(WASHINGTON) — Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina on Wednesday launched his 2024 presidential exploratory committee.
“I bear witness to what America can do for anyone, what she’s done for me. But we must rise up to the challenges of our time. This is a fight we must win. And that will take faith, faith in God,” Scott said in a new video.
“I will never back down in defense of the conservative values that make America exceptional. And that’s why I’m announcing my exploratory committee for president of the United States,” he went on.
The Republican would face former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former President Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and three others for the 2024 GOP nomination.
Scott has been exploring his bid for months, with frequent trips to Iowa on a listening tour called “Faith in America.” The launch of this committee comes the same week he had stops scheduled in Iowa, New Hampshire and his home state of South Carolina. An exploratory committee will allow the senator to raise money for a presidential campaign while he tests the waters in early-voting states.
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking the past few months,” he wrote an email to supporters. “I’ve been thinking about my faith. I’ve been thinking about the future of our country. And I’ve been thinking about the Left’s plan to ruin America.”
Scott said the date of his exploratory committee rollout — April 12 — was significant in that it was the day which marked the beginning of the Civil War.
The launch video was filmed near Fort Sumter in South Carolina, he said, which was the place of the first clash between the North and South in the winter of 1860.
As the only Black Republican in the Senate, Scott said Democrats “weaponize race to divide us to hold on to their power.”
“Joe Biden and the radical left have chosen a culture of grievance over greatness. They’re promoting victimhood instead of personal responsibility, and they’re indoctrinating our children to believe we live in an evil country. And all too often when they get called out for their failures,” he said, adding, “And when I fought back against their liberal agenda, they called me a prop, a token, because I disrupt their narrative.”
During an interview with Fox & Friends, Scott side-stepped questions on how he plans on besting Trump in a hypothetical primary.
“If we focus on our uniqueness, we focus on our path to where we are, I believe we give the voters a choice so they can decide on how we move forward. As opposed to having a conversation on how to beat a Republican, I think we are better off having a conversation about beating Joe Biden,” he said.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.