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Tim Scott launches presidential exploratory committee

Tim Scott launches 2024 exploratory committee
Tim Scott launches presidential exploratory committee 00:41

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina announced Wednesday that he has launched an exploratory committee for a potential 2024 presidential bid.

He made the announcement in a video, saying he would "never back down in defense of the conservative values that make America exceptional. And that's why I'm announcing my exploratory committee for president of the United States."

Scott, the Senate's only Black Republican, said, "Joe Biden and the radical left have chosen a culture of grievance over greatness. They're promoting victimhood instead of personal responsibility and they're indoctrinating our children to believe we live in an evil country. And all too often, when they get called out for their failures, they weaponize race to divide us, to hold onto their power. 

"When I fought back against their liberal agenda, they called me a prop, a token, because I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control."

Scott was scheduled to travel to Iowa Wednesday, multiple sources familiar with the matter confirmed to CBS News.

Back in February, the 57-year-old made several stops there. Iowa will serve as the first-in-the-nation contest in the 2024 Republican primaries.

Senate Banking Committee Hearing On Recent Bank Failures
Senator Tim Scott, a ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 28, 2023.  Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Only former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have declared their 2024 candidacy so far on the Republican side.

When addressing reporters during his last Iowa tour, Scott deflected questions on whether he had indicated to Trump that he would run.

"We have had some texts, but the truth of the matter, we're not talking about politics, we're talking about the issues that are important overall," Scott said at the time.

MAGA Inc., the super PAC established by Trump allies, called Scott's endeavor and the endeavors of other 2024 Republican hopefuls a "distraction." 

"Voters have rallied around President Trump, and are ready to take the fight to the Democrats," said Alex Pfeiffer, spokesman for MAGA Inc. "This competition for 2nd place is an expensive distraction and detriment to that ultimate goal."

Scott, who has served in the Senate since 2013, appears to be attempting to position himself as an alternative to Trump by emphasizing a more positive message.

"I see a future where common sense has rebuilt common ground," Scott said in a speech in February at Drake University in Des Moines, according to the Des Moines Register. "Where we've created real unity, not by compromising away our conservatism, but by winning converts. Where our movement can once again carry 49 states and the popular vote."

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