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Tim Scott gets a brutal wake-up call about his presidential campaign

A leading super PAC supporting the South Carolina senator's presidential bid said it will be canceling TV ad spending, signaling a campaign in free fall.


Republican Sen. Tim Scott's presidential campaign has gotten a brutal reality check from one of its closest allies.

Earlier this year, I shared three words I thought would define Scott's White House bid: “Keep yo’ money” — a reference to the South Carolina Republican's cringeworthy catchphrase he trotted out in 2017 to try to sell then-President Donald Trump’s tax cuts for the rich. The three words, in my view, epitomize a man who appears to feel no shame in using his Blackness to advance right-wing causes. 

But it looks like some major backers for Scott’s impotent presidential campaign have taken his words to heart. 

Politico reported Monday that a leading super PAC backing Scott — known as the Trust In the Mission PAC (or TIM PAC) — announced it will cancel all of the TV ad spending it had planned for this fall.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., after the second Republican primary debate in Simi Valley, California.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., after the second Republican primary debate in Simi Valley, Calif., on Sept. 27.Eric Thayer / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Politico obtained a copy of a memo the super PAC sent to donors — and let’s just say it doesn’t speak highly of Scott’s presidential prospects. It’s fairly brutal, in fact. 

According to Politico: 

In a memo to donors, Trust In the Mission PAC, also known as 'TIM PAC,' announced it will cancel 'all of our Fall media inventory,' according to a copy of the document obtained by POLITICO. 'We are doing what would be obvious in the business world but will mystify politicos — we aren’t going to waste our money when the electorate isn’t focused or ready for a Trump alternative,' wrote Rob Collins, co-chair of the super PAC, who said the 'Never-Trump field' is going to be 'wasting money this fall' trying to undermine Trump’s current lead.

'This electorate is locked up and money spent on mass media isn’t going to change minds until we get a lot closer to voting,' Collins continued.

In other words, TIM PAC is keeping (most of) its money rather than wasting it on a campaign that appears to be in free fall. In polls, Scott’s campaign hasn't been able to break past the low single digits. And recently, his campaign officials have pleaded with donors to stick with him until the primaries reach his home state of South Carolina, where they’ve said he could change the tide. 

But I imagine asking donors to plunge their money into a hapless campaign might be a tough sell in the purported party of “fiscal responsibility.” And Scott, a man who has preached the value of keeping money to yourself rather than giving it to causes one deems unworthy, can hardly complain.