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Sen. Tim Scott announces committee to explore running for US president

Faith issues are at the center of the announcement from the South Carolina Republican senator.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) speaking at CPAC 2014 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) speaking at CPAC 2014 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) announced an exploratory committee to run for U.S. president in 2024, the senator announced on April 12. Scott, 57, made the announcement in a video recorded on Fort Sumter in Charleston, where 162 years ago, the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861.

“Today, our country is once again being tested. Once again, our divisions run deep, and the threat to our future is real,” said Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate. “Joe Biden and the radical left have chosen a culture of grievance over greatness. They’re promoting victimhood, instead of personal responsibility, and they are indoctrinating our children to believe we live in an evil country.”

“And all too often, when they get called out for their failures, they weaponize race to divide us, to hold onto their power,” he said. “I threaten their control. They know the truth of my life disproves their lies.”

Scott said he grew up in poverty, raised by a single mother in a home with plastic, not silver spoons. “But we had faith,” he said. “I will defend the Judeo-Christian foundation our nation is built on.” A logo on the campaign website includes the phrase “Faith in America.”

Antisemitism, Jewish issues and Israel have also been central issues of Scott’s career in the Senate. He was among a bipartisan group from the Senate’s Black-Jewish Caucus that introduced a resolution last November honoring Israeli Americans. In January 2022, he was one of three Republican senators to ask the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to investigate Ben & Jerry’s and parent company Unilever. The companies “launched an anti-Israel boycott—then seemingly misled investors to cover it up,” Scott tweeted at the time.

Fellow South Carolinian Nikki Haley—who is also running for president, as is Donald Trump—appointed Scott to the Senate while she was governor of South Carolina. Scott subsequently won a special election and two more terms. He previously represented South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District in the House, after serving in the state legislature. An evangelical Christian, he is not married and has owned an insurance company.

Scott, whom the AIPAC-affiliated Pro-Israel America endorsed for 2022, reintroduced the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act in the Senate with Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.). He was also among those who introduced a Senate bill exacting sanctions on those, including Hamas and Hezbollah, who use human shields in war.

In response to a prospective Palestinian Authority-backed resolution at the United Nations Security Council condemning Israeli housing plans in Judea and Samaria, Scott tweeted last February, “I have and always will stand with the Israeli people. The U.N. Security Council is set to hold yet another targeted vote against Israel. I strongly call on the Biden administration to veto this resolution at the UNSC and stand by our Israeli allies.”

In 2020, Scott called the Abraham Accords “a monumental step for peace in the Middle East.” And in response to a Washington Post article in 2021, he wrote, “It is ludicrous to suggest that Israel’s self-defense bears the same responsibility for the ongoing conflict as the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist attacks.”

He lauded the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017. Scott has often taken to Twitter to denounce antisemitism and to share well wishes with the Jewish people on holidays.

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