Former President Donald Trump welcomed Republican Senator Tim Scott (S.C.) to the 2024 Republican presidential race on Monday (May 22), using Scott’s entry as an opportunity to challenge a rival considered his most threatening contender: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R).
Trump took to Truth Social to extend his well wishes to Scott, wishing him “good luck” in his Republican Presidential primary bid.
The former President noted how the race was “rapidly loading up with lots of people,” suggesting that Scott was a “big step up” from DeSantis, who referred to as “DeSanctimonious” and suggested was “totally unelectable.”
Trump noted that he and Scott worked together to create Opportunity Zones, an investment incentive included in the 2017 Republican tax cut law that Trump signed.
On Monday, Scott, who filed his campaign with the Federal Election Committee on Friday (May 19), kicked off his presidential campaign in his home state of South Carolina, becoming the first and likely only senator to enter the race.
His speech focused heavily on his life story, which he said embodies the American Dream, and his desire to run a race rooted in optimism and positivity.
Trump was not particularly negative about Scott, instead focusing on DeSantis, who ranks second to Trump in most national polls and has a leader over the former President in some state polls.
Florida’s governor is expected to formally announce his 2024 bid later this week, and DeSantis’ team has argued that Trump’s repeated attacks before the Florida Governor has even entered the race are a sign of DeSantis’s strength.