“Tonight, I suspended my campaign for president,” Scott wrote on X. “Traveling this country and meeting all of you has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my entire life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. God bless America.”
In an interview with former U.S. congressman Trey Gowdy, Scott elaborated on his surprise decision – which according to South Carolina-based national reporter Meg Kinnard was so unexpected it caught some of his own staffers off-guard.
“Campaign staff found out Scott was dropping out by watching the show,” Kinnard reported, referring to Scott’s appearance on Gowdy’s program.
“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 said.
Scott, 58, simply never caught fire in the Republican undercard battle – which now consists of Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy as the top remaining challengers to presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
There was a moment during the summer – prior to the first debate – when Scott appeared to be making his move, but the spark never caught and his campaign ended with him drawing the support of 2.2 percent of GOP primary voters, according to aggregate polling data from FiveThirtyEight. Meanwhile, aggregate polling data from RealClearPolitics had Scott at 2.5 percent.
It is not clear yet whether Scott will endorse one of those three GOP contenders – or back Trump. Based on his comments to Gowdy, Scott could decide to stay out of the race altogether.
“The voters are really smart,” Scott told Gowdy. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”
Scott also demurred when asked whether he would consider accepting a vice presidential nomination.
“(That) has never been on my to-do list for this campaign, and it’s certainly not there now,” Scott said.
A bigger question for South Carolina politicos? What does Scott intend to do after his final term in the U.S. Senate ends?
The North Charleston, S.C. native has been widely discussed as a possible candidate for governor of the Palmetto State – but that field is already getting crowded as attorney general Alan Wilson, congressman Ralph Norman, lieutenant governor Pam Evette and others eye a run.
Count on this media outlet to keep our audience apprised of Scott’s next moves … nationally and here in early-voting South Carolina.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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