GOOSE CREEK, S.C. — Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., promised in an interview with NBC News on Friday that if elected president, he would support the "most conservative pro-life legislation” that Congress sends him, leaving open the possibility that it could be as early as six weeks but not committing to a specific time frame.
"If I were president of the United States, I would literally sign the most conservative, pro-life legislation that they can get through Congress," Scott said.
"I’m not going to talk about six or five or seven or 10," he added, pressed by NBC News about what the federal cutoff should be. "I’m just saying that whatever the most conservative legislation is that can come through Congress."
Scott also declined to specify about whether that included supporting a national ban, stating, "I'm not going to deal with a bunch of hypotheticals."
Abortion has been a tricky issue for Republicans since the Supreme Court removed the federal right to access abortion in 2022, with Democrats effectively running on it in the midterm elections. And Scott himself struggled to articulate a clear position in recent days, making clear he’s “100% pro-life” but not delineating what week-mark he’d support for a ban.
Scott's abortion views could potentially put him at odds with moderate voters. A majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to polling.
Scott also responded for the first time to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signing Florida’s six-week abortion ban into law on Thursday, saying that the anti-abortion legislation should be celebrated.
"As the culture of life is being protected, we should celebrate that," he said. "States will have different varying views on that."
The senator announced an exploratory committee for a 2024 presidential bid on Wednesday after months of speculation that he may jump in the race.
When pressed on potentially running against Donald Trump in the primary, Scott said that Americans are looking for positive, optimistic leadership anchored in conservatism, dodging questions about why he thinks he would make a better candidate than the former president.
"So while people want to have a conversation about other candidates, I'm going have a conversation about what I can do to lead us to the type of future that I want the country to have," Scott said.
Scott also said he has not spoken with the Trump about his possible presidential run.