It may be a mistake or a foreshadowing of things to come but the summary page of US Sen. Tim Scott’s new memoir claims the increasingly influential Black conservative from South Carolina is readying a presidential campaign in 2022.
But in an interview with The Post and Courier, Scott responded to the revelation by saying, “I have not,” followed by, “That’s fascinating that that’s the copy on the book.”
The stunning two-sentence proclamation of Scott’s alleged White House ambitions can be found within the first few pages of the senator’s forthcoming memoir — “America, a Redemption Story,” which will be released nationwide in less than two weeks.
Printed in small font on the copyright page alongside information about how the work should be cataloged in the Library of Congress, the publisher writes the book is a way of laying the groundwork for a future presidential campaign.
It reads: “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.”
Together, the 39 words further raise speculation about what’s next for Scott’s political future even as South Carolina’s junior senator repeatedly laughs it off whenever he is asked about whether he has any big plans for 2024, the next presidential election year.
His go-to response has been to volley back with a lighthearted line about running for president of his homeowners association. But in a wide-ranging interview ahead of an upcoming Aug. 9 book event in Mount Pleasant, Scott did not deploy the joke.
“It certainly is my opportunity to share my story — the pain and the promise of my story — with the American people without any question,” Scott said of his latest output. “I hope that it goes beyond the borders of South Carolina, but it is absolutely not the beginning of a presidential election.”
Scott, who is up for reelection in November, said his focus politically is “to win the support of South Carolinians for the job of being their United States Senator for another six years.”
Asked again if the book is the start of a future White House bid, Scott replied: “Not for me it’s not.”
A request for comment from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, was not immediately available at press time.
The impending Aug. 9 release of Scott’s book is certain to raise Scott’s national profile even more.
Despite his protestations, the native North Charleston is regularly mentioned among the list of possible presidential contenders for the 2024 Republican primaries. His name ele will appear on the GOP presidential nomination straw poll ballot next week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas, along with other rumored 2024 aspirants like former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump.
To date, Scott has raised more than $46 million for his reelection against longshot challenger Democratic state Rep. Krystle Matthews of Ladson, making him the top fundraiser among all congressional Republicans. Last year, he also delivered the GOP rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s address to Congress. In those nationally televised remarks, the only Black Republican in the Senate declared, “America is not a racist country.”
Plus, the release of a political memoir has become a familiar rite of passage for serious presidential contenders.
In his book, Scott’s third, he weaves together stories of his life and the people who shaped him, along with personal reflections on historical events and figures. In one chapter, Scott compares America’s rebuilding that followed the Civil War to the way the United States came together after the 2015 mass shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church.
In another chapter, Scott shares what it was like during the Capital attack on Jan. 6, 2021. He writes of grabbing a pen as his only weapon, fearing what would happen if the protesters found him and his fellow lawmakers as they sought to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In the book, Scott says he holds “the people who perpetuated violence, destroyed property, and threatened lives responsible” for what happened Jan. 6, saying the “tragic day was the culmination of individuals making bad choices.”
Asked if he considered Trump among the individuals who made bad choices on Jan. 6, Scott replied, “When it comes to the responsibility, it lies on the shoulders and on the hearts of men and women who invaded the Capitol. That’s where the responsibility lies.”
He continued, “If you’re asking if I think that President Trump bears the responsibility for the actions of others, the answer is no. Could he have acted more quickly on that day to send in more reinforcements or assistance? I think the answer is yes.”
Scott also said he takes issue with hearings by the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack, saying they are filled with “very carefully crafted questions with a specific outcome as opposed to a search for truth.”
A spokeswoman for Scott interjected, preventing Scott from answering when he was asked if he had faith that the Justice Department’s criminal investigation would get to the truth as it probes efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Scott will publicly discuss the book for the first time Saturday, Aug. 6, at Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, marking the first stop on his book tour before the memoir is widely released Aug. 9.
Asked if the tour would take him to Iowa or New Hampshire, two famously influential states in the presidential nominating process, Scott laughed.
“I’ll be all over the country,” he said. “Maybe including at least one of those two places.”