Sen. Mike Rounds, RS.D., on Sunday would not commit to supporting the eventual GOP presidential nominee if it is not South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, whom Rounds has endorsed.
During an interview on «Meet the Press,» NBC News’ Chuck Todd asked Rounds if he would support «anyone the Republicans name, even if they’re [former President Donald Trump].”
Rounds said he is hopeful Scott secures the 2024 Republican nomination, but would have to «reevaluate» otherwise.
«Well, right now, I hope it’s Tim Scott,» he said. «And if it’s not, I’ll have to reevaluate because I’ve always supported the Republican candidate in the past.»
«I hope Tim is the nominee,» he added. «There will be other good people, too, but I’m going to hold that back until we figure out how Tim is doing.»
Pressed by Todd on whether the reason he didn’t commit to supporting the candidate was because of the legal issues Trump is facing, Rounds said: «Not really, I just think there are some very good Republican candidates out there.»
«And I’m going to wait and see which one comes out, but I have supported the Republican candidate in the past,» he added.
Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, announced his presidential run last month, joining a rapidly growing field of Republican hopefuls seeking to challenge Trump. In remarks announcing his campaign, Scott cast himself as the candidate «most feared by the far left» and described the campaign as a time to choose between «victimization or victory» and «grievance or greatness.»
In addition to Rounds, Sen. John Thune, RS.D., the Senate’s second-ranked Republican, also endorsed Scott and appeared in an opening speech during his presidential campaign announcement.
Rounds has frequently criticized Trump’s false claims of a stolen 2020 presidential election and has previously suggested that lawmakers who want to unite the Republican Party might be looking for an alternative to Trump in 2024.
Rounds criticized Trump’s comments about the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol that he did at a town hall on CNN last month, during which the former president called the riot «a beautiful day.»
«The vast majority of us here on January 6 would clearly disagree with your approach to it,» Rounds said in response to Trump’s comments during CNN’s town hall. «So there are some things that we agree with, but there are a number of areas where we would disagree.»