US Senator Tim Scott endorses Trump for president in blow to Nikki Haley

Trump holds commanding lead in polls ahead of key New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

Tim Scott
US Senator Tim Scott has endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2024 [File: Matt Rourke/AP]

United States Senator Tim Scott has endorsed his former rival Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president, in a setback for Trump’s closest challenger and fellow South Carolinian Nikki Haley.

Tim Scott, who dropped out of the 2024 presidential race in November, appeared on stage with Trump in New Hampshire to offer his backing ahead of next week’s high-stakes primary in the state.

“We need a president who sees Americans as one American family, and that’s why I came to the very warm state of New Hampshire to endorse the next president of the United States, President Donald Trump,” Scott told Trump supporters in Concord on Friday.

Scott, whose unsuccessful campaign stressed the Christian faith and conservative values he learned growing up in a single-parent household, argued that Trump would cut taxes and bring Americans together as president.

“We need a president who unites our country,” said Scott, who is the lone Black Republican in the Senate.

Scott did not mention Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador and governor of South Carolina who first appointed Scott to the Senate in 2017.

Haley is hoping for a strong performance in New Hampshire on Tuesday to keep her presidential bid afloat following Trump’s commanding victory in last week’s Iowa caucuses.

Haley, who earlier on Friday won the endorsement of Vermont Governor Phil Scott, is trailing Trump by double digits in New Hampshire, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a distant third in the state.

In New Hampshire, Trump asked voters to help bring a swift end to the Republican race to allow him to focus on beating President Joe Biden in November.

“We want to win by big numbers,” Trump said, “so everybody has to vote.”

Trump also bashed his rivals, arguing that Haley was “not capable” of being president and lambasting DeSantis’s slide in the polls as “one of the great self-destructions I think I’ve ever witnessed”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies