Scott speaks of 'new American sunrise' as he mulls WH bid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As Sen. Tim Scott weighs mounting a 2024 presidential candidacy, the Republican was in Iowa on Wednesday delivering a message of “a new American sunrise,” articulating a positive vision that sets him apart from some possible rivals who have focused more on railing against cultural divides.

“I see 330 million Americans getting back to celebrating our shared blessings again, tolerating our differences again, and having each other’s backs again,” Scott plans to say at Drake University in Des Moines, according to advance excerpts provided to The Associated Press. “We need new leaders who will lift us up, not tear us down,”

If he follows through with a campaign, the South Carolinian's upbeat manner could distinguish him during a GOP primary. Many of Scott's fellow Republicans who have courted Iowa's influential evangelical conservatives in recent weeks have focused on themes such as denying systemic racism in the U.S. or curbing transgender rights.

Scott, the Senate's sole Black Republican, doesn't shy away from such terrain. He has spoken of “woke superiority.”

But in the speech, he describes a “new American sunrise. Even brighter than before.”

That nod toward inclusion has generally been absent from other Republicans who have recently swung through Iowa, which is poised to hold the first contest in next year's push for the GOP presidential nomination. Shortly after launching her presidential campaign last week, Nikki Haley was in suburban Des Moines stoking contempt for “woke ideology” and arguing “a national self-loathing has taken over our country.”

Likewise, former Vice President Mike Pence, who is weighing a presidential candidacy, in Cedar Rapids last week headlined a rally to oppose an eastern Iowa school district's policy allowing transgender students to request a gender-affirming plan without their parents' knowledge.

“Across the country, parents rights are being trampled by a politically correct nanny state that's ruining our schools and telling parents they have no role in their child's education,” he said.

Thomas Beaumont, The Associated Press