Trump wishes Tim Scott 'good luck' as GOP senator kicks off 2024 presidential campaign

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The 2024 presidential candidate field grew by one more Monday as Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina entered the race for the Republican nomination.

The 57-year-old lawmaker says he’s getting right to work, heading to key primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina before returning to first in the nation Iowa next week.

He joins former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the race for the GOP nomination.

Scott says he’s different from the other Republicans in the race and will focus on a positive, aspirational message. In his announcement, he didn’t mention any of the other candidates by name but did mention the Biden administration, promising to take on the “radical left” and bring faith and conservative, business-friendly policies to the White House.

Our party and our nation are standing at a time for choosing victimhood or victory, grievance or greatness. I choose freedom and hope and opportunity,” Scott said.

The big question now: can Scott’s message of positivity attract enough Republican voters to win in a crowded primary?

Well, when you have $22.5 million in your war chest, you can make so much noise. Never in the history of any Republican party’s nominations have they had that kind of money in their war chest,” Washington insider Armstrong Williams said.

“That means even though so many polls are showing him that 1%, he is an opportunity to get his optimistic message out. He’s talking ‘victory over victimization.’ He’s talking about the kind of issues that America Americans feel we need to get back to in terms of respecting the Second Amendment, the issues of abortion, values and virtues and the fact that he comes from such a humbling background of poverty, with the kind of money has, his message could truly resonate across this country when you think about that America is in a moral collapse and spiritual illness,” Williams continued.

Former President Donald Trump wished Scott “good luck” on his social media platform Truth Social while taking a shot at his other GOP opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Good luck to Senator Tim Scott in entering the Republican Presidential Primary Race,” Trump wrote. “It is rapidly loading up with lots of people, and Tim is a big step up from Ron DeSanctimonious, who is totally unelectable.

Scott says he wants to run a more positive campaign, saying he’s focused on “greatness” rather than “grievance.”

“Tim Scott is saying that it’s not ‘Doomsday.’ Even though he decries the policy of Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress, he makes it clear that America still can be that shining light, that city on the hill, that America’s best days are ahead of us,” Williams said.

According to an analysis of several polls gathered by FiveThirtyEight, Scott would — hypothetically — fall at the bottom of the GOP primary.

But Williams says despite Trump’s continued popularity among conservatives, it’s anybody’s game, especially as President Joe Biden faces a low approval rating. According to the latest AP-NORC poll, just 33% of Americans say they approve of his handling of the economy and only 24% say national economic conditions are in good shape.

Any Republican who gets the nomination has a shot at defeating President Biden. If you’ve watched his poll numbers, how he’s losing his base,” Williams said. “His strongest constituency — Americans who happen to be Black — don’t want to vote for him, don’t feel they can identify with him.

Black voters are a core group for Democrats. According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, among this key voting block, Biden’s rating is now 52% — down from 82% when he first took office. Meanwhile, 27% of Black people say they would definitely or probably vote for former President Donald Trump.

“That is that is a deep concern for the Democratic party,” Williams said. “Because of the ‘woke’ community and the far left, the radical left, he’s not going to change. He will continue on this trajectory that he’s on.”