(LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina announced on Monday his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, offering a message rooted in his personal story and how it reflects opportunity for success in a free America, tailored for those who want more positivity in politics.
“We need a president who persuades not just our friends and our base,” Scott declared in an announcement speech in his hometown of North Charleston, South Carolina, NPR reports. “We have to have compassion for people who don’t agree with us. We have to believe that our ideas are so strong and so powerful and so persuasive that we can actually take it to the highest points in the world and be successful but we also have to be able to take it all the way down to places that today are hopeless and prove that who we are works for all Americans.”
“From the time the sun goes down until the sun comes up, Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every single rung of the ladder that helped me climb,” he said. “We need to stop canceling our Founding Fathers and start celebrating them for the geniuses that they were. They weren’t perfect, but they believed that we could become a more perfect union.”
On his campaign website, Scott says, growing up in a poor, single-parent household, his mother instilled in him “what it meant to find dignity in work, and the power that faith in God can have on your life,” while his grandfather who “dropped out of third grade to pick cotton” taught him and his brother the value of education, and “sat at the kitchen table every morning with a newspaper to set a good example” despite being unable to read.
While light on details, Scott’s website says that as president he would crack down on illegal immigration, support parental rights and transparency in education while opposing controversial classroom doctrines such as Critical Race Theory, deter China by strengthening the economy and opposing its domestic influence in areas such as universities, farmland, and data collection, oppose “social experiment[ation] in the military, support law enforcement, reduce taxes, spending, and economic regulations, and expand upon his signature achievement as a senator, Opportunity Zones” (federal tax incentives to invest in economically-distressed localities).
On the issue of abortion, the website declares, “Life has intrinsic value because it comes from God. With a 100% pro-life voting record, we must stand up against the radical left pushing taxpayer-funded abortion up until the moment of birth. This starts by fostering a culture of life, and winning the hearts and minds of Americans.”
During his time in Congress, Scott has established a generally conservative record, albeit not without blemishes. He holds an 84% lifetime score from Heritage Action and a 77% score with Conservative Review. In addition to opportunity zones, during the height of the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots Scott introduced an alternative “police reform” plan to the more extreme proposals of President Joe Biden which Democrats rejected. Scott and his supporters framed the situation as an example of Democrats’ extremism and disinterest in solving problems, though some conservatives panned his bill as simply a milder version of Democrats’ own policies.
Scott was also responsible for the failure of two of former President Donald Trump’s more conservative appointments to the federal judiciary, Ryan Bounds, based on left-wing attacks on his past writings about race issues, and Thomas Farr, based on false claims that he was involved in a scheme to invalidate black votes in the late North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms’s 1990 Senate campaign (columnist Deroy Murdock reported in 2019 that Scott never replied to Farr’s letter on the situation or personal appeals from four individuals who reached out to personally attest to his character).
Last month, Scott gave conflicting answers on the subject of abortion, first refusing to say if he would sign a national 15-week ban, then saying he would “definitely” support a 20-week ban, before eventually declaring, “I would literally sign the most conservative, pro-life legislation that they can get through Congress” but was “not going to talk about six or five or seven or 10” or “deal with a bunch of hypotheticals.”
Scott joins a Republican primary field that so far includes former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and investment firm manager Vivek Ramaswamy, but is widely expected to come down to a two-man race between former President Trump and Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. Scott currently polls at 1.8% in the RealClearPolitics polling average.
Trump, who has spent months attacking DeSantis on a near-daily basis, struck a different tone with Scott’s entry to the race, wishing him “good luck” and calling him a “big step up from Ron DeSanctimonious, who is totally unelectable. I got Opportunity Zones done with Tim, a big deal that has been highly successful.”