Statement From Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Doug Burgum on Why Donald Trump Is Unfit To Lead
January 23, 2024
Ahead of Donald Trump’s campaign event with Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Doug Burgum, DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd released the following statement (with an assist from all three former candidates):
“Donald Trump is too unpopular to win a general election, makes indefensible racially offensive comments, and is so untrustworthy he isn’t safe to do business with. Those aren’t our words – that’s what Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, and Doug Burgum said about Trump before caving to the leader of the GOP’s extreme MAGA movement. So don’t take it from us, just listen to Trump’s top surrogates about why he is too toxic to voters to ever make it back to the White House.”
Tim Scott said Trump cannot win in a general election and slammed his reckless foreign policy agenda during his own presidential campaign.
NBC News: “Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said Donald Trump doesn’t have what it takes to win a general election, the sharpest jab he has thrown at the former president … ‘I don’t think he can win,’ Scott said. ‘You have to be able to win in Georgia. I don’t think he can win in Georgia. I think you’ll have to be able to win in Pennsylvania.’ Scott also appeared to blame Trump for losses in Georgia’s 2021 runoff elections that cost the GOP control of the Senate when Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won. ‘Everybody remembers Jan. 6, 2020. But what we forget sometimes is Jan. 5,’ Scott said. ‘We had two Republican seats on the ballot in Georgia. And the party told northern Georgians to stay home.’”
Scott: “And our former president, I voted for him twice. … But our party has been underperforming in three consecutive national elections. We have to give back on offense, and that’s why I know we must win.”
Voter: “How do you distinguish yourself between your platform and what you stand for and Former President Trump?”
Scott: “Areas of differences, I think the power of persuasion is incredibly important. If we are going to win the next election, the ability for us to get independents to vote with us as opposed to against us is a very clear area of distinction, not in the substance of the policy, but in the style of the delivery that I think will be helpful for a red wave where we win back the majority in the Senate and expand our majority in the House. That is an area that matters.”
Scott on Trump: “From a foreign policy standpoint, I don’t think you can sit down with President Putin and come to a decision in 24 hours. I think that’s completely unrealistic. So from my perspective, the aspects of his foreign policy, we are just on different pages. … And I don’t necessarily have high regard for dictators and murderers, even if they are world leaders.”
The Hill: “Tim Scott criticized Trump’s comments about Netanyahu: ‘terrible and not helpful’”
Igor Bobic, HuffPost: “Tim Scott told reporters in Iowa today that Trump’s comments about Israel and Hezbollah is ‘just wrong’: ‘We should have no daylight whatsoever in the midst of this war… We should stand clearly with Israel and with the Prime Minister. Anything less than that is just wrong.’”
Scott has also called out Trump for his comments praising white supremacists during a 2020 debate and his “racially offensive language” after the 2017 Charlottesville white nationalist rally.
CNBC: “Republican Sen. Tim Scott said Wednesday that he believes President Donald Trump ‘needs to correct’ comments from his debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, where Trump did not explicitly condemn White supremacists and violent right-wing groups.”
CNN: “Scott: Trump’s ‘moral authority is compromised’ after Charlottesville”
“Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said in an interview with Vice News that he would not ‘defend the indefensible’ after Trump said Tuesday that both the ‘alt-left’ and white supremacists were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville — a day after he had condemned neo-Nazis and the KKK. ‘I’m not going to defend the indefensible. I’m not here to do that,’ Scott said.”
Scott: “It‘s going to be very difficult for [Trump] to lead if, in fact, that moral authority remains compromised. He went into office—sometimes you have positional authority, and that is very hopeful. But the reality of it is this nation responds to moral authority, when we believe that our president has the entire nation‘s best interests at heart. His comments on Tuesday that erased his positive comments on Monday started to compromise that moral authority that we need the president to have for this nation to be the beacon of light to all mankind.”
Associated Press: “Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican senator, said Trump made ‘unacceptable personal attacks’ and used ‘racially offensive language.’”
Scott on conversations about race with Trump: “They’re hard. They’re painful. They’re uncomfortable—to sit in the Oval Office and have a conversation with [Trump] about things that you strongly disagree about.”
Vivek Ramaswamy said Trump is too polarizing and not electable, and he repeatedly criticized Trump’s actions in the aftermath of January 6.
NBC News: “Vivek Ramaswamy argues Trump is ‘wounded’ and his movement needs a new leader”
NBC News: “[Ramaswamy] made the case that Trump may be too polarizing to advance the Republican agenda.”
The Dispatch: “Ramaswamy says he is confident he can ‘persuade’ Trump loyalists to jump ship and join his campaign … he believes these voters will ultimately concludes he is more electable.”
New York Times: “While Defending Trump, Ramaswamy Insists He’s More Electable in the Fall”
ABC News: “Ramaswamy sharply criticized the former president for not conceding the election. ‘It was a dark day for democracy. The loser of the last election refused to concede the race, claimed the election was stolen, raised hundreds of millions of dollars from loyal supporters, and is considering running for executive office again.’ Ramaswamy wrote. ‘I’m referring, of course, to Donald Trump.’ He wrote that Trump ‘filed scores of lawsuits over various claims of fraud … but they came nowhere close to changing the outcome in a single state, let alone the several swing states whose results he needed to overturn.’”
Ramaswamy on Trump’s actions on January 6: “Starting that day under the same circumstances, I would have said, as soon as there are people violently approaching the Capitol, ‘Stand down.’ ‘Standing by while protesters turned violent, I think was a bad mistake of leadership.”
Doug Burgum said he would not do business with Trump because “you’re judged by the company you keep,” and he refused to say he trusted Trump with the nuclear codes.
NBC News: “GOP presidential candidate Doug Burgum says he wouldn’t do business with Trump”
Burgum: “I just think that it’s important that you’re judged by the company you keep.”
The Atlantic: “I asked him if voters can trust Trump with the nuclear codes. He paused. ‘Voters will have to decide that,’ he said. I asked him if he, Doug Burgum, trusts Trump with the nuclear codes. He dodged: ‘Nuclear weapons exist for one reason.’ I asked him for a yes-or-no answer. He responded, ‘So when you say “trust him,” what does that mean?’ I noted that people in the Department of Defense—including former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley—have specifically said that Trump can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes, and that although many questions understandably have gray answers, this one seemed black-and-white. He paused again, then eventually offered another trained-politician answer.”