Sen. Tim Scott, the lone Black Republican in the Senate and one of its leading conservative voices, said on Wednesday that he is starting a 2024 presidential exploratory committee.
In a tweet announcing the decision, Scott, R-S.C., said his political “fight is personal.”
“I will never back down in defense of the conservative values that make America exceptional,” he said.
“I want every American to have the same opportunities that I had.”
“I know America is a land of opportunity, not a land of oppression,” Scott said in his announcement video. “I know it because I lived it. That’s why it pains my soul to see the Biden liberals attacking every rung of the ladder that helped me climb.
“If the radical left gets their way, millions more families will be trapped in failing schools, crime-ridden neighborhoods and crushing inflation. Not on my watch.”
An exploratory committee allows Scott to raise money for a presidential campaign, including covering the costs for polling and travel before he makes an official decision.
If he officially declares his candidacy, he would join a field including former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former President Donald Trump, who pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts related to falsifying records in multiple hush-money schemes last week.
President Joe Biden has not fully committed to making a bid for the Democratic nomination, telling Al Roker at the White House Easter Egg Roll event Monday he plans on running but is not prepared to announce it yet.
Scott said Democrats will likely fear his candidacy because it “disrupts” their narrative about race in America.
“All too often when they [Democrats] get called out for their failures, they weaponize race to divide us, to hold onto their power,” Scott said in the video. “When I fought back against their liberal agenda, they called me a prop. A token. Because I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control. They know the truth of my life disproves their lies.”
In broader themes, Scott promised to stand up against the “radical left” and President Joe Biden by taking on China, securing the southern U.S. border, and leaning into the culture wars of parents’ choice in education and religious values.
Following the announcement Scott is set to visit Iowa, New Hampshire and his home state of South Carolina this week, all of which hold early presidential primaries.
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