Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said he wouldn’t commit to supporting the GOP presidential candidate if it wasn’t Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Mr Rounds, who backed Mr Scott, said he was waiting to see how the 2024 primary goes.
“Well, right now, I’m hoping it will be Tim Scott,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “And if not, then I’m going to have to reassess, because I’ve always supported the Republican candidate in the past.”
“I hope Tim is the nominee,” he said. “There will be other good people too, but I’ll hold that off until we know how Tim is doing.”
Mr. Rounds played down the idea that his reluctance to commit to a GOP candidate is related to former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles.
“Not that much – I just think there are some really good Republicans [candidates] there,” he said.
Mr. Rounds criticized Mr. Trump’s comments on the 2020 election and berated the ex-president for calling January 6, 2021 a “beautiful day” during a town hall on CNN.
“The vast majority of us who were here on January 6 would clearly disagree with his approach to this,” Rounds said, referring to the attack on the US Capitol. “So there are some things we agreed on, but there are a number of areas where we would disagree.”
South Dakota’s other senator, John Thune, also backs Mr. Scott, a valued member of the Republican conference.