For months, the smart political money was on a GOP showdown between Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump.
But that was unless someone else came along who could compete with them.
And Ron DeSantis just got blindsided when this leading GOP Senator announced his presidential bid.
Announcement could hurt DeSantis the most
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has announced an “exploratory committee for President,” the first step to entering the 2024 Presidential contest.
By all accounts, Scott’s entry into the race hurts Ron DeSantis the most and possibly could help catapult Donald Trump to his third GOP Presidential nomination.
But that isn’t stopping Scott.
“I know that America is a land of opportunity, not oppression. I know it, because I’ve lived it,” Scott said in a video announcing his run.
“I will never back down in defense of the conservative values that make America exceptional, and that’s why I’m announcing my exploratory committee for President of the United States.”
Scott went on to describe his positive experience as a black man in America and his intent to defend the Judeo-Christian values that make America great.
I will never back down in defense of the conservative values that make America exceptional.
That's why I'm announcing my exploratory committee for President of the United States.
This fight is personal.
I want every American to have the same opportunities I had. pic.twitter.com/HV56pbyKdB
— Tim Scott (@votetimscott) April 12, 2023
Scott also listed some of the things he would do as President.
Plans for victory
Specifically, he mentioned standing up to Communist China, restoring job opportunities, defending parental rights in education, solving the growing border crisis, lowering crime, and protecting the right to life.
The exploratory committee will serve as an early fundraising vehicle for Scott as he continues to weigh a full-fledged Presidential run.
Exploratory committee funds can later be transferred to a campaign and are common among Republican Presidential candidates.
While he says he hasn’t made a firm decision, Scott sure sounded like a Presidential candidate.
“Joe Biden and the radical Left have chosen a culture of grievance over greatness. They’re promoting victimhood over responsibility. And they’re indoctrinating our children to believe that we live in an evil country,” Scott said.
“And all too often when they get called out for their failures, they weaponize race to divide us, to hold on to their power,” the South Carolina Senator added.
If Scott does ultimately decide to make the run, he will join fellow South Carolinian and former Governor Nikki Haley in the hunt, as well as businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
A wildcard in the deck
None of these other candidates are thought to have a chance against former President Trump or Ron DeSantis.
However, Scott could be the wildcard.
He could pull from DeSantis supporters who are becoming frustrated with his failure to announce and his recent missteps.
And if the Democrat attacks on Scott are any indication, he could be a force in the early states, especially his home state of South Carolina.
“Tim Scott wants to govern from the ‘far, conservative Right’ as a proud member of the Tea Party, and his extreme record proves it,” Democrat National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison said.
“Even before he refused to name a policy difference with Trump, Scott was a fierce advocate of the MAGA agenda – supporting national abortion bans and championing plans to end Medicare and Social Security as we know them,” Harrison continued.
While an exploratory committee is not a firm decision to run, it is a strong indication that Scott is serious.
Now the ball is in DeSantis’ court.
Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.