Updated May 22, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott officially kicks off 2024 GOP presidential campaign

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) speaks at the Vision ’24 National Conservative Forum March 18, 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) speaks at the Vision ’24 National Conservative Forum March 18, 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) officially launched his 2024 presidential bid Monday, pitching himself as a candidate focused on "freedom and hope and opportunity."

Why it matters: The South Carolina lawmaker and one of the most prominent Black Republicans in the U.S. delivered an optimistic speech, reflecting on faith and criticizing President Biden.

Driving the news: "Our party and our nation are standing at a time for choosing," Scott said before a crowd at his alma mater Charleston Southern University.

  • "Victimhood or victory? Grievance or greatness? I choose freedom and hope and opportunity," he said.
  • Scott, who repeatedly invoked the Biden administration during his speech, did not mention former President Trump's name or any of his other Republican rivals in the 2024 contest.
  • "Today, I am living proof that America is the land of opportunity and not a land of oppression," he said.
  • Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) gave the opening prayer.

The big picture: Scott last week filed his paperwork for the Republican nomination, but he has been laying the groundwork for a campaign for months, including launching an exploratory committee last month.

  • Scott is one of the Senate's most formidable fundraisers and enters the race with $22 million in hand, a senior campaign official said.
  • He's also already made a $6 million ad buy in early primary states Iowa and New Hampshire.

Zoom out: Scott's official announcement brings him into a crowded GOP field that includes former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former President Trump.

  • Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have also officially entered the GOP primary, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to soon enter the race.
  • Trump in a Truth Social post on Monday wished Scott "good luck" in entering the GOP primary and used his announcement to bash DeSantis, who is widely considered Trump's most serious challenger.

Go deeper... Rise of the Black Republican

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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