Republican, who introduced Wednesday he is testing the waters for a presidential bid, won’t say whether or not he’d assist former President Donald Trump in 2024 if he is the GOP nominee.
Scott, who’s forming a presidential exploratory committee, a precursor to operating for president, twice declined to reply a query about supporting Trump in an interview with CBS Information political correspondent Caitlin Huey-Burns in Iowa.
“If Donald Trump is the nominee for the Republican Social gathering, would you assist him?” Huey-Burns requested.
“I plan on being the nominee,” Scott responded. “Clearly, I’ve an exploratory committee transferring ahead.”
“But when Trump is the nominee, would you assist him?” Huey-Burns pressed once more.
“Clearly, I am trying ahead to being the nominee, as I am working by myself exploratory committee,” Scott mentioned.
Scott, the junior senator from South Carolina, very hardly ever criticizes the previous president in public. As an alternative, he has targeted on his imaginative and prescient for the nation, notably extra upbeat than the darker grievance-laden pitch usually voiced by. Trump has extra identify recognition than any candidate operating or contemplating a bid for the presidency, however Scott thinks there’s a gap for a candidate like him.
“I see that America is ravenous for constructive, optimistic management,” Scott informed Huey-Burns. “I need to present that various to not any particular candidate, however for the American individuals.”
“The distinction between me and others, I imagine, is that my focus is on the truth that I was a child who did not see a future,” Scott continued. “I was a child that was offended concerning the playing cards that I used to be dealt. I used to be blessed by a mom who by no means surrendered. I used to be blessed by a mentor who all the time cherished and supported my very best self. And it is due to these two people that I now have better religion sooner or later for others. And I see my duty of sharing the excellent news of who we could be as a result of we’ve been. If we will unite this nation across the options, focusing extra on these options than anything, it is my solely path ahead, and it is the one I’ve chosen.”
MAGA Inc., the tremendous PAC established by Trump allies, discouraged Scott’s potential candidacy. “Voters have rallied round President Trump, and are able to take the battle to the Democrats,” mentioned Alex Pfeiffer, spokesman for MAGA Inc. “This competitors for second place is an costly distraction and detriment to that final purpose.”
Scott has occasions deliberate this week in the important thing early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and his own residence state of South Carolina. Scott mentioned his journey to Iowa is his twelfth or thirteenth go to to the state since 2016, when he traveled right here to assist increase different GOP candidates.
“We have been supportive of the staff right here for, golly, nearly eight years,” Scott mentioned when requested if he is laid any groundwork within the state for a possible presidential candidacy. “We hope so.” He is relying on his message of a heritage of religion to resonate with Republican voters in Iowa, and he believes it already is.
On the subject of abortion, Scott declined to take the identical stance as his fellow senator, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has referred to as for a federal ban on abortions at 15 weeks. Scott described himself as “100% pro-life,” however didn’t again a selected coverage place.
Scott additionally opened up about his mom, a single mother who challenged him to make a greater future for himself, regardless of their poverty. He grew to become emotional when he talked about telling his mother he was planning on operating for president.
“I feel she form of cried, truthfully. I feel it is — wow, I get emotional,” Scott mentioned. “It is wonderful to have such a depressing starting after which have an opportunity to proceed to characterize not solely your nation, however your loved ones. And her sacrifice — she’s my actual American hero — her sacrifices alongside the best way to get me to this place, it is simple and it deserves to be celebrated. And one of many ways in which you have a good time that sacrifice is to do all that you would be able to each time you possibly can to share the excellent news that she shared with me that each one issues are potential. She used to say, ‘Timmy, should you simply shoot for the moon, even should you miss, you will be among the many stars.’ And, you understand, it took a very long time for that to stay. I am so grateful that she by no means surrendered. She by no means gave up on me.”
— Aaron Navarro contributed to this report