Politics

Tim Scott denies plotting presidential bid despite own book saying he is


The Republican South Carolina senator Tim Scott has denied preparing to run for president, despite writing a book which says he is.

America: a Redemption Story will be published next week.

According to the Post and Courier newspaper, the surprising admission of ambition is “printed in small font on the copyright page alongside information about how the work should be cataloged in the Library of Congress”.

The text says: “Senator Scott is a rising star who sees and understands the importance of bipartisanship to move America forward. This book is a political memoir that includes his core messages as he prepares to make a presidential bid in 2022.”

But Scott told the South Carolina newspaper “I have not” begun to prepare a campaign, adding: “That’s fascinating that that’s the copy on the book.”

Scott’s publisher – Thomas Nelson, a conservative imprint at HarperCollins – took responsibility for what it said was an error.

It said: “The description on the copyright page was our error and is not accurate. It was not done at the direction or approval of the senator or his team. We are working to correct this immediately.”

The next presidential election is in 2024. Republican hopefuls are jockeying for position. Donald Trump is believed likely to announce his run before the midterms in November, stoking opposition from the Republican National Committee, which would rather focus on retaking Congress.

Scott is the only Black Republican senator and would be the second Black president, after Barack Obama.

In 2021, delivering the Republican response to Joe Biden’s first address to Congress, Scott famously claimed: “America is not a racist country.”

He has worked across the aisle on issues prominently including policing reform, in that case without success.

He has also criticised the House January 6 committee, which is investigating Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election and incitement of the deadly Capitol attack.

The Post and Courier said that when Scott was asked if he had faith in the Department of Justice and its criminal investigation of Trump’s election subversion, a spokesperson stopped the senator giving an answer.

Scott has both said he will support Trump in 2024 if he is the nominee and indicated a willingness to be his running mate. Earlier this year, he told Fox News: “Everybody wants to be on President Trump’s bandwagon, without any question.”

He also said: “I am not looking for a seat on a ticket at this point. I am however looking to be re-elected in South Carolina. So my hope is that you win next Friday’s football game before thinking about any other one. So that’s my primary responsibility.”

Speaking to the Post and Courier, Scott said his book “certainly is my opportunity to share my story – the pain and the promise of my story – with the American people without any question.”

Scott’s claims about his life story have been called into question. In the Guardian in April, the writer Michael Harriott said: “He has repeatedly extolled the values of hard work as part of his origin story. He often recounts the tale of his poor, illiterate grandfather who – Scott conveniently forgets to mention – owned 900 acres in South Carolina.”

Scott told the Post and Courier he hoped his new book would reach “beyond the borders of South Carolina, but it is absolutely not the beginning of a presidential election”.

Asked if promoting the book might nonetheless take him to Iowa and New Hampshire, states which kick-off the presidential primary, Scott said: “I’ll be all over the country. Maybe including at least one of those two places.”





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