Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a former presidential candidate and rival of Donald Trump, was heavily mocked online after saying “I just love you” to Trump on Tuesday night.
Scott appeared alongside the former president during his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary, where Trump noted that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley—the only Republican still in the race against Trump—was responsible for his initial appointment to the Senate.
“You must really hate her,” Trump said about him getting Scott’s endorsement over Haley.
After smiling in the background, Scott then went up to the microphone and interjected: “I just love you!”
Trump responded, “That’s why he’s a great politician.”
Critics quickly seized on the clip of Scott professing his love, calling his actions “disgraceful.”
“Tim Scott. Debasing himself even further by standing behind Trump and cheering every piece of garbage that comes out of his mouth,” wrote one person on X. “Laughing when Trump implies [New Hampshire Gov. Chris] Sununu is on drugs. How disgraceful. Always remember.”
Joe Walsh, the Republican candidate who challenged Trump in 2020, weighed in as well, writing: “There’s Trump up on stage just now lying again & saying that he really won the 2020 election, and there’s Tim Scott up there right behind him laughing & cheering. Pathetic.”
“I hold Tim Scott in contempt, but the depth of self-abasement here is hard to look at,” wrote author Jeff Sharlet.
“Find someone who looks at you the way Tim Scott looks at opportunities to completely humiliate himself,” joked another X user.
“If you ever want to see someone lose all their dignity in the span of 2 minutes, that’s what happened to Tim Scott last night,” wrote someone else.
“That’s some grade A bootlicking, Tim Scott,” commented another person.
Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison responded to the clip with a GIF of Prince shaking his head.
“Pretty amazing to see Tim Scott WHO WAS GIVEN THE GIFT OF BEING APPOINTED TO THE US SENATE by then-Governor Nikki Haley, standing behind Trump grinning like a Cheshire cat as Trump trashes her,” concluded CNN’s Ana Navarro-Cárdenas. “Damn, he working hard for that VP spot.”
Scott was previously—jokingly—accused of sucking to Trump and angling for a vice presidential nod by announcing his engagement to his previously secret girlfriend.