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Charleston Business

Full Prepared Remarks From Tim Scott's Major Announcement

May 22, 2023 05:49PM ● By David Dykes

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - Below are U.S. Sen. Tim's Scott's full remarks as prepared for delivery when he formally announced May 22, 2023, that he is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination:

"I am so happy to be back home in North Charleston.

I am so proud to be an American, aren’t you?

We live in the land where it is possible… for a kid raised in poverty by a single mother in a small apartment… to one day serve in the People’s House… and maybe even the White House.

This is the greatest country on God’s green Earth.


Today, I think back to my grandfather. A man born in 1921 in Salley, South Carolina; in the Deep South.

By the time he was in the third grade, his education was over. He was forced out of school and had to start picking cotton.

But he lived long enough to watch his grandson pick out a seat in Congress. That’s the evolution of the country we live in!

My family went from cotton to Congress in his lifetime. And it was possible because my grandfather had stubborn faith.

He had faith in God… faith in himself… and faith in what America would be.

He looked beyond the pain of his present and saw the promise of the future.

This Black man who struggled through the Jim Crow South believed then what some doubt now: In the goodness of America.

I was seven years old when my parents divorced. We moved in with my grandparents. My mother, my brother and I shared one bedroom in a 700-square-foot rental house.

But my grandfather said: 'Son — you can be bitter, or you can be better. But you can’t be both.'

He chose patriotism over pity. He focused on the windshield of life, not the rear-view mirror.

And today, I am living proof that America is the land of opportunity, not a land of oppression.

This isn’t just my story. It’s all of our stories.

The circumstances may be different, the details may change, but every one of us is here because of an American journey where there were obstacles… that became opportunities.

Pain… that revealed purpose.

If you believe it, say 'Amen'!

But under President Biden, our nation is retreating away from patriotism and faith.

The fewest people in 30 years believe kids today will have better lives than their parents.

And the radical left is pushing us into a culture of grievance instead of a culture of greatness.


My momma worked 16-hour days as a nurse’s aide — changing bedpans and rolling patients.

It was hard work. It was not glamorous.

But those 16-hour days put food on our table. And kept our lights on. They empowered her to move her boys out of a place filled with anger into a home full of love.

My mom’s work ethic taught me there is dignity in all work.

It’s why I know if you are able-bodied, you work! Period.

My momma said we could be victims or victors — and she chose victorious.

But under President Biden, our nation is retreating away from work and dignity.

Millions and millions of people have dropped out of the workforce entirely.

And the share of working-age men choosing to work is the lowest it has ever been.


Now, while my mom was working 16-hour days, I was busy feeling sorry for myself.

My mom was too busy. My father was absent. We didn’t have money for little treats.

I felt disillusioned and angry. I was a challenged young man who felt the weight of life accumulating on my shoulders.

But when I was about 15, I met John Moniz, a Chick-Fil-A operator.

John came into my life when I really needed a mentor. He started teaching me important life principles.

John showed me that having a job was good, but creating jobs would be even better.

He explained that having an income would determine my lifestyle, but creating a profit could change my community.

John taught me that anyone, from anywhere, at any time can succeed beyond their wildest imagination.

But first, I had to take responsibility for myself. He told me in the most loving way possible to look in the mirror and blame myself.

Don’t blame my mom who was working long hours. Don’t blame my dad who wasn’t there.

Because if I saw the problem in the mirror, then I could also see the promise.

I chose personal responsibility over resentment. I became the master of my fate.

But today, the Biden Administration has us retreating away from earned success, aspiration, and accountability.

He wants to make waitresses and mechanics pay the student loans of doctors and lawyers who make six figures.

This Administration has taxed, borrowed, and spent trillions of dollars trying to replace a hand up with handouts. All they bought us was crushing inflation that has devastated families like mine.


Like many poor families, we moved around. I’d been to four different elementary schools by the fourth grade.

My freshman year of high school, I almost failed out. I failed four subjects: English, Spanish, world geography, and civics.

For anyone who doesn’t know, civics is the study of politics. God has a sense of humor.

And after 10 years in the Senate, I know I’m not the only person in Washington D.C. who’s failed civics!

So that’s where I found my unhappy self.

My momma was a tireless encourager — still is. But when she saw those grades, she provided me a very different form of Southern encouragement!

I was thoroughly encouraged from about here, all the way to here.

I went to summer school. I caught up on classes. And I never failed another subject the rest of my life.

I started college on a small football scholarship at a Christian school.

That’s where I learned that Jesus was my life and football was just a game.

I found my true hope in the words of Ephesians 3:20 — in 'Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all that we ask or imagine.'

And I graduated with my degree in Poli Sci right here from Charleston Southern University. Go Bucs!

I have lived the truth that education is the closest thing to magic in America.

But today, the far left has us retreating away from excellence in our schools.

Extreme liberals are letting Big Labor bosses trap millions of kids in failing schools.

They’re replacing education with indoctrination.

They spent COVID locking students out of the classroom, and now they’re locking kids out of their futures.

And in Biden’s America, crime is on the rise and law enforcement is in retreat. The far left is ending cash bail. They’re demonizing, demoralizing, and de-funding the police.

I grew up in neighborhoods alongside people who ended up incarcerated or in a cemetery. We needed more public safety, not less!

We cannot have innocent people at risk, police officers getting attacked and ambushed, and seniors locked in their homes in fear from sundown until sunup.


Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every rung of the ladder that helped me climb.

And that is why I am announcing today that I am running for President of the United States of America!

They’re attacking our American values; our schools; our economy; our security.

But not on my watch!

I cannot stand by while this is done to America. She has done too much for me.

Our nation, our values, and our people are strong. But our President is weak.

America is not a nation in decline. But under Joe Biden, we have become a nation in retreat.

Retreating from our heritage and our history.

Retreating from personal responsibility and hard work.

Retreating from strength and security.

Even retreating from religious liberty and the worship of God himself.

They say opportunity in America is a myth and faith in America is a fraud.

But the truth of my life disproves their lies!

We are not in decline. We are in a Biden retreat.

So all we need to do is turn around.


On my first day as Commander-in-Chief, the strongest nation on Earth will stop retreating from our own southern border.

If you don’t control your back door, it’s not your house. And if our southern border is unsafe and insecure, it’s not our country.

Hundreds of people on the terrorist watch list are crossing our borders.

Chinese nationals are flooding into Mexico to break in.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are doing nothing while 70,000-plus Americans lose their lives to fentanyl. Every county in this nation is a border county.

The Left shut down your schools and churches in the name of slowing down a virus. But they won’t secure the border to protect your family from fentanyl.

When I am President, the drug cartels using Chinese labs and Mexican factories to kill Americans will cease to exist.

I will freeze their assets. I’ll build the wall. And I will let the world’s greatest military fight these terrorists — because that’s exactly what they are.


Security needs to start on our borders. But it doesn’t end there.

We have spent decades getting deeper and deeper in debt to the Chinese Communist Party.

Their goal is not just to surpass us. It is to beat us.

Proverbs 22:7 says 'the borrower is slave to the lender.'

It goes beyond just finances, though.

It’s about our supply chains. It’s about medicines, microchips, and critical minerals.

It’s about China buying American farmland, infiltrating our airspace, and tracking our kids.

It’s about President Xi siding with Putin and Iran.

America can win this competition. But Joe Biden can’t.

As President, I will rebuild a military so lethal and powerful that our adversaries will fear us and our allies will respect us.

My father — who is here with us today — and my brothers have 85 years of combined military service between them. When I am President, our servicemembers will have every tool they need, and our veterans will have every resource they deserve.

We will not try to be the world’s police force. But we will always defend our vital national interests and our people.

And we will win the next century by the strength of our economy. China started this new economic Cold War, but America will finish it.

I was a lead author of the Republican tax reform that slashed taxes for families, brought jobs and investment back from overseas, and created Opportunity Zones to inject private dollars into communities that have been left behind. We created high employment, low inflation, and fast wage growth for the working class.

That was one bill. Imagine what we’ll do with an entire agenda.

I will be the President who ramps up research and development, reclaims supply chains, and re-energizes our manufacturing base with Opportunity Zones 2.0 and an entire Made In America agenda.

I see an era of exponential innovation, where America leads the world with new breakthroughs.

Where new medical cures and cheaper drugs are lowering healthcare costs and lengthening our lives.

Where law enforcement has advanced equipment that makes them safer.

Where we have huge, new American factories, creating high-paying American jobs, running on plentiful and cheap American energy.


But America cannot be safe or secure if we sink into cultural quicksand here at home.

As President, I will rebuild and restore every rung of the ladder that helped me climb.

Because I want my American story to pale in comparison to yours.

As President I will motivate, inspire, and require every able-bodied citizen to take responsibility and go to work.

We will back the blue, secure our streets, and finally make it a federal crime to kill, ambush, or assault a cop in this country.

I will lead a revolution for excellence in our schools. Less C.R.T. and more A-B-Cs. I will not rest until every family has a choice, and every parent has a voice, and every child has a chance. And no child is forced to attend a failing school simply because they live in the wrong ZIP code.

And I will be the President who destroys the liberal lie that our country is evil.

Two years ago I spoke to the nation and said America is not a racist country.

We need to stop canceling our Founding Fathers and start celebrating them.

Finally — my grandfather’s stubborn faith was not just faith in the goodness of our nation. It was faith in the goodness of our God Himself.

I will be the President who stops the far left’s assault on our religious liberty. I will preserve one nation, Under God, indivisible — where we honor our Creator and respect every innocent life.


This is who we are! This is what our nation can be!

This is the freest and fairest land. Where you and I can go as high as our character, our grit, and our talent will take us.

I bear witness to that. I testify to that.

That’s why I’m the candidate the far left fears the most.

When I cut your taxes, they called me a prop.

When I re-funded the police, they called me a token.

When I pushed back on President Biden, they even called me the N-word.

I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control. The truth of my life disproves their lies!

I will proclaim these truths from the highest mountaintop and I will do so from the deepest valley.

I will take our message to the boardroom and I will take it to the classroom.

I will take it to a gymnasium filled with friends and the inner-city church surrounded by skeptics.

I have lived the American dream. I have held the truth, the inalienable truth, that all men and women are created equal! And endowed by our Creator with the right to be free!

Our party and our nation are standing at a time for choosing.

Victimhood or victory?

Grievance or greatness?

I choose freedom and hope and opportunity.

Will you choose it with me? Will you join me as a messenger of hope, a missionary that the power of our ideas can change our nation again?

I will! God bless these United States of America."