NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Standing in front of a packed gymnasium in his hometown of North Charleston, S.C., Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott formally announced his plans to seek the GOP nomination for president in 2024.
In his announcement on Monday, Scott spoke about his background — growing up impoverished with a single mother — championed the value of earned success, and laid out his vision for America’s future.
Meanwhile, he suggested that the country had become a “nation in retreat” under the Biden Administration and pledged to tackle the border crisis, education, and other key issues on his first days in office.
As Scott wrapped up his remarks, the room was abuzz with supporters, filling Charleston Southern University’s Buccaneer Fieldhouse with chants of “Tim Scott” and “USA.”
“I’ve never known someone personally that has run for president and I’m so proud of him for taking that step,” Sharon Miner said.
Scott’s relationship with Christian faith, which is expected to play an integral role in his campaign, resonated with supporters who came to see the Senate’s only Black Republican punch his ticket for the White House.
“…wanted to be a piece of history today, history in the making, I wanted to be involved with it,” David Baxley said. “…his faith in God and taking the country back to where it was 20 years ago.”
Samuel Link, a first-time voter, and current CSU student, shared that he looked forward to seeing some new faces in the race.
“I’ve gone to the election place with my parents numerous times wanting to vote but I’ve never had a chance to vote,” Link said. “Before I was pretty much annoyed with everyone, but now there’s actually people that I might want to vote for.”
Monday’s announcement also earned praise from several local elected officials, including Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib and Dorchester County Councilwoman Harriet Holman.
“I believe that Tim Scott is the statesman this country has needed for quite some time,” Mayor Habib said. “And I know that I don’t have to compromise my moral compass to vote for Tim Scott.”
“Today was so important to me to be here to let Tim Scott know that I am supporting him and endorsing him to be the next President of the United States,” Holman said.
During his speech, Scott took several jabs at the Democratic Party, arguing that he was “the candidate the far left fears the most.”
Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison hit back in a statement following the rally, claiming that the remarks exemplified Scott’s “extreme record” and left “no question that special interests are celebrating” as the senator jumps into the GOP race.
“Tim Scott wants to govern from the ‘far, conservative right’ as a proud member of the Tea Party, and his extreme record proves it,” Harrison said. “Even before he refused to name a policy difference with Trump, Scott was a fierce advocate of the MAGA agenda – supporting national abortion bans and championing plans to end Medicare and Social Security as we know them. As an ‘architect’ of Trump’s tax law, Scott gifted corporations billions and has been a longtime champion of rolling back regulations on big banks.”
Scott is the sixth major candidate to enter the 2024 Republican presidential primary, joining former President Donald Trump, former S.C. Governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and radio host Larry Elder.
He is expected to make campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire — the first GOP presidential primary states — in the coming days.