On Monday, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott became the latest Republican candidate to announce he’s running for the White House. In an address from Charleston Southern University, Scott’s alma mater, he highlighted his faith in God and his faith in America.
“Today, I think back to my grandfather. A man born in 1921 in Salley, South Carolina; in the Deep South,” said Scott. “My family went from cotton to Congress in his lifetime. And it was possible because my grandfather had stubborn faith. He had faith in God, faith in himself, and faith in what America would be.”
Calling himself “the candidate the far left fears the most,” Scott kicked off his presidential bid with a message of freedom, hope and opportunity for all Americans.
“As President, I will rebuild and restore every rung of the ladder that helped me climb because I want my American story to pale in comparison to yours,” said Scott. “As President, I will motivate, inspire, and require every able-bodied citizen to take responsibility and go to work.”
The Buc Dome at CSU was packed with people energized and excited about Scott’s presidential run.
“Our nation, our values, and our people are strong, but our President is weak,” Scott said to a cheering crowd.
Almost a year ago, Scott told CBN News he’d only get in the race if he felt like God was calling him to do so. Right after making his big announcement, Scott sat down with CBN News and explained when he felt God was making that call clear.
“I’d like to say there was like an audible voice, but I didn’t have one. But there was this impression on my heart that was really about peace,” Scott explained. “You know John 14:27 talks about the peace I give to you, not like the world gives to you, that I give to you, it was a combination between John 14:27 and 1 Peter 5:7 that you cast all your cares upon the Lord for he cares for you. That combination gave me a peace about stepping forward in my Faith in America tour where I really wanted to hear from the American people about the challenges that we face and the solutions that they’re interested in.”
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“One thing I heard consistently is that we were a faithful country, but our foundation as a nation is a Judeo-Christian foundation, and the further we get away from it the harder life gets; the closer we get to it, the better life is,” Scott said. “That’s the one message I get excited about.”
Before he took the stage to make his announcement on Monday, Scott says God revealed something to him.
“About six o’clock, seven o’clock I was thinking about it, was feeling nerves and the butterflies, and finally I heard the Lord speak to my heart and say, ‘This is not about you, don’t confuse it,'” recalled Scott. “‘You’re my vessel for this journey but it’s not about you, it’s about the American people who are starved for hope looking for opportunities, and want to protect this nation that they love.'”
“I really felt like the Lord was saying remove ‘you’ from the equation and let’s just see what happens,” Scott said. “I’m very confident that he’s not finished with this nation yet and my hope is that we usher in a new wave of optimism and hope as we turn back towards faith, not just faith in the Lord Almighty, but faith in each other and faith in the future.”
Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott announces his candidacy for president on May 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
In a time of deep political divide, Scott believes he can unite the country and is fervently optimistic about America’s future.
“Candidates, we want to focus on what I can do,” explained Scott. “Actually, what I want to focus on is what America has done. That being the city on the hill that’s consistent with the Gospel is our responsibility and our future if we take ourselves out of it.”
“James 4 is a really important scripture for me because I used to have a problem with pride, and He will humble you. When you eliminate that problem, He can exalt you,” continued Scott. “So my hope is that He gets to use this broken vessel in a way that honors Him but also honors the sacrifices of so many Americans who paid a high price for us to have this conversation.”
Scott is known as one of the most conservative senators in the GOP. His top priorities include America’s security problem, school choice, pro-life legislation, and fiscal conservatism.
“Sixteen percent inflation since President Biden has taken office is devastating and crushing families like the one I grew up in,” Scott said. “Being raised by a single mother, I know there’s dignity in work because she taught me that. So helping people understand that, to restore dignity, if you’re able-bodied, you work, I think that is called common sense. It finds common ground on the left and the right.”
While Scott made no mention of former President Donald Trump in his speech, the leading primary contender released a statement striking an unusually friendly tone with his latest GOP challenger, and wishing him good luck.
“Good luck to Senator Tim Scott in entering the Republican Presidential Primary Race,” read Trump’s statement. “It is rapidly loading up with lots of people, and Tim is 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. Good luck Tim!”
When asked what he made of Trump’s statement, Scott responded this.
“President Trump and I worked really hard on things like opportunity zones,” said Scott. “I designed the legislation and he listened to me and then he signed it. I helped write the tax reform bill that became part of his legacy, and we’ve had some good work together. What I think is that America needs a president who can persuade the other side to take a second look at some of the common sense policies that we will present to the American people. I think I will do a good job doing that.”
Scott tells CBN News his strategy for winning the GOP nomination is simple.
“Be myself, believe that America can do for anyone what she’s done for me. We’re going to talk about restoring hope. We’re going to talk about creating opportunities. And we’re going to protect the America we love, and that’s going to start at our southern borders,” said Scott.
As he enters the race, Scott says he’s leaning on scripture for strength and encouragement.
“I still believe in the goodness of America. That’s why I lean on, as I said in my speech, Ephesians 3:20, ‘God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or imagine,'” quoted Scott. “Let’s get back to believing each other and setting our sights so high it’s impossible for us to fail.”
Senator Scott’s not the only 2024 GOP hopeful officially joining the race this week. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his candidacy Wednesday, and former Vice President Mike Pence may soon follow.