Ron DeSantis says Tim Scott couldn’t ‘compete’ in GOP presidential race

Tim scott DeSantis
'I don't think he was in a position to really compete to win or to show very well.'

Florida’s Governor is giving more insight into how he feels about the latest departure from the Republican presidential race.

During an interview with an Iowa radio station, Ron DeSantis offered more commentary on U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s exit from the race than he did in a recent post to social media platform X.

“I think the more consolidation, the better. I mean, Tim Scott had a following. I don’t think he was in a position to really compete to win or to show very well, but he was a good guy,” DeSantis said, lauding the South Carolinian’s “good, good, good, solid record.”

“I think having those people (previously supporting Scott) up for grabs will help me for sure,” the 2024 presidential candidate told listeners of AM 600 WMT.

Previously, DeSantis bid the “strong conservative” from South Carolina farewell in the wake of his snap decision to exit the race.

“Tim Scott is a strong conservative with bold ideas about how to get our country back on track. I respect his courage to run this campaign and thank him for his service to America and the U.S. Senate. I look forward to Tim continuing to be a leader in our party for years to come,” read the message posted on X that may or may not have been posted by DeSantis himself.

It’s uncertain what “bold ideas” DeSantis attributes to Scott. And the radio interview didn’t answer that question.

Scott’s exit comes months after DeSantis’ political operation suggested it would target the South Carolina Senator, before it became clear that Scott would not catch fire with voters in early Primary states.

In a “confidential friends and family update” memo first reported by NBC News, the DeSantis campaign claimed in July that while Scott “has earned a serious look at this stage, his bio is lacking the fight that our electorate is looking for in the next President.”

The expectation was that Scott would “receive appropriate scrutiny in the weeks ahead,” a projection that never needed to be fulfilled.

DeSantis also lumped Scott in with a “culture of losing” in the GOP during a May segment with Erick Erickson.

“You’ve got a sitting Senator, you’ve got a former Vice President, a former Governor. You’ve got an Ambassador,” Erickson asked. “Why not them for the presidency?”

The Governor stuck to his script, depicting himself as “the only one” in the field with a winning record of delivering conservative policy goals.

“Well, we have a culture of losing in our party and there’s really no substitute for victory. We can’t have any more excuses. We’ve got to get it done,” DeSantis said.

Earlier this year, Scott took issue with Florida’s state education standards stating that slaves may have developed marketable skills while being enslaved.

“What slavery was really about was separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating,” Scott said in Iowa, as reported by The Associated Press. “So I would hope that every person in our country — and certainly running for President — would appreciate that.”

“People have bad days,” Scott added. “Sometimes they regret what they say. And we should ask them again to clarify their positions.”

Scott’s exit from the race may be most important in his native South Carolina, an early Primary state that DeSantis has said he would focus on, even getting a “sublease” to campaign there during what will likely be an important 2024 Legislative Session in Florida.

DeSantis is struggling in the state as voters get to know him, according to recent polling.

CNN survey of 738 likely Republican voters conducted from Oct. 18 through Oct. 25 shows him with just 11% support, far behind former President Donald Trump (53%) and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (22%). Scott was at 6% in that poll, and it remains to be seen where that support goes.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


4 comments

  • My Take

    November 14, 2023 at 9:54 am

    “Couldn’t compete”
    ====
    . . . being black and all . . . in the GOP.

  • Tom

    November 14, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Ronnie doesn’t seem to be competing particularly well himself. Not that it matters with trump being so far ahead. They’re like jackals fighting over the scraps.

  • Sonja Fitch

    November 15, 2023 at 4:11 am

    Cringe! Racist Desantis!

  • Dont Say FLA

    November 15, 2023 at 10:40 am

    Rhonda thinks Tim Scott supporters will now pick Rhonda? Why would they do that when they already picked “Not Trump Not Rhonda?” They will mostly switch to Haley except maybe Rhonda will get the most misogynistic among Scott’s supporters, but only if they realize Rhonda was born as a male with a lil peenie and all.

Comments are closed.


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