July 16, 2024

A winnowing is always expected after each Republican presidential candidate debate. The third GOP confab on Wednesday clearly defined Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley as the top two contenders, with everyone else trailing behind them. Current numbers for South Carolina Senator Tim Scott still show him at one percent, so his being the next in line to drop was inevitable. On Sunday night, Sen. Scott announced he was suspending his presidential campaign:

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Republican presidential contender Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has dropped out of the 2024 GOP primary, the latest high-profile exit from the race. 

Scott made the announcement on Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy,” the host himself a former Republican South Carolina congressman who wrote a book with Scott.

“I love America more today than I did on May 22nd, but when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign,” Scott told Gowdy. “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 campaign focused on American exceptionalism and a return to traditional U.S. values. Sadly, this message appeared out of place at a time when there are many factions seeking to define American principles and fighting against upholding America as that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan spoke so eloquently about. The Associated Press reported that Scott’s campaign staffers did not have advance knowledge of him dropping out of the race. They also heard it for the first time when he appeared on his friend Trey Gowdy’s show. 

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I think Tim Scott is a decent man. But his candidacy was ruined by bad advice from people who were willing to push him too far away from who he really is. His campaign was terrible to deal with. I’ve heard complaints about it from his own people. We had a hard time dealing with them ourselves as we tried to book an interview that never happened. They stalled and stalled and stalled until it just wasn’t going to happen.

Scott’s withdrawal came soon after the third debate, where he was unable to build momentum for his effort:

The announcement came just days after the third GOP primary debate.

Over the summer, Scott showed some signs of momentum in early state polling briefly as the Florida governor [Ron DeSantis] struggled to narrow the gap between himself and former President Trump.

And the gap still has not been narrowed. As things stand, former President Donald J. Trump, who still refuses to attend any of the GOP debates, is the frontrunner and the one to beat for the Republican nomination. Scott has yet to endorse a candidate for president and denied that he wants to be a vice presidential pick.

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

In 2016, it was a game changer when Dr. Ben Carson threw his weight behind Donald Trump rather than the presumed choice of Sen. Ted Cruz. Scott is a sitting senator with clout and still a potential for No. 2 on any presidential ticket (whether he wants it or not). So, all eyes will be focused on who he chooses to throw his weight behind.

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