SALEM, NH — Sen. Tim Scott will endorse Donald Trump on Friday evening at a planned rally in Concord, New Hampshire, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Semafor.
Scott dropped out of the presidential race in November and suggested he had no plans to endorse another candidate “anytime soon.” However, shortly after his exit, Scott began fielding calls from a number of presidential hopefuls about endorsing, Semafor first reported — including the former president. The New York Times first reported Scott’s planned endorsement.
He is the latest in a list of high-level lawmakers who have endorsed Trump in recent weeks. Former 2016 opponent Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. made his announcement just before the Iowa caucus, while another old rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas publicized his backing just after Trump’s historic victory in the Hawkeye state. Scott supported Rubio at a similarly crucial juncture in the 2016 race.
Scott’s endorsement is a blow to Nikki Haley, who also sought his support and is a fellow South Carolinian. The endorsement could boost Trump’s already sizable lead in the key primary state, and may also dampen Haley’s momentum as she tries to best Trump in New Hampshire.
The South Carolina lawmaker has been cited as one of Trump’s potential vice presidential picks, though he’s previously said the job “has never been on my to-do list for this campaign.” Still, Scott is one of the few who has remained on Trump’s good side, even as he ran against him for president — in fact, the former president explicitly told aides not to attack Scott during the race. And, if Scott decides he wants to be a serious contender for vice president, he’ll likely have a long list of top allies to tap to help pitch Trump.
- Expect a lot of Trump veepstakes speculation as he gets closer to the nomination. The former president has a habit of floating names in front of even passing acquaintances as he tries to make these kinds of decisions, which generates leaks and stories.