South Carolina residents Haley and Scott are seeking to win over Christian conservatives in their home state.


South Carolina residents Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, along with other presidential candidates, are set to speak at a Christian-Conservative forum Saturday and present their vision for 2024 as they look to the White House and aim to get their position across to a crucial voting bloc at the start of the voting state .

The forum, hosted by the Palmetto Family Council, gives speakers the opportunity to share their views on issues and connect with conservative voters. But even as Haley, the former governor of Palmetto State, and Scott, his junior U.S. senator, hope to defeat their South Carolina counterparts, two Republicans who have dominated the race so far are conspicuously absent: former President Donald Trump and the governor Florida. Ron DeSantis.

Haley, a former US ambassador to the UN, was the first Republican to challenge her former boss for the Republican presidential nomination. She launched his campaign last month in Charleston, calling for a new generation of leaders, and recently spoke to a packed crowd in Myrtle Beach. She tried to stand out through her foreign policy expertise and focused her campaign on calls for congressional term limits, better border security, fiscal accountability, and more domestic energy production.

As for Scott, this forum is the latest sign that the Republican senator is testing the ground in the 2024 race. Although he dodged questions about whether he planned to run for president, Scott laid the groundwork for the campaign by taking his Faith in America “listening tour” to key voting states of Iowa and South Carolina.

On Saturday, Scott is expected to deliver a multi-topic speech in about 25 minutes of his allotted time, according to a known source. The Republican Senator will talk about his faith, the role it played in shaping him as an elected official, how he views the direction of the country, including scathing criticism of President Joe Biden’s agenda but ending with a message of redemption and “better days.” ahead.” the source told CNN.

According to Justin Hall, director of communications for the Palmetto Family Council, speakers are allowed to use their allotted time as they see fit — either for speaking, answering questions from the audience, or a combination of both.

Haley and Scott have been friends and political allies for a long time. In 2012 Hailey Scott for the vacancy vacated by Sept. Jim DeMint, saying that Scott “earned the spot” because of his personality and track record. But after Haley announced her presidential candidacy, Scott refused to endorse her. Post and courier, as a sign that he can run for president himself. Both also attended an anti-tax group Club for Growth donor meeting in Palm Beach earlier this month, along with other potential GOP candidates.

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and former Governor of Arkansas. The forum will also feature Asa Hutchinson weighing his candidacy for the presidential election. Former Vice President Mike Pence, another likely candidate in 2024, was invited but is speaking at the foreign policy commission in Iowa the same day. Other potential candidates who have also been invited but do not plan to attend include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, governor of New Hampshire. Chris Sununu and Governor of South Dakota. Kirsty Noem

Much of the conversation in early 2024 revolved around Trump and DeSantis, who has yet to be declared a candidate. Both were invited to the Palmetto Family Council forum, but according to Hall, neither would attend.

Trump and DeSantis lead recent CNN poll Republicans and Republican independents who they would most likely support in the 2024 Republican nomination. Haley trailed them with 6% and Scott with 2%.

South Carolina played a key role in Trump’s political rise in 2016. He won the Republican primary there, cementing his status in the crowded Republican field as a leader. Trump made a state one of his first stops in January when he first appeared on the campaign trail after announcing his re-election bid.

But Trump’s legal troubles are still big on the campaign trail. The former president said on Saturday that he awaiting arrest in connection with an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney next week, although he claims he will not withdraw from the race if he is charged.

Meanwhile, DeSantis intends to wait until the end of the Florida legislative session to decide whether to run for president. His national book tour had stops in Iowa and Nevada, but he has yet to visit South Carolina.

The Forum is just under a year behind the crucial GOP primary in South Carolina. Republican voters in the state have chosen an eventual Republican nominee in almost every cycle since 1980, with the exception of 2012.

“We believe the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue goes right through Palmetto State,” Hall told CNN, adding that the forum “could definitely jump-start the South Carolina campaign.”

This story was updated with more information on Saturday.