MYRTLE BEACH — U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said he'd support former President Donald Trump if he makes a run for a second term in the White House, curbing some speculation the South Carolina Republican could himself be a 2024 candidate.
When asked if he'd support a Trump run he answered "of course" but deflected further questions if he has a desire to run for the Oval Office as well. He added he is focused on his reelection campaign for Senate next year.
"Well at this point I'm not running for president at all," he added. "I'm not going to answer a hypothetical question."
He also downplayed interest in being Trump's choice for vice president.
During the S.C. GOP's "First In The South Republican Action Conference" in Myrtle Beach, when an attendee asked the senator about his 2024 plans during a public question and-answer session, Scott said he's "a guy that's running for reelection" and added "we may have a surprise return candidate."
Scott has been making inroads into the national conversation for years, with recent visits to key primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, stoking talk of a presidential bid in 2024. It’s a proposition some Republican voters seem to like; Scott is often name-dropped alongside Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and fellow South Carolinian Nikki Haley.
But overwhelmingly, talk of Trump entering the presidency field in 2024 was one of the main themes that surfaced at the S.C. GOP's conference in Myrtle Beach that took place Oct. 29-31.
Former RNC chairman Reince Priebus also stoked confidence in a Trump 2024 run during his speech.
“I think the odds of President Trump running for president are somewhere near 100 percent,” Priebus said. “I think he will be the nominee of the party.”
Scott’s national profile has been rising and after several national TV appearances he raised $8.3 million in the third quarter of 2021, holding him at the front of the financial pack among senators across the country facing re-election next year.
He faces two Democratic challengers in 2022: state Rep. Krystle Matthews of Ladson, and Spartanburg County Democratic Party Chairwoman Angela Geter.
Scott's chances for reelection are largely seen as relatively safe in the overwhelming Republican South Carolina.
Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who serves as the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also said the South Carolina senator's chances look pretty good in 2022.
"I look forward to doing anything I can to help Tim," the Florida senator said. "I am optimistic that he will have a landslide win."