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George Will, a well-respected conservative columnist with The Washington Post, made a surprising request of Scott on Tuesday: end your presidential campaign in order to stop Donald Trump.
Will, whose journalism career spans five decades, urged the South Carolina Senator to exit the race and endorse Nikki Haley.
“This is the South Carolina senator’s choice,” Will wrote. “He can acknowledge that his energetic campaigning has failed to enkindle sufficient enthusiasm and depart as he campaigned, cheerfully. Or he can try to become someone whom, to his credit, he has no aptitude for being — another peddler of synthetic anger, stoking today’s rage culture.”
“Scott someday could be a fine president,” Will wrote as he compared the junior Senator to Dwight Eisenhower.
“Scott is not, however, the man for this season.”
Calls for Scott to end campaign coming from influential and respected conservative
George Will’s voice has echoed through Republican politics since the 1970s. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer was a key advisor to Ronald Reagan during his 1980 presidential bid. The Wall Street Journal dubbed Will with the title of “the most influential journalist in America” in 1986.
Over the last decade, Will has become increasingly critical of the Republican Party’s slide to the far-right. He became an independent in 2016 during the party’s embrace of Donald Trump and announced his support for Joe Biden in 2020.
Still, Will remains a traditional conservative. His voice carries weight among who still identify with the Republican party of Reagan, not the cult of Trump.
So as the first primaries draw closer with no clear challenger to Trump emerging, Will is sounding the alarm.
“By catalyzing a coalescence around Haley, Scott could transform the nation’s political mood,” George Will argues.
“As long as the Republican race pits Donald Trump against a cluster of lagging pursuers, the nominating electorate cannot ponder a binary choice. When, however, it is Trump against one experienced, polished, steely and unintimidated adversary, voters can internalize this exhilarating reality,” he writes.
“There is a choice suitable for a great nation.”
George Will’s urging for Tim Scott step aside deals another blow to an already struggling campaign
Will’s call for Tim Scott to step aside comes as Scott’s poll numbers and debate performances continue to lag.
Tim Scott sits in eighth place nationally in the GOP primary polls, and his once strong third place standing in the all-important Iowa caucus has dwindled to a distant fifth.
Scott also faces strong criticism from Republicans and Democrats for comments he made to the Hudson Institute on Tuesday.
Speaking before a crowd and in front of cameras, Scott blamed President Biden for the Hamas terror attack in Israel.
“While Hamas carried out these attacks,” Scott said with almost theatrical solemnity, “Joe Biden has blood on his hands.”
Scott then re-posted the remarks to his X (Twitter) account and repeated them again on CBS This Morning.
The statement came just two days after Scott claimed Biden was “complicit” in the terror attacks.
Nikki Haley gaining popularity as some conservatives argue she is the best Republican to beat Trump for the nomination
Contrary to Tim Scott, Nikki has seemingly hit her stride.
The former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador received high marks for her performance in the first two GOP debates in late August and late September.
Since that August debate, Haley has seen her standing in the polls rise significantly. She’s moved from 5th place to 3rd place both nationally and in Iowa. Her campaign also moved from 5th to 2nd in New Hampshire and from 4th to 2nd place in South Carolina.
As war rages between Israel and Hamas, and between Ukraine and Russia, George Will, whose wife is an advisor to Tim Scott, argues the stakes are too high not to coalesce around a Republican challenger who can beat Trump.
“A reelected Trump… would mean the unraveling of collective security, from Europe to the Far East,” Will writes.
“Serious nations will not tether themselves to a United States that tethers itself to someone who is in equal measures frivolous, petulant and malevolent.”