The Republican presidential candidate is sitting for the conversation at an event co-hosted by The Associated Press and Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service. The event marks the second in a series of talks the organizations are hosting on the topic with 2024 GOP candidates.
Scott’s sit-down comes as one of the super political action committees supporting his candidacy clawed back some of the advertising airtime it had purchased this fall, with its chair writing in a memo to backers that “we aren’t going to waste our money when the electorate isn’t focused or ready for” an alternative to current GOP front-runner Donald Trump. The memo said the group would wait until closer to Iowa’s leadoff caucuses to reconsider.
The South Carolina senator has not made foreign policy a mainstay of his campaign, instead seeking to focus on a positive message swathed in his Christian faith and an appeal for more individual responsibility in America.
Last week, he gave a speech on Israel at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington in which he decried Hamas militants’ attack on Israel as filling Americans “with heartbreak, and frankly, righteous anger,” but blamed the Biden administration for the violence.
“While Hamas carried out these attacks, Joe Biden has blood on his hands,” Scott said in the speech. “His weakness invited the attack.”
He also recently sought to merge his Senate duties with foreign policy strides that may help his 2024 GOP presidential campaign, calling for a Senate probe into funding sources that he and other Republicans allege may have been tied to Hamas militants’ attack on Israel.
Scott called for the Senate Banking Committee — on which he sits as ranking member — to hold a hearing with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to probe roughly $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets recently released to an account in Qatar.
As he campaigns against rivals including a former vice president, a former United Nations ambassador and current and foreign governors, Scott has at times been asked how he would square his apparent lack of executive experience with his qualifications to lead the country.
He has held out as evidence his decade of service on Senate committees, including Banking, Finance, Armed Services and Foreign Relations.
In the memo from Trust in the Mission PAC, co-chair Rob Collins said the group would continue with door knocking and other efforts, with an eye toward potentially reallocating resources as actual votes draw nearer.
“Until the experts recognize Tim is the only candidate that can capture the nomination and defeat President Joe Biden, there will be a very expensive and loud next few months – full of sound and fury and signifying nothing,” Collins wrote in the memo, which was obtained by the AP and first reported on by Politico.
“So, 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. We have done the research. We have studied the focus groups. We have been following Tim on the trail. 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.”
Scott, who filed his candidacy for his home state primary in Columbia on Monday, is expected to take questions from Georgetown students in the audience and pre-recorded questions from college students at Clemson University, Iowa State University and the University of New Hampshire, which are located in early voting states.
A livestream will be available on apnews.com and @GUPolitics.
Price reported from New York.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP