Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) rocked the 2024 electoral landscape with his announcement of a presidential exploratory committee last month, adding intrigue to an increasingly complex GOP primary that will rapidly evolve in the coming months.
And more recent comments Scott made Sunday teasing a major May 22 announcement further fuelled speculation, with numerous reports presuming he’s set to officially pronounce his 2024 candidacy.
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Scott, a Christian, has openly spoken over the years about his affinity for faith and the Bible. He believes his story of growing up in abject poverty and achieving success holds the ability to inspire others.
“I believe that America can do for anyone what she has done for me,” Scott told CBN’s Faithwire, explaining why he’s considering running for the presidency. “And I believe that we have to restore hope, create opportunities, and protect America.”
The senator said there’s far too much negativity in the U.S. today, lamenting what he sees as an ever-present “victimhood” mentality.
“We have so much to celebrate,” he said. “We are actually the land of opportunity and not a land of oppression. I believe that [in] today’s culture, there’s this victimhood that seems to be sold on one side, where we all know that individual responsibility leads forward.”
Watch Scott discuss his life, faith, and political career:
Navigating Life Struggles
Scott has faced his fair share of life difficulties, with his parents divorcing when he was a young child and his mother working diligently to support the family. He said his mom labored 16 hours daily, changing bedpans, helping patients, and exemplifying “there’s dignity in all work.”
The senator’s grandfather, who grew up in the heart of South Carolina’s Jim Crow era, had it even harder, as he was forced to drop out of school in the third grade so he could pick cotton to support the family.
But that same granddad was able to see the fruit of his own labor manifest through Scott’s successes.
“He lived long enough … to see his grandson pick out a seat in Congress, and so, what I say is, ‘From cotton to Congress in one lifetime,'” Scott said. “It just tells me the story of the American evolution. It’s such a beautiful story that we sometimes miss.”
Quoting Scripture throughout his conversation with CBN, Scott emphasized the essentiality of faith in his life and work — and openly acknowledged the role of belief in every facet of his being.
He spoke about the impact his journey, the Bible, and God has had on his creation of the Opportunity Agenda, a sociopolitical effort to provide services and opportunities for lower-income Americans.
“The lessons of my childhood that weave together practical principles and practical effort and biblical truth has really formed the foundation for most of my Opportunity Agenda that I focus on and work on every single day in the United States Senate,” Scott said.
The Roots of Scott’s Faith
The senator said his spiritual journey took root early on with his mother and grandmother pouring into him.
“My faith journey started with an uninspired student who had low self-esteem, felt challenged,” Scott said. “I was not in the right head space.”
But his mother and grandmother taught him about true reliance on the Lord.
“My journey starts with my grandmother [and] my mother, being the matriarch of the family, teaching me the power of prayer,” he said, noting he also made friends who showed him the love of Christ. “I had a great friend … who was working at the same movie theater and he taught me that he was so happy living in a single-wide trailer with no car because Jesus Christ was the Lord of his life.”
Scott likened these impactful individuals and the lessons they taught to “breadcrumbs” leading him “towards salvation.”
“Obviously, we all have to make that decision on our own,” he said. “It was September 22nd, 1983, at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. I was on a small football scholarship at Presbyterian College, and I gave my life to the Lord. And I will say, you talk about radical transformation.”
He continued, “I thought for a long time that Jesus was my game and football was my life. After becoming a Christian, I realized that football was just a game, but Jesus was the rest of my life, and that journey has taken me into public service.”
Scott believes his story of a difficult upbringing and overcoming difficulties with the odds stacked against him — a path that led him to succeed beyond anything he could have imagined — offers a powerful reminder of what God can do in people’s lives.
“According to Ephesians 3:20 … ‘God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or imagine,'” he said. “No one could have imagined my grandfather was picking cotton. I picked a seat in Congress … If there’s ever a time to tell the story of American progress, the time is now, and if there’s someone who’s been on both sides of that track, that’s lived the testimony, it is time for that person to stand up.”
Scott said he is focused right now on his “mission” and is willing to invest the rest of his life in “restoring hope and creating opportunities and protecting America.”
Watch the full conversation with Scott here.
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