With a message focused on his faith and personal story, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina has officially entered the 2024 presidential race, joining an increasingly crowded field of GOP candidates.

After filing the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Friday, Scott took the stage Monday at Charleston Southern University, his alma mater, to formally launch his bid.

“We live in the land where it is possible … for a kid raised in poverty by a single mother in a small apartment … to one day serve in the People’s House … and maybe even the White House,” Scott told the crowd.

His colleagues in Congress are already showing support for his run. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., endorsed him and said that Scott can “bring our country together,” per The Hill.

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Meanwhile, Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, who is the second-highest-ranking Republican in the GOP caucus, introduced Scott at his campaign launch, calling him “the real deal,” before opening the rally with a prayer.

Sen. Tim Scott launches bid for 2024

Scott opened his speech by inviting his “favorite American” onstage — his mom — and giving her a heartfelt thank-you before making his official announcement.

“Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every single rung of the ladder that helped me climb and that’s why I’m announcing today I’m running for president of the United States of America,” the senator said, as the crowd of nearly 2,000 people erupted in cheers.

Bloomberg reported that Oracle’s chair and co-founder Larry Ellison was in attendance. He has proved to be a consistent supporter.

His backing will help Scott build on his already impressive war chest of about $22 million cash on hand from his last Senate reelection race.

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“The left shut down your schools and churches in the name of slowing down a virus. But they won’t secure the border to protect your family from fentanyl,” Scott said at the event, promising to freeze assets and build a wall to protect Americans from drug cartels.

“And I will let the world’s greatest military fight these terrorists — because that’s exactly what they are. Security needs to start on our borders. But it doesn’t end there,” Scott said.

He spoke about his upbringing in a single-parent household, mired in poverty, and hailed the U.S. as “the land of opportunity, not a land of oppression.”

“Our party and our nation are standing at a time for choosing,” Scott told the crowd. “Victimhood or victory? Grievance or greatness? I choose freedom and hope and opportunity.”

Sen. Tim Scott enters a growing pool of GOP candidates for 2024

His message of faith and optimism is much different than that of former President Donald Trump, who is leading in the 2024 Republican primary polls.

“Their demeanors, their messages, their life stories are just so diametrically different,” one senior Republican strategist told Politico. “For a lot of voters, they’ll see obvious distinctions between the two. It might be harder for some other candidates in the race to appear different or have a different type of message.”

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Politico he saw similarities between Scott’s message and former President Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” campaign, which was driven by “a hopeful vision for our country.”

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Trump wished Scott “good luck” on Truth Social while also taking a jab at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is speculated to announce his bid for president in the coming days.

The Republican primary race, he said, “is rapidly loading up with lots of people, and Tim is a big step up from Ron DeSanctimonious, who is totally unelectable.”

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Scott is the second presidential candidate to emerge out of South Carolina — former Gov. and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley was the first from the state to announce.

The state’s Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, congratulated Scott after his announcement, even though he has publicly endorsed Trump.

“Tim makes South Carolina proud, and he is one of the most talented and hard-working public servants I’ve ever known,” Graham said. “He will have an optimistic vision for the future of conservatism and America, and I know he will acquit himself well.”

Other GOP candidates in the race include entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, as I reported for the Deseret News. DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu are all reportedly mulling bids.

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