Entering the race with optimism in May, the South Carolina senator made the surprising announcement, catching even campaign staff off guard. According to an unnamed campaign worker, the news broke during the show, leaving the team unaware until then.
“I love America more today than I did on May 22,” Scott stated on Sunday. “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.’”
Scott’s decision comes amid a challenging Republican field, largely overshadowed by former President Donald Trump. Despite legal challenges, Trump continues to dominate polls, leading many to believe the race is effectively over.
Scott, despite significant financial backing from prominent donors, struggled to gain traction in the polls. Running a positive campaign, he often faded into the background during debates, hindering his visibility.
Uncertain about his qualification for the upcoming debate, Scott becomes the second high-profile Republican to exit the race recently, following former Vice President Mike Pence. Pence’s departure was linked to his rejection of Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.
Scott, refraining from endorsing remaining Republican rivals, stated, “The voters are really smart… The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.” He also ruled out serving as vice president.
Trump’s campaign has not immediately responded to Scott’s exit. However, considering Trump’s careful approach toward Scott, some speculate the senator might be a potential vice presidential pick.
In his presidential campaign, Scott, a deeply religious former insurance broker, emphasized his grandfather’s work in the cotton fields of the Deep South. He refused to frame his life story around racial inequities, focusing on hopeful themes to distinguish himself from divisive politics.
Responding to Scott’s departure, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis commended him as a “strong conservative with bold ideas about how to get our country back on track.” He thanked Scott for his service to America and the U.S. Senate.