What's the reason behind Trump's glee over Tim Scott's candidacy?

The former president celebrated the senator's entry into the Republican primaries on social networks, a curious fact considering that it means more competition for him.

Generally, if a person is running for president, they would not be pleased to have other candidates enter the race. Gastronomically speaking, the more extensive a restaurant’s menu is, the less likely each dish is to be chosen by the diner, and this logic may well apply to the presidential primaries. However, it does not appear to be the case for Donald Trump, who seemed delighted after the announcement of Tim Scott.

The South Carolina senator made his entry into the Republican primaries official on Monday, May 22, and in his pitch, he promised to restore “faith in America.” As for his agenda, he pledged to increase citizens' quality of life, prioritize education and return the U.S. to a firm foothold on the world stage.

“They are attacking our American values, our schools, our economy, our security… but not on my watch. I cannot stand by while this is done to America. She’s done too much for me. Our nation, our values and our people are strong, but our president is weak,” he remarked.

“The more, the merrier”

His supporters celebrated his announcement, along with Senator John Thune (the GOP’s number two in the Senate) and Donald Trump, who will now be his rival in the quest for the Republican nomination.

Good luck to Senator Tim Scott in entering the Republican Presidential Primary Race. It is rapidly loading up with lots of people, and Tim is a big step up from Ron DeSanctimonious, who is totally unelectable. I got Opportunity Zones done with Tim, a big deal that has been highly successful. Good luck Tim!” the former president wrote on his Truth Social account.

Truth Social

As reported by POLITICO, this favorable reaction makes complete sense for one reason: the senator’s candidacy will hurt Ron DeSantis. In the Trump campaign, they look favorably on the continued entry of candidates, as they would split the anti-Trump vote, something very similar to what happened in the 2016 primaries.

The more, the merrier,” a Trump advisor confessed to this media outlet. “Tim Scott doesn’t have to write ‘Be Likeable’ at the top of his notepad,” he added in reference to a video circulated in 2018, which showed DeSantis being advised to be “likable” with the public during a debate.

“The general thinking is that Scott getting in is another sign that there is blood in the water for DeSantis — it’s no coincidence that multiple people are getting in the ring in the last few days,” another advisor to the former president commented on the matter.

DeSantis’ presidential candidacy is imminent, and for now, he is the only Republican who seems able to bother Trump in the polls. However, Trump has become quite detached after special prosecutor John Durham’s revelations about the investigation that brought the tycoon closer to Russia.

According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, the Florida governor’s best moment was in January 2023, when he measured 31% in the primaries, against Trump’s 44%. That margin widened by May when the former president peaked at 56% of voting intention in the primaries, and DeSantis fell to 19%.