Many believe that Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has his eyes set on becoming the second African-American to occupy the Oval Office.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C) launched a presidential exploratory committee in April.
Now, he has set May 22 as a date to launch a potential bid at the White House.
While speaking to a crowd in Charleston, S.C., Sen. Scott said, “It is time to make the final step. We will have a major announcement.”
Scott possibly joins a field of GOP hopefuls, which include former President Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, who served as U.N. ambassador as well as the governor of South Carolina, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and “anti-woke” biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Also mulling a run at the 2024 Republican presidential nomination are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence of Indiana.
Launching an exploratory committee allows a potential presidential candidate to raise money, which is used for polling and travel to gage interest in their possible bid.
Scott calls himself the antidote to the “radical left.”
The African-American senator refers to himself as a self-made success story, who overcame poverty and a single parent upbringing to hold one of the most powerful jobs in the country.
Scott criticized Democrats for promoting a “culture of grievance.”
In a video, Scott said, “When I fight back against their liberal agenda, they call me a prop. A token. Because I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control.”
The senator from “The Palmetto State” shot the video at Fort Sumpter in his hometown of Charleston, S.C., where the first shots of the Civil War erupted.
Scott began a listening tour that took him to New Hampshire and Iowa in February.
The politician held an array of events such as political meetings with evangelical pastors, town halls and speeches.
Political pundits have noticed that Scott has tried to promote a positive outlook of America’s future unlike some of his potential GOP opponents.
He told The Associated Press that he has received positive feedback about his upbeat message for the United States.
Scott said, “I think my candidacy is really designed around what the American people want to talk about, what their priorities are and what their issues are.”
Meg Kinnard of The Associated Press reported, “If Scott enters the race, he would have just over one month to raise money before the end of the second quarter, with more candidates in the GOP field intensifying the competition for donor dollars.
“But Scott has already proven that he can attract significant money. A pro-Scott super PAC, Opportunity Matters Fund, spent more than $20 million to help Republicans in 2022 and reported $13 million-plus on hand to start 2023. Tech billionaire Larry Ellison has donated at least $30 million to the organization since 2021, according to federal filings.”
Nevertheless, polling shows Scott at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to GOP support.
Furthermore, support from within the African-American community might be difficult to come by for Scott because his politics do not align with that of many in Black America.
Although many African-Americans still believe that racism is a prevalent issue in America, Scott drew the ire of many from the African-American community when he said that “America is not a racist country” during the rebuttal of President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress in 2021.
The FBI has reported an increase in hate crimes over the past few years.
April Ryan of The Grio reported, “Scott also single-handedly killed any chance of Capitol Hill lawmakers passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in both the 117th and 118th sessions of Congress. The bill contained crucial federal police reform demanded by community activists and Black voters after the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and countless other police-involved killings of unarmed Black Americans.
“Sources close to bipartisan discussions between Scott, the Senate’s lone Black Republican, Democrats Senator Cory Booker and then U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., said Scott was the holdout on behalf of Republicans. One described his involvement in enacting legislation to hold police accountable as ‘disingenuous.’”
However, conservative television commentator Tara Setmayer said she believes Scott is comfortable with his record on racial issues and his blockage of the Floyd Act because what his comments and actions signal to White voters.
Setmayer said, “Let him take that message in front of the NAACP or the [National] Urban League or to African-Americans who experience racism. I don’t understand how Scott is not self-aware.”
In the past, Scott has talked about how police have profiled him as an African-American man, which had provided hope for those wanting the Floyd Act to pass.
But that hope quickly faded for those wanting more police accountability.
Bass, who now serves as the mayor of Los Angeles said, “I think what we suspected of Tim Scott has now come to fruition.”
The mayor of the second largest city in the United States believes that Scott’s goal of a higher office got in the way of passing the Floyd Act.
Bass said, “There was presidential talk or vice-presidential talk…I do not believe that Senator Booker could look to Tim Scott to be an ally in the Senate.”
The former Californian congresswoman said Scott would probably announce his plan to run for the White House “in the next few months.”
Fellow African-American Republican Armstrong Williams, who works as a political commentator, said, “We must take a strong stance on law enforcement, but we also must hold the blue accountable when they’re out of line. People need to see both.”