Updated Nov 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott suspends presidential campaign

 Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) speaks during the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on November 8, 2023 in Miami, Florida.

Sen. Tim Scott speaks during the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Debate in Miami, Florida, on Nov. 8. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) announced Sunday that he is suspending his 2024 presidential campaign.

Why it matters: Scott's surprise announcement comes after he spent aggressively during his campaign, but struggled to rise in the polls in the crowded 2024 primary.

Driving the news: "When I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign," he said in an interview on Fox News' "Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy."

  • "I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they're telling me: not now," Scott told Gowdy.

Between the lines: Scott did not make an endorsement in his Sunday announcement, saying instead that the voters should decide.

  • "I'm going to recommend that the voters study each candidate and their candidacies and frankly their past and make the best decision for the future of their country," he said.
  • "The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse."
  • He also dismissed any questions about being another candidate's running mate. "Being vice president has never been on my to-do list," he said.

The big picture: Scott, one of the most prominent Black Republicans in the U.S., launched his presidential campaign in May, positioning himself as an optimistic, baggage-free alternative to front-runner former President Trump.

  • But he struggled to gain momentum in polls and he was averaging in the low-single digits in national 2024 primary polls, according to FiveThirtyEight.
  • His announcement comes days after he narrowly qualified for the third Republican primary debate, which had stricter donor and polling qualification criteria.
  • Scott's announcement comes after former Vice President Mike Pence dropped out of the Republican primary in late October.

Go deeper: GOP rivals prepare to take on "happy warrior" Tim Scott

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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