FIRST ON FOX: Presidential candidate Tim Scott is the latest GOP hopeful to vow support for the party’s eventual nominee by signing the “Beat Biden” pledge, a document the Republican National Committee (RNC) is requiring candidates to sign in order to participate in party-sanctioned debates.
The senator from South Carolina joined the likes of his state’s former governor Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by committing to the pledge.
Their signatures allow them to officially qualify for the first Republican presidential primary debate slated to be held later this month in Milwaukee.
“I look forward to sharing my positive, optimistic message on the GOP Debate stage in Milwaukee. Republicans are ready for conservative leadership with a backbone, one that will crush the cartels, stand up to China, and protect the America we all love,” Scott said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
His signed pledge, dated Wednesday, Aug. 9, reads as follows:
“I, Tim Scott, affirm that I agree to appear in only Primary and General Election debates that have been sanctioned by the Republican National Committee, pursuant to Rule 10(a)(11) of The Rules of the Republican Party. I acknowledge and accept that if I fail to sign this pledge or if I participate in any debate that has not been sanctioned by the Republican National Committee, I will not be eligible to participate in any further Republican National Committee sanctioned debates.
“Additionally, I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination for President of the United States, I will honor the will of the primary voters and support the nominee in order to save our country and beat Joe Biden.
“I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.”
During a Wednesday appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Scott told Brian Kilmeade he would “absolutely” support whoever becomes the Republican nominee for president if it isn’t himself.
“I will be the nominee and I certainly will support myself, but no matter who the nominee is, I’ve already committed to supporting our nominee without any question. But I’m gonna continue to work hard to prove that America can do for anyone what she’s done for me,” he stated.
Republican candidates wanting to participate in RNC-sanctioned debates ahead of the 2024 presidential election must sign the “Beat Biden” pledge, as required by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. The new rule flies in the face of an earlier comment made by former President Donald Trump suggesting that he may not support the eventual GOP nominee.
The pledge makes candidates commit to appearing only in debates sanctioned by the RNC. If they do not sign the pledge, or if they choose to participate in an unapproved debate, they will not be allowed to participate in RNC-sanctioned debates going forward.
In addition to the pledge, candidates wanting to qualify for the debate must also reach 1% in three national polls, or 1% in two national polls and two state-specific polls from the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The polls must also be recognized by the RNC and must be conducted on or after July 1.
Additionally, to reach the debate stage, candidates must have 40,000 unique donors to their campaign committee (or exploratory committee), with “at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories,” according to the RNC criteria.
It’s unclear if Trump, who stated Thursday he will not be signing the “Beat Biden” pledge, will end up attending the upcoming debate despite being the GOP frontrunner and meeting the RNC’s fundraising requirements.
When asked about the former president potentially joining the qualifying candidates on stage in Milwaukee, Scott said he hopes to see him there, but his debate strategy isn’t dependent on Trump’s participation.
“He’s a strong debater without any question. It will be entertaining without any question, but the American people deserve to see every single one of us that qualifies for the debate stage on that stage talking about our vision for America and how our presidency would change the tide away from this terrible, disastrous presidency of President Biden,” Scott explained.
The first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle will air on Fox News at 9 p.m. ET on Aug. 23. Rumble is the online live-streaming partner and Young America’s Foundation is also a partner in the first debate.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.