Everything you need to know about Tim Scott ahead of his big 2024 announcement

Everything you need to know about Tim Scott ahead of his big 2024 announcement  at george magazine

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is announcing his presidential run Monday, adding his name to the expanding GOP field for 2024.

Scott has been in the Senate for over a decade, yet his campaign is considered a major long shot, with the RealClearPolitics polling average showing his support at just 2%.


For those who are curious to learn more about Scott as he seeks the nation’s highest office, here are a few helpful facts.

He’s focused on the positive

Scott, 57, launched a presidential exploratory committee in April and released a video heavy on themes of faith and unity.

“I know America is a land of opportunity, not a land of oppression,” he says in the three-minute clip. “I know it because I’ve lived it. That’s why it pains my soul to see the Biden liberals attacking every rung of the ladder that helped me climb.”

That optimism and the positive role the United States plays in the world are big themes for Scott as he seeks to embellish an image of himself on the electorate ahead of the debates.

He’s got in-state competition

Scott, 57, hails from South Carolina and was reelected to the Senate by the state’s voters just last fall. That’s a good sign for Scott because the Palmetto State holds a crucial early primary next year, behind only Iowa and New Hampshire. The state famously righted the ship for President Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary, and Scott may hope for similar magic this time around.

But he’ll have to compete for those familiar votes with Nikki Haley, who was twice elected as the state’s governor and whose polling is double his at this early venture. As might be expected, the two have a lot of history. It was Haley who first appointed Scott, then a freshman member of the House of Representatives, to the Senate in 2013.

They also bring unique backgrounds to their bid. Haley seeks to become the nation’s first female president, while Scott would be only the second black president. He is already the only black Republican serving in the upper chamber of Congress.

He went to college on a football scholarship

Scott graduated from North Charleston’s R.B. Stall High School in 1983, then attended Presbyterian College on a partial football scholarship. He later left for Charleston Southern University, where he graduated in 1988 with a degree in political science.

Hailing from the college football-crazy Southeast, Scott is a fan of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, a school his brother attended.

His campaign launch video focuses heavily on his hardscrabble early days.

“I was raised by a single mother in poverty,” he said. “The spoons in our apartment were plastic, not silver. But we had faith. We put in the work, and we had an unwavering belief that we, too, could live the American dream. I know America is a land of opportunity, not a land of oppression. I know it because I’ve lived it.”

He spent 14 years on the Charleston County Council

Scott was first elected to office in 1995 when he won a special election for the Charleston County Council. He held that position until early 2009, a 14-year tenure he’s only now equaling in Washington.

But he rose rapidly from there. Scott served one term in the South Carolina House of Representatives, then one term in the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming a U.S. senator. His latest election will keep him in office through the end of 2028 unless other events intervene.

The senator serves on the foreign relations, finance, small business and entrepreneurship, and aging committees, though his top assignment is leading Republicans on the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Those who know him well on Capitol Hill are also aware of his impressive sock game.

He says Biden wants a ‘socialist utopia’

In part due to his stature on the banking and finance committees, Scott came out hard against Biden’s plan to rejigger mortgage interest rates in ways that would mostly harm those with higher credit scores while benefiting those with lower.

“It would be funny if we’re not talking about the greatest nation on Earth,” Scott said earlier this month. “In Biden’s socialist utopia, if you’re able-bodied, you don’t have to work. If you commit a crime, you don’t do any time. If you take out a loan, guess what? You don’t have to pay it back. If you have bad credit, you get rewarded with lower interest rates. This utopia never has existed, but this is the path to socialism.”

Biden recently came out against plans to establish new work requirements for able-bodied people with no dependents to receive government benefits.

Elsewhere, Scott has promised to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and said he supports a 20-week federal abortion ban.

He’s got plenty of cash on hand

Scott is going to enter the race with about $22 million cash on hand, according to his political operation. He’ll begin spending that with a major advertising buy of $5.5 million in television ads to run in Iowa and New Hampshire.

He has raised $42 million for Republicans over the past two years, and political operatives close to Scott have said the coming ad buy will cost more than some candidates will raise during the entire 2024 election cycle.

He’s also picked up his first Senate endorsement from Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), an early bit of momentum he’ll hope to build on over the summer.


Scott will take the next step in his campaign Monday in North Charleston, the same city he was born in and where he got his start in politics.

From there, he will travel to Iowa on Wednesday and New Hampshire on Thursday as he seeks to get the campaign off the ground.

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