Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) on May 25 cautioned that Democrats could weaponize “everything” Republican presidential candidates said about each other against them all.
“I think the road to socialism runs right through a divided Republican Party,” Scott told Fox News when asked about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ entry into the GOP presidential field.
“Everything we say about each other, the Democrats will weaponize against all of us, no matter who the nominee is.”
Scott, who filed paperwork to run for president in 2024 last Friday, has largely refrained from targeting his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination. Instead, he often takes aim at Democrats, namely President Joe Biden.
“I’m going to focus on the real problem in America. The real problem in America is the feckless leadership of Joe Biden,” he said Thursday.
During the first campaign speech in his home state of North Charleston on May 22, Scott didn’t mention former President Donald Trump or any other GOP presidential hopefuls. He attempted to cast himself as an optimist who could take on “the radical left.”
“I’m the candidate the far-left fears the most,” Scott told the crowd at Charleston Southern University, his alma mater and a private school affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
“When I cut your taxes, they called me a prop. When I re-funded the police, they called me a token. When I pushed back on President Biden, they even called me the n-word. I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control. The truth of my life disproves their lies,” Scott said.
He took another swipe at Biden, whom he called “weak.”
“Our nation, our values, and our people are strong,” Scott said on Monday, adding “but our president is weak.”
“This administration has taxed, borrowed, and spent trillions of dollars trying to replace a hand up with handouts. All they bought us was crushing inflation that has devastated families like mine.”
The Senate’s sole black Republican, Scott criticized the Democrats for trying to weaponize race by portraying nonwhite citizens as politically oppressed.
“They are using the issue of race to control the outcome of elections to protect themselves,” Scott told voters in Sioux City, Iowa, on May 24. “I oftentimes hear the left weaponizing race whenever they are in the midst of a losing streak. Something becomes racist. I think it cheapens the entire conversation.”
The 57-year-old senator appeared to have the support of several top donors, according to a number of reports, as well as members of the Republican Senate leadership, including Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Republican in the upper chamber.
“I want all of America to know what South Carolina knows. And that is that Tim Scott is the real deal. And he will make a great president of the United States,” Thune said at Scott’s announcement event on Monday.
“I think our country is ready to be inspired again.”
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) has already said he would endorse Scott.
“I think he is the closest to [former President] Ronald Reagan that you’re going to see,” Rounds said ahead of Scott’s White House announcement on May 17.
Trump also welcomed Scott’s entry into the primary field, noting that the pair worked together on his administration’s signature tax cuts.
“Good luck to Senator Tim Scott in entering the Republican Presidential Primary Race,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Monday. “It is rapidly loading up with lots of people.”
Since Trump announced his re-election bid last November, the GOP primary field has grown bigger. The declared Republican presidential contenders include South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, radio host Larry Elder, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. On May 24, DeSantis officially jumped into the White House race.
But in the same Truth Social post on Monday, Trump took a swipe at DeSantis.
“Tim is a big step up from Ron DeSanctimonious, who is totally unelectable,” Trump wrote.
The former president has been vocal in criticizing his one-time ally on social media, focusing on topics from DeSantis’ electability to his personality and character.
DeSantis responded to Trump’s criticism on Thursday.
“I think a lot of what he’s doing is showing everybody that he understands that I’ve got a good chance to beat him because he doesn’t criticize anybody else now,” DeSantis said. “It is only me.”
“They know that I’m more likely to win the election,” he added.
Currently, Scott lags behind Trump, DeSantis, Haley, and Ramaswamy in the polls. A RealClearPolitics aggregate of polls shows that as of May 25, Trump leads the GOP primary field with 53.9 percent of support, followed by DeSantis at 21.3 percent, Haley at 4.6 percent, Ramaswamy at 2.9 percent, and Scott at 1.9 percent.
Scott nonetheless struck a confident tone when asked whether he would support other declared or uncleared GOP candidates if they secured the nomination.
“As the nominee, I look forward to choosing [a] good vice president between the names that you mentioned, and perhaps some other ones,” he said Thursday.
“All Republican candidates would be better than any Democrat candidate.”
Jack Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times