As some GOP donors have been raising questions about South Carolina Senator Tim Scott’s single status, he tried to quell concerns by saying he has a “wonderful girlfriend.”
In an interview with the 2024 presidential candidate earlier this week, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade brought up a recent Axios story that detailed how some donors have pushed for more details about Mr Scott’s bachelorhood.
Kilmeade asked, “What is your status?”
“Well obviously, at this point I’m taken,” Mr Scott said. “I have a wonderful girlfriend. We have a wonderful relationship.”
“The good news is that God has blessed me with a smart Christian woman,” he continued. “But more importantly is, why are the headlines there? The headlines are there because as I rise in the polls, as people show up at my town halls, it scares my opponents.”
FiveThirtyEight polling averages from 11 September show Mr Scott polling at 2.3 per cent, putting him behind former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramasway, former South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley, former vice president Mike Pence, and former New Jersey Gov Chris Christie.
Kilmeade then asked, “We met your mom. Will we meet your girlfriend?”
Mr Scott replied, “You will, of course – at some point.”
The South Carolina senator weighed in on his unmarried status in May, telling Axios: “The fact that half of America’s adult population is single for the first time, to suggest that somehow being married or not married is going to be the determining factor of whether you’re a good president or not – it sounds like we’re living in 1963 and not 2023.”
In US history, there have only been a handful of unmarried presidents. James Buchanan is the only former president to have never married, while Grover Cleveland got married for the first time while in office.
The outlet also spoke to sources who relayed the potential donors’ apprehensions about Mr Scott.
One source underscored that Mr Scott isn’t the first candidate in recent history to run as a bachelor. “Cory Booker went through the same thing running for president in 2020 and it seems to not have been a problem for him — but maybe that’s more normal for Democrats.”
However, the source didn’t mention that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was also scrutinised in the same way when he put his hat in the ring for the GOP nomination in 2016. Mr Graham addressed his single status in 2015: “If you are looking for Camelot, I’m not your guy...If you’re looking for glitz and glamour, I’m probably the worst choice in the bunch. If you are looking for a determined person to be president, I think I can fill that bill.”
When asked why he thought he had never been married, he replied: “It’s something I really don’t know the answer to, other than I think it’s OK. At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong about not being married. Having a marriage and a good family and children is a blessing. But I don’t think I’m a defective person by any means.”
In response to the potential donors’ sentiment, Mr Scott’s spokesperson told the outlet: “Tim Scott’s optimistic, positive message continues to resonate with Iowa and New Hampshire voters who are focused on issues impacting their families.”
Mr Scott previously touted his 30-year-old virgin status. Years later, when asked in 2012 if was sticking to the same abstinence pledge at the age of 46, he replied, “Yeah, not as well as I did back then.” Mr Scott added, “You’re better off to wait. I just wish we all had more patience.”
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