“I have never been more optimistic about the future of America and the limitless potential of the next generation,” Scott said as he kicked off his 2022 reelection bid at a rally in his hometown of North Charleston, S.C.
“After four years of proven Republican leadership from the White House and congress, we were able to accomplish record-low unemployment rates, peace in the Middle East, historic and permanent funding for HBCUs, and a skyrocketing economy — all while bringing millions of Americans out of poverty,” Scott emphasized in an accompanying statement.
Pointing to former President Trump, Scott added, “It has been an honor to represent South Carolina and work alongside President Trump on these issues. And with the Palmetto State’s blessing, I look forward to holding the current administration accountable and continuing the fight in Washington.”
Topping his speech, the senator described Trump’s accomplishments during his tenure in the White House as “the good old days” and highlighted that “sometimes you’ve got to go back to the future, and that’s a future I want to go back to.”
Scott’s reelection campaign released a video launching his 2022 bid, which included a sound bite of Scott saying, “We don’t give in to cancel culture. We have work to do, but I believe in the goodness of America.”
A South Carolina state lawmaker at the time, Scott was elected to the U.S. House in 2010. Three years later he was appointed by then-Gov. Nikki Haley to fill a vacant Senate seat, becoming the first Black Republican in the chamber in over 30 years. He won a special election in 2014 and in 2016 earned a full six-year term. Scott reiterated Monday what he’s long said – that the 2022 race will be his last campaign for the Senate.
Scott is considered the heavy favorite for reelection in the solidly red state of South Carolina, where Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham won reelection by 10 points last November despite record-breaking fundraising from Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, who’s now the chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Two Democrats – state Rep. Krystle Matthews and Spartanburg County Democratic Party chair Angela Geter – have announced runs for governor.
Scott has become a high-profile Republican during his tenure in the Senate. He grabbed national attention earlier this year when he gave a well-received GOP response to President Biden’s primetime address to a joint session of Congress. And he’s the lead Republican in negotiations with congressional Democrats on a major police reform bill.
Pundits see Scott as a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, and a trip to Iowa – the state that kicks off the presidential nominating calendar – in April to help raise money for Hawkeye State Republicans sparked speculation about his national ambitions.
Asked by Fox News ahead of his Iowa trip about a possible 2024 White House run, Scott downplayed such talk, declaring that his “only objective is to be the United States senator for the great state of South Carolina.”