The once-crowded 2024 GOP presidential primary field continues to dwindle down as former President Donald Trump maintains his commanding lead over all of his rivals.
In an announcement on Sunday, just days after participating in the third debate, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) announced his decision to drop out of the race.
Calling his long-shot campaign “one of the most fantastic experiences” of his life, he acknowledged the fact that his candidacy never really got off the ground since he entered the fray earlier this year.
“I love America more today than I did on May 22,” he said during an interview with Fox News Channel host Trey Gowdy. “But when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign. I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they’re telling me, “Not now, Tim.’”
Both former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who are currently engaged in a battle for a distant second place behind Trump — responded to Scott’s decision with a statement praising the senator.
“Tim Scott is a strong conservative with bold ideas about how to get our country back on track,” DeSantis wrote in a social media post. “I respect his courage to run this campaign and thank him for his service to America and the U.S. Senate. I look forward to Tim continuing to be a leader in our party for years to come.”
Tim Scott is a good man of faith and an inspiration to so many.
The Republican primary was made better by his participation in it.
South Carolina is blessed to continue to have him as our senator.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) November 13, 2023
If any of Scott’s former rivals were hoping for an immediate endorsement, however, they were disappointed by his remarks.
“I’m going to recommend that the voters study each candidate and their candidacies and frankly, their past, and make a decision for the future of the country,” he advised. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”
Scott also seemed to dismiss any notion of pursuing a running-mate position alongside the 2024 nominee, telling Gowdy: “Vice president has never been on my to-do list for this campaign, and it’s certainly not there now.”