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Sen. Tim Scott announces decision to suspend his 2024 presidential campaign

Sen. Tim Scott announces decision to suspend his 2024 presidential campaign

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott announced Sunday he is suspending his 2024 presidential campaign on an episode of Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America” with Trey Gowdy. 

“I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they’re telling me, ‘Not now, Tim,’” Scott said.

In addition to ending his campaign, the senator emphasized he has no plans to endorse another candidate in the race for the Republican nomination.

“The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in,” he said. 


Scott also gave a thumbs down to the idea that he could serve as the nominee’s running mate on the Republican Party’s 2024 national ticket.

“Being vice president has never been on my to-do list,” he said.

The news was a surprise to some of the senator’s staff as a handful of campaign aides confirmed to Fox News that they were not given a heads-up on Scott’s decision ahead of his live appearance Sunday night.

Scott, a rising star in the GOP and the only Black Republican in the Senate, launched his presidential campaign in May at an event in North Charleston, South Carolina.

The senator repeatedly showcased his “optimistic, positive message anchored in conservatism.”

Scott, standing just a few miles from where he grew up, highlighted that “we live in the land where it is possible for a kid raised in poverty by a single mother in a small apartment to one day serve in the People’s House and maybe even the White House.”

The senator told Fox News at the time he was “stunned at the hunger for something positive as long as its anchored in conservatism. As long as you have a backbone.”

His positive and uplifting message failed to resonate in a combative GOP presidential nomination race dominated by former President Donald Trump, who is spotlighting his grievances during his third consecutive run for the White House.

Scott’s early momentum took a hit at the first GOP presidential primary debate in August, where he avoided the numerous verbal fistfights and rarely enjoyed the glare of the prime-time spotlight.

He told Fox News after the debate that “the loudest voices too often say too little.”

While Scott was more aggressive in the second GOP debate in late September, he had fallen further behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who are battling for second place in the Republican primary polls – though still far behind Trump.

Scott struggled to make last week’s third debate, but ultimately qualified. He faced a tough task ahead in trying to make the stage at next month’s fourth debate, where the donor and polling thresholds to qualify are higher.


Stuck in the low to mid single digits, Scott’s campaign announced it was going “all in” on Iowa – which leads off the GOP presidential nominating calendar – at the expense of New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and second overall contest in the Republican schedule.

In a sign of things to come, the Scott-aligned super PAC late last month canceled its massive ad blitz on behalf of the senator’s 2024 campaign.

And while Scott launched his campaign with a formidable war-chest – thanks to $22 million left over from his convincing 2022 Senate re-election – his fundraising in the July to September third quarter was anything but impressive.

The senator had $14 million cash left on hand at the end of September. In the spin room following the third GOP debate in Miami, he told Fox News Digital that “we still have the most money of any candidate running for president other than Donald Trump.”

But sources in Scott’s political orbit say that campaign cash was going to be an issue going forward.

Just minutes before he announced he was suspending his White House bid, Scott’s campaign sent out what would be the final fundraising email to supporters, with a subject line of “One last chance.”


Reacting to the news, DeSantis said in a social media post that “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.”

Haley, a fellow South Carolinian, wrote that “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.”

Scott and Haley share many of the same political friends, allies, and donors, which caused some friction away from the spotlight.

When she was South Carolina governor, Haley named Scott, who had just been elected to a second term in the House, to the Senate in December 2012 to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.

Scott won a special election in 2014 to serve the last two years of DeMint’s term, and won re-election to six-year terms in 2016 and 2022. Scott is not up for re-election until 2028, but he said during last year’s campaign that it would be his last run for the Senate.

The field of GOP presidential contenders, which ballooned to over a dozen by the summer, is winnowing.

Late last month, former Vice President Mike Pence became the first major Republican presidential candidate to drop out of the 2024 GOP nomination race.

Four GOP contenders who failed to qualify for the debates also ended their presidential bids. They are: one-time CIA spy and former three-term Texas Rep. Will Hurd, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, business leader and quality control expert Perry Johnson, and 2021 California gubernatorial recall election candidate and former conservative talk radio host Larry Elder.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who qualified for the first debate but didn’t make the stage at the second and third showdowns, remains in the race for now. Hutchinson, whose shoestring campaign is running low on cash, has said he will reevaluate his standing come Thanksgiving.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who narrowly missed qualifying for Wednesday’s debate, is a multimillionaire due to his private sector success in the tech industry. He has more than ample resources to stay in the race and continues to campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is making his second White House run, and multimillionaire biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who both made the stage at the first three debates, also remain in the race.

Scott’s announcement came after he canceled a campaign swing over the weekend in Iowa after coming down with the flu. When talking to Trey Gowdy on Sunday night, the senator said he was “looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail” after recovering from the sickness. He then broke the news that he was suspending his campaign.

His departure from the 2024 race comes less than a week after Scott shared he has a girlfriend by the name of Mindy Noce. She appeared on stage with him after Wednesday’s debate.

Scott – a 58-year-old bachelor – teased during the summer and autumn months that he was dating someone, and described her as a “lovely Christian girl” in Iowa in September.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.