Republican presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) announced that he is dropping out of the 2024 presidential race Sunday night, an announcement that shocked everyone, even his campaign staff and donors.
Tonight, I suspended my campaign for president.
Traveling this country and meeting all of you has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my entire life.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
God Bless the United States of America. pic.twitter.com/yniJWQMW1N
— Tim Scott (@votetimscott) November 13, 2023
The decision was unexpectedly announced on Fox News’ “Sunday Night In America with Trey Gowdy” just two months shy of Iowa’s leadoff GOP caucuses.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail without question. But when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign,” the South Carolina senator said.
Scott is the second major candidate to depart the race. Former Vice President Mike Pence announced his departure two weeks ago at a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas.
Scott’s staff was unaware of his plan to exit the race. Thirteen minutes prior to the announcement, his campaign sent out an email soliciting supporters for donations to further Scott’s “strong leadership and optimistic, positive vision to lead our country forward.”
Scott stated that he would not be immediately endorsing any of his remaining rivals.
“I’m going to recommend that the voters study each candidate and their candidacies and, frankly, their past and make a decision for the future of the country,” he said. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”
Many supporters shared positive words about the senator following his exit.
Eric Levine, a New York-based donor who was raising money for Scott, called him “a true patriot.”
Mikee Johnson, a South Carolina businessman and Scott donor who served as his national finance co-chairman, referred to Scott as “honorable.”
Scott’s formal presidential rivals took to social media to share their reactions.
Tim Scott is a strong conservative with bold ideas about how to get our country back on track. I respect his courage to run this campaign and thank him for his service to America and the U.S. Senate.
I look forward to Tim continuing to be a leader in our party for years to come.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) November 13, 2023
Tim Scott is my friend. He was before, during and now after this race for President had concluded for him.@votetimscott is a man of integrity and honesty. Our country is better for his service in the United States Senate.
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) November 13, 2023
Tim Scott is a good man of faith and an inspiration to so many.
The Republican primary was made better by his participation in it.
South Carolina is blessed to continue to have him as our senator.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) November 13, 2023
Scott also declined the idea of being vice president, stating that it has not been on his “to-do-list” during the campaign.
Scott has not discussed the future of his political career. He reported that his 2022 Senate reelection would be his last. He has also been named as a possible candidate in 2026 for the South Carolina governor race.