On Monday, before Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina formally threw his hat into the 2024 presidential run, Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner in the primary, welcomed Scott to the race.
Trump has been relentless in his attacks on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the months leading up to DeSantis’ widely anticipated entry, but Trump was restrained in his comments about Scott, keeping his barbs and mocking nicknames for DeSantis.
Trump said he wished Senator Tim Scott the best of luck in the primary and remarked that it’s getting crowded. But he said Scott is a big step up from Ron “DeSanctimonious,” who he characterized as entirely unelectable.
The former president noted that together with Scott, they finalized Opportunity Zones, a massive project with much success.
Many analysts and political commentators have decided that the fact that Trump won the 2016 Republican primary despite a big field helped him overcome the vast odds many people gave him at the time. Former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said as much on Fox News over the weekend.
Conway told Steve Hilton on Sunday that Trump is the frontrunner, with the closest competitor being Ron DeSantis. She said competition benefits Trump because he loves competition.
In February, ABC News cited an anonymous longtime Trump aide close to his 2024 team. The aide said with even four moderately serious candidates, Trump’s chances of losing are slim.
The official said that Trump had secured a sizable portion of the GOP primary vote and that he has little chance of losing once more than three to four people are running.
In the race’s early stages, Trump has focused almost exclusively on attacking DeSantis while rarely attacking Haley.
Scott, a committed Evangelical Christian, has been traveling the country on his “Faith in America Tour” to present a hopeful vision for America’s future, in stark contrast to the Trump message, which concentrates on shining a light on the country’s decline under President Joe Biden.
Scott will likely compete fiercely for Evangelical support in early states like Iowa and his home state of South Carolina by emphasizing his faith throughout his campaign.