“What are the hot topics?” Scott asked at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, a historic must-visit campaign stop for presidential hopefuls. Some of the answers Scott heard: the economy, taxes, public education and the state’s official motto, “Live free or die.”
Scott, who spent roughly an hour in the diner meeting voters face-to-face, could have a lot of ground to make up in key early voting states such as New Hampshire. Scott is scheduled to return to his home state of South Carolina Friday to meet with more voters and donors.
A recent poll from Saint Anselm College found that the South Carolina senator has 1% support among GOP Granite State voters. The poll found that in New Hampshire, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to run for president, have 42% and 29% support respectively. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7%.
Even then, Scott expressed confidence in a potential campaign, telling reporters he plans to run a more optimistic campaign that he says voters “have a strong desire for.”
Scott: 20-week national abortion ban ‘makes total sense’
As Republicans continue to grapple with electoral backlash after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion last summer, having most recently lost a state Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin to a liberal judge whose campaign was anchored on abortion rights, Scott has described himself as “100% pro-life.”
Scott told WMUR Thursday morning that if he was president, he would sign a 20-week national abortion ban if it was brought to his desk. Outside the Red Arrow Diner, Scott reiterated to reporters that a 20-week ban “makes total sense.”
“The 20-week threshold is not a question in my mind at all,” Scott told reporters, accusing Democrats and progressives of supporting abortions “on the 39th, or 40th or day of birth.”
But even so, Scott declined to answer whether he would support a ban on medication abortions after a federal judge in Texas halted FDA approval of mifepristone, a common abortion pill. The Biden administration said Thursday it will ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the case.
“I would just simply say that the courts are on their way to solve the problem,” Scott said.
How to beat Donald Trump in 2024? ‘Optimism’ Scott says
Despite Trump appearing to be the opponent to beat in the 2024 race, leading in several polls, Scott did not mention the former president by name to reporters.
Compared to Trump’s combative style of politics and amid his historic indictment by a Manhattan grand jury, Scott said he hopes his optimistic “Faith in America” tour resonates with conservative voters.
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“What I’ve heard on the campaign trail is that people are starving for an optimistic positive message that is anchored in conservatism,” Scott said. “And so by talking about the things I’ve been able to accomplish as a senator, it seems to resonate across the country.”
Scott has also campaigned on his upbringing as the son of a single mom in poverty. His early life, which he described as “miserable,” has helped him connect with voters he said.
“Having had that miserable beginning has become a blessing to understand where people today are,” Scott said. “Having lived on that side of the tracks gives me the ability to have the conversation about where people are today because I’ve lived that life.”
Source: USA Today