South Carolina Tim Scott announced earlier in the week that he was suspending his campaign for president. The first African American senator since in the South since Reconstruction told Fox News that the voters “weren’t saying no, but rather not now.”
Tonight, I suspended my campaign for president.
Traveling this country and meeting all of you has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my entire life.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
God Bless the United States of America. pic.twitter.com/yniJWQMW1N
— Tim Scott (@votetimscott) November 13, 2023
Now, those who worked and supported his attempt at claiming the White House are fuming, especially those on his staff who were broadsided by his announcement to quit.
But even if it might have been on brand for a campaign lacking clear direction, and with a principal who frustrated some of his own top allies for his reluctance to do more retail campaigning, Scott’s abrupt departure from the race was no less bitter for those staffing him, nine staff members and other allies of Scott’s campaign told POLITICO.
“I think this was handled incredibly poorly,” said one Scott campaign official, who found out after being alerted by others watching Scott’s interview on Fox News.
“I’ve seen better run city council campaigns,” quipped a GOP operative supporting Scott in the primary. “A lot of people were pissed last night. The right thing to do is give your staff 30 minutes of notice and have a conference call beforehand. It was typical of the whole effort.”
On Sunday night, Scott told just two campaign staff members — campaign manager Jennifer DeCasper, and communications director Nathan Brand — of his plan to drop out, according to a senior adviser granted anonymity to speak freely. The rest of the team, including high-level advisers, found out on live television, or as their phones were bombarded with messages.
The outlet reported that Scott appeared delusional on his call with campaign staff and teased that he might try a future run for president.
The South Carolina senator tried running a “sunny” and “optimistic” campaign during a time that is neither sunny nor optimistic. Polling revealed that his exiting of the race will have little impact on the race as a whole, much in the same way that scooping out out a teaspoon of water doesn’t lower the water table of a lake.
NBC News noted, “What happens now after Sen. Tim Scott suspended his presidential campaign? The most recent NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of Iowa offers one clue: The GOP race barely changes.
According to last month’s Iowa poll, former President Donald Trump led his nearest rivals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, by 27 points among likely Republican caucusgoers, with Scott in fourth place: Trump 43%, DeSantis 16%, Haley 16%, Scott 7%.
But when Scott’s 7% support is reallocated to those voters’ second choices, the distribution is roughly even. In other words, the South Carolina senator’s disappearance from the race does little to help any of his non-Trump rivals catch up to the former president.”