hand remaining at the end of September. And he said in an interview with Fox News Digital on Wednesday night, in the spin room following the third debate in Miami, Florida, that “we still have the most money of any candidate running for president other than Donald Trump.”
But sources in Scott’s political orbit say campaign cash will be an issue going forward.
Just minutes before he announced he was suspending his White House bid, Scott’s campaign sent what was its final fundraising email to supporters, with the subject line “One last chance.”
In response to the news, DeSantis said in a social media post that “Tim Scott is a strong conservative with bold ideas about how to get our country back on track. I respect his courage to run the campaign this and thank him for his service to America and the US Senate. I look forward to Tim’s continued leadership of our party for years to come.”
And Haley wrote that “Tim Scott was a great man of faith and an inspiration to so many. The Republican primary was made better by his participation in it. South Carolina is blessed to continue to have him as our senator.”
Scott and Haley share many of the same friends, allies, and political donors, which has caused some friction out of the spotlight.
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Haley, as governor of South Carolina, in December 2012 nominated Scott, who had just been elected to a second term in the House, to the Senate to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.
Scott won a special election in 2014 to serve out the final two years of DeMint’s term, and won re-election to six-year terms in 2016 and 2022. Scott is not up for re-election until 2026, but said he said last campaign year that this would be his last run for the Senate.
The field of GOP presidential candidates, which swelled to more than a dozen by summer, is growing.
Late last month, former Vice President Mike Pence became the first major Republican presidential candidate to drop out of the 2024 GOP nomination race.
Four GOP contenders who failed to qualify for the debates also ended their presidential bids. They are one-time CIA spies and former three-term Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, business leader and quality control expert Perry Johnson, and 2021 California gubernatorial recall candidate and former conservative talk radio host Larry Elder.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who qualified for the first debate but missed the stage in the second and third showdowns, remains in the race for now.
Hutchinson, whose meager campaign is already running out of cash, said he will reassess his status come Thanksgiving.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who narrowly missed qualifying for Wednesday’s debate, is a multimillionaire thanks to his success in the private sector in the tech industry. He has more than enough resources to stay in the race and continues to campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire, the top two states on the GOP nominating calendar.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is making his second White House run, and multi-millionaire biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who both appeared on stage in the first three debates, also remain in the race for the GOP nomination.
Scott’s Sunday night announcement came after he canceled a campaign swing this weekend in Iowa. His campaign said he had the flu.
During his appearance on Fox News, the senator said he was “looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail” after recovering from the flu. Then he announced that he was suspending his campaign.
His departure from the 2024 race comes less than a week after Scott revealed the woman he was dating.
Scott — a 58-year-old bachelor — teased last summer and fall that he was dating someone and told Iowa in September that it was a “lovely Christian girl.”
After Wednesday’s debate, Scott appeared on stage with the woman – whose name is Mindy Noce.
Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more in our Fox News Digital election hub.