‘I choose freedom, hope, opportunity’: Tim Scott announces presidential bid
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - U.S. Sen. Tim Scott announced his White House bid at his alma mater in North Charleston Monday morning, saying he’s the candidate the far left “fears the most.”
The Republican told a cheering crowd at Charleston Southern University he is living proof that America is “a land of opportunity, not a land of oppression.”
But he said under President Joe Biden, America is not a nation in decline but has “become a nation in retreat.”
Scott said that under President Joe Biden, the nation is “retreating away” from patriotism and faith; work and dignity; and earned success, aspiration and accountability. He said schools are suffering and “crime is on the rise and law enforcement is in retreat.”
“Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every rung of the ladder that helped me climb. And that is why I am announcing today that I am running for President of the United States of America!” Scott said. “They’re attacking our American values; our schools; our economy; our security. But not on my watch! I cannot stand by while this is done to America. She has done too much for me.”
He said that on his first day as president, America will stop retreating from its own southern border.
“If you don’t control your back door, it’s not your house. And if our southern border is unsafe and insecure, it’s not our country,” he said. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are doing nothing while 70,000-plus Americans lose their lives to fentanyl. Every county in this nation is a border county. The Left shut down your schools and churches in the name of slowing down a virus. But they won’t secure the border to protect your family from fentanyl.”
He said when he is president, drug cartels using Chinese labs and Mexican factories to kill Americans will cease to exist.
“I will freeze their assets. I’ll build the wall. And I will let the world’s greatest military fight these terrorists — because that’s exactly what they are,” he said.
Scott says he wants to rebuild and restore every rung of the ladder that helped him climb.
“As President, I will motivate, inspire, and require every able-bodied citizen to take responsibility and go to work. We will back the blue, secure our streets, and finally make it a federal crime to kill, ambush, or assault a cop in this country,” he said. “I will lead a revolution for excellence in our schools. Less C.R.T. and more A-B-Cs. I will not rest until every family has a choice, and every parent has a voice, and every child has a chance. And no child is forced to attend a failing school simply because they live in the wrong ZIP code. And I will be the President who destroys the liberal lie that our country is evil.”
Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison released the following statement ahead of Scott’s announcement:
Tim Scott wants to govern from the ‘far, conservative right’ as a proud member of the Tea Party, and his extreme record proves it. Even before he refused to name a policy difference with Trump, Scott was a fierce advocate of the MAGA agenda – supporting national abortion bans and championing plans to end Medicare and Social Security as we know them. As an ‘architect’ of Trump’s tax law, Scott gifted corporations billions and has been a longtime champion of rolling back regulations on big banks. “There’s no question that special interests are celebrating as Tim Scott throws his hat into the 2024 race for the MAGA base.
Scott filed paperwork Friday after ‘Faith in America’ tour
Toward the end of April, Scott announced after a town hall in downtown Charleston that he’d have a decision on his presidential campaign Monday. The Republican Senator filed paperwork to run for president in 2024 on Friday, according to the Federal Elections Commission’s website.
Scott had been touring multiple states headlining his Faith in America tour and now the day has come for the official announcement.
The 57-year-old launched his presidential exploratory committee last month and emphasized his faith, his race, and growing up as the son of a single mother.
Scott’s announcement kicks off a week that will take him to Iowa on Wednesday where he will tour a Christian school in the morning before hosting a town hall later that evening before heading to New Hampshire on Thursday.
A $5.5 million ad campaign will also begin in those states this week and run through the first GOP presidential debate in late August.
Scott starts his bid with more campaign dollars than any of his 2024 rivals — roughly $22 million that he can automatically convert from his U.S. Senate campaign account to a presidential campaign. The figure is the most any candidate in history has had when beginning a campaign for president, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Scott joins other candidates entering the race for the GOP nomination, including former President Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Several others, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also are weighing 2024 campaigns.
Former President Donald Trump’s team released a statement on Scott’s announcement stating that “Tim Scott’s entrance means Scott sees the same thing as others: the path to 2nd place is wide open.”
Members of the South Carolina Democratic Party also weighed in their comments.
“Tim Scott tries to make himself a moderate Republican to the press yet, he cannot name a single policy difference between himself and Donald Trump,” Dorchester County Democratic Party Chair Richard Hayes said. “Tim Scott has been a champion for special interests and big corporations at the expense of working families.”
He wrapped up his speech saying America is the “freest and fairest land where you and I can go as high as our character, our grit and our talent will take us.”
“I bear witness to that. I testify to that. That’s why I’m the candidate the far left fears the most,” he said. “I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control. The truth of my life disproves their lies! I will proclaim these truths from the highest mountaintop and I will do so from the deepest valley. I will take our message to the boardroom and I will take it to the classroom. I will take it to a gymnasium filled with friends and the inner-city church surrounded by skeptics. I have lived the American dream. I have held the truth, the inalienable truth, that all men and women are created equal! And endowed by our Creator with the right to be free!”
He said the Republican Party and the nation stand at a “time for choosing.”
“Victimhood or victory? Grievance or greatness? I choose freedom and hope and opportunity,” he said.
South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Christale Spain also released a statement after news came of the Scott’s filing.
“Here in South Carolina, we know how dangerous Tea Party extremist Tim Scott is, and based on the last few weeks, the rest of America is finding out too,” Spain said. “From promising to sign the most conservative abortion ban possible as president, to doubling down on his role as ‘architect’ of the 2017 GOP tax scam that pushed tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy at the expense of working families, Scott has proven himself to be just as MAGA as the rest of the 2024 field.”
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