Republican donors are pressing Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott on his marital status — or lack thereof — as they look for which campaigns to support for the 2024 election, according to a new report based on anonymous sources.
Scott, who has said he entered public life as a virgin at the age of 30, is the only unmarried Republican presidential candidate who is seen as a viable alternative to frontrunner Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. His single status is giving Republican donors pause as they want to know why isn’t Tim Scott married, according to Axios.
“Scott’s reluctance to say much about his private life has raised concerns among some conservative Republican donors, according to the sources, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the issue,” Axios reported on Thursday.
And it looks as if the pressure is getting to Scott, who “will be discussing the issue in the coming weeks,” Axios reported that the South Carolina senator’s campaign said.
Republicans have touted themselves as the party of conservative values, which apparently includes viewing single adults suspiciously.
Some chatter on social media pointed to the epidemic of homophobia within the Republican Party for what is fueling the questions about Scott’s personal life.
Scott, for his part, has said as recently as May that he has a “girlfriend” but thus far has not revealed her identity. He suggested that not being married is a benefit to his public duties.
“I probably have more time, more energy, and more latitude to do the job,” he told Axios at the time, adding that “my girlfriend wants to see me when I come home.”
There’s been a growing chorus from critics on social media who think that the Republicans’ curiosity about Scott’s personal life is borne out of homophobia.
Not Republican donors thinking Senator Tim Scott is gay… pic.twitter.com/XiDp4vTNNK
— Brian Baez (@MentallyDivine) September 1, 2023
Scott isn’t the only unmarried Republican to face marital status scrutiny.
His fellow Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, who ran for president in 2016, was famously called “a bro with no ho” by Republican Illinois Mark Kirk in 2015.
Graham told HuffPo that same year that he didn’t feel pressure to be married.
“I feel real comfortable with who I am and the life I’ve lived,” Graham said. “The last time I checked, I didn’t see a sign on the White House that said ‘single people need not apply.’”
While not as pronounced, there is likely similar pressure among Democrats.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who is unmarried, was notably attached to his girlfriend — actress Rosario Dawson — during his White House run for the 2020 election.
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