By Joanna Button
What’s happening? Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott announced his presidential campaign on Monday. He argues that America needs a president with “compassion for those who disagree with us” and that the country must choose victory over victimhood. Supporters believe his optimistic and patriotic message sets him apart from other contenders, but skeptics argue he stands no chance.
Support: The conservative magazine National Review wrote that Scott is a good face for conservatism and that his friendly approach could attract voters from across the aisle. As the only black Republican senator and the only black man to ever serve in both congressional chambers, his supporters believe he could attract black voters.
Criticism: Others have cited black Republicans’ long history of failing to win over their black constituents, arguing an attempt to do so on a national scale would be futile. Critics at The Spectator argue that he lacks the “venom” necessary to crack down on leftist ideology and policies. Scott previously also drew criticism for not being conservative enough—in 2020, he supported the Black Lives Matter cause during the anti-police protests and has been accused of playing into cancel culture.
Could he succeed? Donald Trump welcomed Scott to the race, saying he’s a “big step up” from Ron DeSantis, who announced his candidacy yesterday. More candidates could increase Trump’s chances of winning the primaries by splitting Republican votes between his contenders. It seems unlikely Scott stands a chance against frontrunners Trump and DeSantis.