Former President Donald Trump is the leading candidate to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee according to most polls, but the field continues to take shape and another possible entry is moving a step closer to declaring his candidacy.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., launched a presidential exploratory committee Wednesday morning, sharing a video with Fox News that showcases his message of faith, hope, and unity.
The video was recorded near the Fort Sumter National Monument, the island fort where the first battle in the Civil War was fought, with Scott noting that his launch comes on the 162nd anniversary of the start of the Civil War.
“On this day, April 12, 1861, in this harbor, the first shots of the Civil War were fired and our country faced the defining moment: Would we truly be one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all? America’s soul was put to the test – and we prevailed,” he said at the top of the video.
“Scott is on what he calls his ‘Faith in America’ listening tour, which he said would help him decide whether to launch a presidential campaign,” Fox News reported. “The Iowa and New Hampshire visits will be immediately followed by a two-day donor summit in his home state of South Carolina, which votes third in the GOP presidential primary schedule.”
A number of Republican senators support Scott, including Sens. John Thune (S.D.), Mike Rounds (S.D.) and John Cornyn (Texas), according to The Hill. Sens. Kevin Cramer (N.D.) and Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) have reportedly approached Scott as well about a potential run.
The Post and Courier said “the move acts as something of a soft launch for an all-but-certain Scott presidential campaign” and will allow Scott “to raise money that could eventually be transferred to an official presidential campaign.”
In a not-so-flattering comparison, the newspaper noted that Mitt Romney (2012) and John McCain (2008) took a similar path before announcing their presidential bids.
Scott will offer a more positive message than Trump’s populist approach, should he run — then again, Scott has not been persecuted to the extent that the former president has.
“If you want to understand America, you need to start in Charleston; you need to understand and appreciate the devastation brought upon African Americans,” Scott said earlier this year. “But if you stop at our original sin, you have not started the story of America because the story of America is not defined by our original sin. The story of America is defined by our redemption.”
In addition to former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have officially launched campaigns to challenge Trump. Other names being bandied about as possible candidates start with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and include former Vice President Mike Pence, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Oh, and Liz Cheney.
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