Sen. Tim Scott's New Hampshire trip all about 2022, but it sparks more 2024 speculation

Sen. Tim Scott warns Democrats are trying to defund the police

The South Carolina senator says the left is putting their politics over the people in approach to police reform.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina heads to New Hampshire on Friday to help raise money for fellow Republicans in a key battleground state where the GOP aims to flip a Senate and House seat from blue to red in the 2022 midterm elections.

But for Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate and a rising star in the GOP, the two-day swing through the state that for a century has held the first primary in the presidential nominating calendar will spark more speculation about his potential national ambitions.

Scott’s the featured guest at a New Hampshire Republican State Committee fundraising dinner in Manchester on Friday night. The following day the senator heads to Concord to headline a picnic and joint fundraiser for the Merrimack County and Concord GOP committees.

The senator’s political team says that Scott, during his New Hampshire swing, will take aim at the massive social spending, human infrastructure and climate change package that congressional Democrats and the Biden White House are trying to pass. The senator’s also expected to address this week’s negotiations over raising the nation’s debt limit, and will spotlight the importance of GOP unity in the policy and political battles ahead.

A invitation from the New Hampshire GOP for their Oct. 8, 2021 fundraising dinner, which will be headlined by Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina

Scott’s become a high-profile Republican during his tenure in the Senate. He grabbed national attention earlier this year when he gave a well-received GOP response to President Biden’s prime time address to a joint session of Congress. He also led Republicans in unsuccessful negotiations with congressional Democrats on a major police reform bill, and he grabbed headlines by hauling in an eye-popping $9.6 million during the April-June second quarter of fundraising for his 2022 Senate reelection.

As of now, Scott’s unlikely to face a challenging reelection next year in the reliably red Palmetto State, where he won his 2016 election by nearly 25 points. Last November, then-President Trump carried the state by 12 points and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham won reelection by 10 points despite record-breaking fundraising from Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, who’s now the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate and a rising star in the GOP, on June 28, 2021 launched his 2022 re-election campaign. 
(@votetimscott/Twitter)

“Tim Scott is a force,” longtime New Hampshire-based Republican consultant Jim Merrill emphasized. 

“His strong fundraising numbers reflect how he has inspired activists and business leaders alike, good for both his reelection next year and for a potential presidential campaign in 2024,” Merrill, a veteran of numerous GOP presidential campaigns, added.

Scott’s trip to New Hampshire follows a stop this spring in Iowa, the state whose caucuses for half a century have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar.

Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann earlier this year told Fox News that Scott’s “a man of integrity” and “a man of action.” And after the senator’s GOP rebuttal speech following Biden’s address, New Hampshire GOP chair Steve Stepanek said, “I’m going to be watching Sen. Scott because I think great things are before him.”

Scott has consistently downplayed any talk about a possible 2024 White House run. The senator told Fox News earlier this year that his “only objective is to be the United States senator for the great state of South Carolina.” But Scott added that the 2022 race will be his last Senate campaign.

The senator’s trips to Iowa and now New Hampshire are grabbing attention.

“Clearly anyone who’s going to Iowa or New Hampshire right now wants to be president. By going now, they’re keeping the option to run open,” longtime Republican strategist Alex Conant said.

“If you want to run for president, you need to be laying the groundwork right now,” Conant, a veteran of three GOP presidential campaigns, noted. “That doesn’t guarantee that you will be running for president but since the field is potentially very open and very competitive, it’s important to get started early.”

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