Tim Scott endorsement of Trump latest sign GOP consolidating around former president
CONCORD, N.H. – Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina – minutes after endorsing Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination – telling Fox News it’s time for the GOP to rally around the former president.
“It’s time for us to unite our party so that we make sure that the only target we’re talking about is firing Joe Biden,” Scott emphasized after formally backing the former president at a Trump campaign rally in New Hampshire’s state capital city.
“The best way for us to get rid of Joe Biden as our president is to unite our party now behind Donald Trump,” Scott added.
Scott, who ended his own White House bid in November, became the third former Republican presidential candidate in the past week to endorse Trump.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum teamed up with Trump at a rally in Indianola, Iowa last weekend as he backed Trump. And multi-millionaire biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy endorsed Trump on Monday night, as he suspended his own campaign following a dismal finish in Iowa’s caucuses. Ramaswamy joined Trump at a rally in Atkinson, New Hamphire the next evening.
And it’s not just former Republican presidential nomination rivals.
Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, became the 26th GOP lawmaker in the upper chamber to back Trump. Nearly 120 House Republicans are also supporting Trump, as are 10 governors.
Trump, the commanding front-runner for the nomination as he makes his third straight White House run, is leagues ahead of his two remaining GOP 2024 rivals – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N.ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley – when it comes to endorsements.
“It’s weird to see such an outsider having everyone in D.C. behind him, and unifying the party at such an early stage,” veteran Republican strategist Matthew Bartlett told Fox News.
While he served four years in the White House and is running an incumbent type campaign as he tries to win back his old job, Trump has a public persona as an outsider.
Pointing to Tuesday’s New Hampshire GOP presidential primary, where surveys suggest Trump holds a double-digit lead over Haley with DeSantis a distant third in single digits, Bartlett said “we’ll see what happens on Tuesday, but right now this looks like a general election campaign.”
A year ago, at the dawn of 2023, the former president was the only declared candidate in the race for the Republican nomination.
However, he was far from a sure thing.
DeSantis, fresh off an overwhelming gubernatorial re-election less than two months earlier, was neck and neck with Trump in some of the early 2024 polls.
The former president was still facing plenty of criticism by fellow Republicans for contributing to the GOP’s lackluster performance in the 2022 midterms.
Additionally, Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign launch at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, a couple of weeks after the midterms was panned by many pundits.
But Trump’s four indictments last year, including charges he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss, have only boosted his support among Republican presidential primary voters.
On Monday, Trump squashed the competition in the Iowa caucuses, the first contest on the GOP nominating calendar.
While Haley and DeSantis remain in the fight for the Republican nomination, Matt Mowers told Fox News “a lot of folks are starting to look past the primary.”
But Mowers, a veteran of the Trump State Department who later won the 2020 Reublican nomination in New Hampshire’s first congressional district, highlighted that “New Hampshire has a tendency to surprise at times too, so we’ll see how it all shakes out.”