Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) had a busy weekend that began with his endorsement of former rival Donald Trump on Friday and culminated with an engagement announcement on Sunday.
Now, skeptics of the union are theorizing that Scott’s engagement is actually part of a plot to become the former president’s 2024 vice presidential pick.
Scott debuted his now-fiancée ahead of the third Republican presidential debate in November. The pair, according to Scott, began dating more than a year ago.
When Scott first mentioned he had a girlfriend, some people expressed doubt that she existed. Then, when he introduced her at the debate, many baselessly theorized she was a paid actor.
The theories were due at least in part to reports GOP donors were concerned about Scott’s marital status heading into the election, as U.S. voters have not opted for a bachelor president since 1884.
Even though Scott dropped out of the race in November, some people online are still doubting the authenticity of their relationship and believe the new engagement is another political move.
“oh so he REALLY wants to be vice president,” wrote one user on X in a post that has been viewed more than 160,000 times.
“getting a beard in order to win the presidency is one thing but it is simply not worth it for VP,” quipped someone else, referencing ongoing (but baseless) rumors about Scott’s sexual orientation.
“Tim Scott wants to be VP so bad,” posted another Democrat on X.
“Did Trump just tell this man he’s VP?” asked someone else.
The taunting comes in the wake of Scott endorsing Trump, who told New Hampshire voters on Friday that “we need a president who will close our southern border today” and a president “who will unite our country” and protect Social Security.
“We need Donald Trump,” he said.
“The only thing I want is four more years of Donald Trump and a Republican majority in the Senate, a majority in the House and the White House, so that poor kids who are today growing up in neighborhoods like I grew up in, have a chance for a quality education,” Scott told CNN’s Dana Bash. “I want kids to look to their future and believe that America is their oyster.”
Asked by Bash about the possibility of serving as vice president, Scott replied: “Well, Dana, you can, you can take it any way you want. My goal is to do one thing. It’s always going to do the same thing, make America and Americans believe in our future in the way that we do not today. Whatever that takes.”
But even though Scott has signaled his openness to becoming Trump’s running mate, the former president gave a less-than-enthusiastic response when asked if Scott was on his shortlist.
“He’s a great guy. You know, he endorsed me,” Trump told Fox News on Sunday. “There’s an example, Nikki comes from South Carolina, Tim Scott is from South Carolina. But if you look the governor, great governor, another senator Lindsey, we happen to like Lindsey.”
“But, uh, Henry McMaster knows it very well. He endorsed me. It’s very hard for a governor to endorse somebody when you have,” Trump continued, trailing off and changing the subject without answering about Scott.
Trump has remained tight-lipped about his potential vice presidential pick, though he previously stated he liked the idea of his running mate being a woman.
Oddschecker, a sports betting tool, currently places Scott’s odds of becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee at +1450—behind South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Vivek Ramaswamy, and Trump’s top rival Nikki Haley.