Tim Scott Hopes for a Republican Reversal

Sen. Tim Scott announces his run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination at a campaign event Monday in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina—Watching Sen. Tim Scott announce Monday that he is running for president was like experiencing a Donald Trump rally in an alternative universe.

In the gym at Charleston Southern University, Scott invited people from the audience onto the stage—not to comically riff at them as Trump loves to do, but to give flower bouquets to family and friends. Instead of a “Lock her up!” call and response, Scott offered simple aspirationalism: “Let’s go! Let’s go!” When he went off-script, it was less angry talk-radio show caller and more Southern Baptist preacher.

“We have an unusual responsibility. We have the responsibility to prove that self-governance works,” he said, stepping down from the stage and onto the floor, pacing and speaking in a hushed tone. “We have the responsibility to share, for a thousand generations, what America’s done for me, she can do for you.” Multiple “Amens” rang out from the crowd.

As attendees filed out of the gym and Scott took selfies, Mick Mulvaney, the former South Carolina congressman who later served as Trump’s budget director and acting chief of staff, reflected on the differences.

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