Tim Scott: There’s no perfect tea party candidate
Rep. Tim Scott’s resigned to the idea of having to settle for a GOP nominee who doesn’t reflect the full spectrum of tea party values. And he’s finding it hard to get too excited about any of them as he decides who to vote for—and who to endorse—ahead of his state’s primary, coming up on Jan. 21.
“The great challenge is that finding the one out of the ones that are running that represents everything you want is just an impossibility. It probably was at the beginning and it still remains an impossibility today,” the South Carolina congressman told POLITICO in the latest installment of the “On the Line” audio series.
“I certainly would have been happier finding that candidate,” Scott said. “Finding the perfect candidate is impossible. Finding the right candidate will happen between now and the 21st.”
“There’s no question that the Tea Party candidate must be a very elusive person,” Scott said.
And the fragmenting of support between multiple candidates wasn’t helping, he said.
“Whether we like it or not, Mitt Romney is the beneficiary of three candidates who are very strong and going after the Tea Party base with a concerted effort,” Scott said, adding that Gingrich, Santorum and Perry will “without question, divide a part of the base and it will make Romney’s vote a little easier.”
But if the primary does go to Romney, following his Iowa and New Hampshire wins: “Game over,” Scott said. “No question. It’s done.”
As for making up his own mind on who to support, Scott said that even this deep into the campaign, he still hasn’t heard enough from any candidate to convince him they’ve got the right plan to improve the economy.