Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) announced the suspension of his presidential campaign Sunday night during an interview on Fox News after the senator struggled to gain momentum in the Republican primary race in recent months.
The South Carolina senator announced his decision Sunday night during an interview with former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Fox News.
“When I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate,” Scott said. “I am suspending my campaign. 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 explained that while he believes Republican voters have made it clear that now is not his time to run for president, he does not believe voters are giving him a definitive “no.” As a result, Scott said he is going to continue to work hard on behalf of Americans across the country, “respect the voters,” and look towards “another opportunity” in the future.
In response to Scott’s announcement, Gowdy appeared visibly stunned and questioned the senator’s decision to suspend his campaign when he had significant campaign funding and high approval numbers and would have had the benefit of campaigning soon in his home state of South Carolina in the Republican primary.
“Romans 8:28 is such an important scripture, it says that ‘all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose,'” Scott said. “I think the message is clear for me right now, I am indeed suspending the campaign.”
While the South Carolina senator announced the suspension of his campaign Sunday, Scott did not give his endorsement to any of the other Republican candidates.
“I’m going to recommend that the voters study each candidate and their candidacies and frankly their past and make the best decision for the future of the country,” Scott stated. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”
In addition to the visible surprise of Gowdy during Sunday night’s interview, Scott’s campaign staff was also reportedly shocked by the senator’s announcement.
“A senior staffer tells me on the condition of anonymity that this is incredibly frustrating for staffers. A large portion of the SC team had been sent to Iowa in the last month – and now they have to find a way to get them back tomorrow,” Associated Press reporter Meg Kinnard tweeted. “The staffer added they had been operating as though he still planned to win, and were blindsided by Tim Scott’s announcement on Fox News.”