May 23, 2023

Tim Scott 2024 Presidential Announcement Speech Transcript

Tim Scott 2024 Presidential Announcement Speech Transcript
RevBlogTranscripts2024 ElectionTim Scott 2024 Presidential Announcement Speech Transcript

Tim Scott announces he is running for President in 2024. Read the transcript here.

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Tim Scott (00:01):

I will say, you all look fantastic. What a great place to be. I will say without any question I am so happy to be back in North Charleston, South Carolina. And I can’t tell you how much I mean this in the depths of my heart, I am so proud to be an American. I hope you are. Are you proud to be an American? I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you. Oh, yeah. America is the greatest nation on God’s green earth. And our greatness doesn’t come from politicians, doesn’t come from the government. It comes from we the people, we the people. And when I think about the greatness of America, I have to start with my favorite American, my amazing mother. Where is my mama? I love you, Mom. It is hard to find your own mama in a crowd this big, and so diverse too. Let me just say this real quick here. To my mother, thank you for your hard work and your dedication. Thank you for believing in me when no one else did. I’ll tell you, before … Thank you.

The longer you all shout, the longer it goes. So this is not too bad for me, I don’t mind, this is good. I’ve got to go back to Washington next week, so this is all the fun I get to have. But I will say without any question that when you think about … Mom, come up here for a second. When you think about the miracle of America, it always comes down to someone who loves unconditionally, who goes the extra mile, who’s tough as nails, and who puts it all on the line. And for me, you all be careful back there now, for me it’s my mom.

Now, if you’ve heard my story, and most of you have heard my story, I’m going to tell it again anyways, by the way. So laugh when you’re supposed … I can’t believe my little buddy took my best line, by the way. It’s amazing. But I will say this, Mom, I love you. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for standing strong in the middle of the fire. You all should thank her too. That’s right. Amazing. I’ll also say this, though, that when I was growing up in a single parent household, there was a guy from the Citadel named John Monise. John was the mentor I needed at the right time. I have had more mentors since then of course, I’ve got great mentors, I thank God Almighty that he continues to provide me with really cool mentors. One of my mentors, Larry Ellison, is with us today, and I am so thankful to have so many different mentors in the house. But I will say that there was a guy named John Monise who mattered so much. And I think Janice is with us today somewhere. Janice is over here. Come here, Janice.

So for those of you unaware of this, when I was a kid growing up and I was failing out of school, and my nephew just told a part of the story, it was Janice’s husband then, John Monise, who caught me at the right time, who helped me survive some really hard times. And for those of you who wonder if it’s possible for a broken kid in a broken home to rise beyond their circumstances, the answer is yes. And for those of you who wonder if America is a racist country, take a look at how people come together. All of God’s people come together, black ones and white ones, the red ones and brown ones working together, because love, unconditional love, binds hearts together. We are not defined by the color of our skin. We are defined by the content of our character. And if anyone tells you anything different, they’re lying.

I wanted to present both of you, thank you, Jordan. Jordan is Janice’s granddaughter, and my mother gave her flowers when she was first born. So I wanted to return the favor to these two women who made this possible. All right, let’s get the speech started. Which also means going back to the beginning of the speech. There you go.

We live in the land of opportunity. We live in the land where it is absolutely possible for a kid raised in poverty in a single parent household in a small apartment to one day serve in the people’s house and maybe even the White House. This is the greatest nation on God’s green earth. Today I’m thinking back to my grandfather, born in 1921 in Salley, South Carolina in the deep South. By the time he was in the third grade he was forced out of school, his education was over, and he was forced to start picking cotton. But my grandfather 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 only possible because my grandfather had a stubborn faith. Faith in God, faith in himself, and faith in what America would be. He looked beyond the pain of his present and he saw the promise of his future. That 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 mom and my brother, we all three shared one bed and one bedroom in that 700 square foot rental home. But my grandfather said to me, “Son, you can be bitter or you can be better, but you can’t be both.” You see, he chose patriotism over pity. He focused on the windshield of his life and not on the rear view mirror. And today I’m living proof that America is the land of opportunity and not a land of oppression. Amen, amen, amen.

But you see, this isn’t just my story. It’s all of our stories. The circumstances and the situations may be different, the details may change, but every single one of us are here because of the American journey. There were obstacles that became opportunities, and our pain revealed our purpose. If you believe that, can somebody say amen? But unfortunately, under President Biden our nation is retreating away from patriotism and faith. The fewest people in 30 years believe that their kids will be better off than their parents, and the radical left is pushing us into a culture of grievance instead of a culture of greatness. My mom worked 16-hour days as a nurse’s aide, changing bed pans and rolling patients. It was hard work, it wasn’t glamorous. But those 16-hour days put food on the table and kept the lights on. They empowered her to move her boys out of a place filled with pain into a home filled with love. My mom’s work ethic taught me that there is dignity in all work.

Tim Scott (11:01):

That’s why. That’s why I know if you are able-bodied, you work, period. Everybody should go to work, if you can. My mom said to me, “Son, you can be a victim or we can be victors.” She chose victorious. 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. That is pathetic.

My mom, working those 16 hours, I was kind of feeling sorry for myself. My mom was too busy, my dad wasn’t there. We didn’t have money for the simple little treats. I felt disillusioned and angry. I was a challenged young man, and I felt like the weight of the world was accumulating on my shoulders. That’s why I love the Moniz family because when I was 15 years old, I met John Moniz, a Chick-fil-A operator, a Citadel graduate who came into my life right when I needed a mentor the most. He started teaching me some very basic life principles.

He said, “Tim, having a job would be good, but creating jobs would be better.” I like that concept, by the way. I really appreciate that lesson. He also said that, “One day you’ll know the difference between your income that helps your lifestyle and a profit that can change your entire community.” John taught me that anyone from anywhere at any time could rise above their wildest expectations and imagination. First, I had to take responsibility for myself.

He told me in the most loving way possible to look in the mirror and to blame myself. He said, “Don’t blame your mom who’s working those 16 hour days. Don’t blame your dad because he is not around.” He said, “If you see the problem in the mirror, then you see the promise. If you see the obstacles, you undercover the opportunities.”

I chose personal responsibility over resentment. I became the master of my fate. Today the Biden administration has us retreating away from earned success, aspiration, and accountability. He wants to make waitresses and mechanics pay for the student loans of lawyers and doctors making six figures.

Speaker 1 (14:19):

No. No.

Tim Scott (14:22):

I believe them. This administration has taxed, borrowed, and spent trillions of dollars trying to replace a hand up with handouts and all they bought us, all they bought us was crushing inflation that has devastated families like the one I was raised in. Like many poor families, we moved around a lot. By the time I was in the fourth grade, I had attended four different elementary schools and as my nephew shared so publicly, wow, Little Ben, my little buddy. Gosh darn, thanks so much for that. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I wasn’t doing very well. As he said, I failed four subjects. Spanish and English, world geography, and civics.

Now, for those of you not familiar with civics, civics is the study of politics. I will say this though, I’ll say this. Hallelujah. Yes, yes, yes. I’ll say this though. I’ll say this. After 10 years in the Senate, I am not the only one failing civics in the nation’s capital. I’m not the only one failing civics in America’s capital.

That is where I found my unhappy self. My mom was a tireless encourager and she still is. When she saw my report card that year at the end, “Come on, come on.” She said, “Come on.” I wish that’s what she said. She had a different approach. She introduced me to a different form of encouragement. It was applying from right about here all the way down to here. Y’all know what I’m talking about?

Speaker 1 (16:29):


Tim Scott (16:30):

Okay, good. Well then you realize, I went to summer school, caught up with my class, and I never failed another subject for the rest of my life. Thank God for a good mama.

I started college on a very small football scholarship at a Christian school, but that’s where I learned that Jesus was my life and football just a game. I found my true hope in the words in Ephesians 3:20, that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or imagine. I graduated, hallelujah, and I graduated with a degree in political science from Charleston Southern University. Home of the Bucs.

You see, I have lived that the closest thing to magic in America is a good education, but today the far left has us retreating away from excellence in 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 kids out of the classroom and now they’re locking kids out of their futures.

In Biden’s America, crime is on the rise and law enforcement is in retreat. The far left is ending cash bails. They’re demonizing, demoralizing, and defunding the police. I grew up in neighborhoods alongside people who ended up incarcerated or in the cemetery, not seminary. Seminary too, but cemetery as well. We needed more public safety, not less.

We cannot have innocent people at risk, police officers getting ambushed and attacked and seniors locked in their homes from the time the sun goes down, until the sun comes up. Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every single rung of the ladder that helped me climb. That’s why I’m announcing today that I’m running for President of the United States of America. Thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (19:26):

Tim Scott. Tim Scott. Tim Scott. Tim Scott. Tim Scott.

Tim Scott (19:57):

Thank you. You see, they’re attacking our American values, our schools, our economy, and our security. Not on my watch. Not on my watch. That won’t work. I cannot stand by while this is done to America. She’s done too much for me. Our nation, our values, and our people are strong, but our president is weak. America is not a nation [inaudible 00:20:43]. Thank you. Let’s see if this one works. All right, good catch. Under Joe Biden, our nation 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,

Tim Scott (22:00):

… 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. The good news is 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 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 our terrorist watch list are crossing our borders. Chinese nationals are flooding into Mexico to break in. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are doing nothing. When 70,000 Americans lose their lives to fentanyl, every county in this country has become a border county. The left shut down our schools and churches in the name of slowing a virus, but they won’t secure the border to protect our families 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 will build the wall and I will allow the world’s greatest military to fight these terrorists because that’s exactly what they are. Security needs starts on our border, but it doesn’t end there. We have spent decades getting deeper and deeper into debt to the Chinese Communist Party. Their goal is not just to surpass us. Their goal is to beat us. I’m reminded of a Bible verse, Proverbs 22:7, that says that, “Borrower is slave to the lender.” It goes beyond our finances though. It’s about our supply chains. It’s about medicines and 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 cannot. 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’s with us today, spent 27 years in the Air Force. My two brothers spent two decades each in the military, three decades for my older, better looking brother. 85 years of combined military service between them. When I’m president, our service members 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, not our job, but we will always defend America’s national vital interests and our people, wherever they are. We will win the next century by the strength of our economy. China started this new economic cold war, but America, we’re going to finish it. I was one of the lead authors for the Republican tax reform bill. That slash taxes for families brought jobs and investment back from overseas and created my signature legislation, the Opportunity Zones that’s brought billions of dollars back in the poorest communities that have been left behind. Thank you. We created high employment, low inflation, and the fastest growing economy for the working class people we’ve seen in 50 years. That was just one bill. Imagine what we could do with an entire agenda.

I will be the president who ramps up research and development, reclaims our 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 and lower healthcare costs become the norm, lengthening the lives of our citizens, where law enforcement has advanced equipment to keep each and every one of them safe, where we have huge new American factories creating high-paying American jobs, running on plentiful, cheap American energy. But America cannot be safe or secure if we sink into a 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 story to pale in comparison to your stories. 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 CRT and more ABCs. I will not rest until every family has a choice and every parent has a voice, giving every child a chance. And no child should be forced to attend failing schools simply because they live in the wrong zip code. I will be the president who destroys the liberal lie that America is an evil country. I think back a couple of years ago when I addressed the nation and I said America is not a racist country. We need to stop canceling our founding fathers and start celebrating them for the geniuses that they were. They weren’t perfect, but they believed that we could become a more perfect union. Finally, my grandfather’s stubborn faith was not just faith in the goodness of America. It was faith in God himself. Amen. I will be the president who stops the far left’s assault on our religious liberty. I will preserve one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Yes, we will. Yes, we will. We will be the nation where we honor our creator and respect every innocent life. This is who we are. This is who we can be. This is the freest, fairest land where you can go as high as your character and your grit and your talent will take you. I bear witness to that. I testify

Tim Scott (33:00):

… testify to that. That’s why I’m the candidate the far left fears the most. You see, when I cut your taxes, they called me a prop. When I refunded 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 disrupts their lies.

I will proclaim these truths from the highest mountaintop and I will proclaim these truths in the deepest valley. I will take our message to the boardrooms, but I will also take it to the classrooms. I will take it to a gymnasium filled with friends, but I will also take it to an inner city church filled with skeptics. I have lived the American dream. I hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal, 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? Victimhood or victory?

Audience (34:42):


Tim Scott (34:46):

Victimhood or victory?

Audience (34:48):


Tim Scott (34:51):

Grievance or greatness?

Audience (34:52):


Tim Scott (35:01):

I choose freedom and hope and opportunity. Will you choose it with me?

Audience (35:04):


Tim Scott (35:04):

Will you join me as Messengers of hope? As missionaries that believe that the strength of our ideas can change our nation again? I will. Let’s go. Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!

Audience (35:58):

Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!

Tim Scott (35:58):

Oh, yeah. Let’s go!

Audience (36:04):

Tim Scott!

Tim Scott (36:04):

Let’s go!

Audience (36:04):

Tim Scott!

Tim Scott (36:04):

Let’s go!

Audience (36:04):

Tim Scott!

Tim Scott (36:04):

Let’s go!

Audience (36:04):

Tim Scott!

Tim Scott (36:04):

Let’s go!

Audience (36:04):

Tim Scott!

Tim Scott (36:04):

Let’s go!

Audience (36:04):

Tim Scott!

Tim Scott (36:04):

Let’s go!

Audience (36:04):

Tim Scott! Let’s go, Tim Scott!

Tim Scott (36:13):

Let me close with this. As much as I’m excited about this journey, I simply want to say this. It’s really not about me. It’s about that seven year old girl named Jordan who brought roses to the stage for my mother and Janice Monice. It’s about 12 year old Sutherland Surat, who came on this stage. You see, America is a city on the hill. We are the beacon in the midst of darkness. We have an unusual responsibility. We have the responsibility to prove that self-governance works. We have the responsibility to share for a thousand generations what America’s done for me, she can do for you.

Audience (37:28):


Tim Scott (37:30):

This can’t be another presidential campaign. We don’t have time for that.

Audience (37:36):

Yes, sir.

Tim Scott (37:38):

We need a president who persuades not just our friends and our base. We need a president that persuades. We have to do that with common sense, conservative principles, but we have to have a compassion for people. We have to have a compassion for people who don’t agree with us. We have to believe that our ideas are so strong and so powerful and so persuasive that we can actually take it to the highest points in the world and be successful. But we also have to be able to take it all the way down to places that today are hopeless and prove that who we are works for all Americans. I’m living proof that God, a good family and the United States of America can do all things, if we believe. Will you believe it with me? Will you join the team of the greatest nation on God’s green earth?

Audience (38:59):

[inaudible 00:39:11]

Tim Scott (39:12):

I love it. Let me close with this. May the Lord bless us for another thousand generations, may he be gracious towards us. I believe the next American century starts today.

Thank you.

Audience (39:34):

Tim Scott! Tim Scott! Tim Scott! Tim Scott! Tim Scott!

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