Not Tim’s Time: Scott Suspends GOP Presidential Bid After Failing to Catch Fire

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina suspended his presidential campaign on Sunday night in a surprise announcement during an interview with Trey Gowdy on Fox News.


Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina suspended his presidential campaign on Sunday night in a surprise announcement during an interview with Trey Gowdy on Fox News.

  • In an interview on “Sunday Night in America,” Scott told Gowdy, “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 demurred when asked if he planned to endorse one of his former rivals, and said “being vice president has never been on my to-do list” when asked if he’d consider joining the ticket.
  • The junior senator from South Carolina entered the field in May with a large campaign warchest and the support from top donors and leading US senators, but was unable to gain traction in a field dominated by former President Donald Trump.
  • Scott’s departure comes two weeks after former Vice President Mike Pence also ended his campaign. Scott only barely made the stage for the third debate, and the fourth presidential debate will have even steeper entry requirements.
  • Scott’s rivals are already moving to take advantage of his departure. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who appointed Scott to the Senate in 2013, announced she’d reserve $10 million worth of advertising in New Hampshire and Iowa, a financial show of force that amounts to more than five times the size of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ current ad reservations.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times noted “Scott’s decision was in many ways unsurprising: He has struggled in polls and with recent fund-raising, and would have had to hit a new threshold of 80,000 donors as well as a higher number in public opinion surveys in order to qualify for the next debate sponsored by the Republican National Committee, which will be held in December.”
  • NBC News reported Scott’s “announcement was a surprise: Gowdy, a former colleague of Scott’s in the House of Representatives, appeared to do a double-take as he made his statement. Multiple Scott staffers told NBC News they got no warning he was ending the campaign, finding out only by watching him say so on TV.”
  • CNN observed that in the weeks prior to dropping out, his allied super PAC pulled ads in the early states and his campaign announced they would be “all in” on Iowa, both indications that his campaign had hit choppy waters.



  • The Wall Street Journal covered the scramble by Haley and DeSantis to capitalize on Scott’s exit from the race. The Journal noted the two “stand to benefit the most from his exit because they have emerged as the leading candidates for GOP voters searching for a Trump alternative. Both have expressed an eagerness for a one-on-one matchup against the former president.”
  • National Review’s Rich Lowry wrote Scott’s decision was “the right thing to do” because “The temptation is always to hang on too long, in the hopes of a miracle turnaround that never happens. By dropping two months before Iowa, Scott spares himself embarrassment, and, more important, avoids being any kind of spoiler.”
  • Breitbart noted “Scott’s primary message had been centered on debunking the woke leftist understanding of race in America, portraying the black and brown experience as one of constant oppression with little to no chance for success.”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023