South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is pointing fingers at his “opponents” in the race for the Republican presidential nomination for recent stories spotlighting his unmarried status.
He also suggested that the media headlines were an effort to overshadow his “rise in the polls.”
Scott – who if elected president would be the first bachelor in the White House in more than a century – was the subject of a recent article by Axios, which suggested some Republican donors are concerned about him being unmarried.
Fox News Digital asked the 57-year-old senator about the recent headlines as Scott, who was accompanied by New Hampshire GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, visited Lago’s Ice Cream in Rye on Thursday.
“People plant stories that have conversations to distract from our rise in the polls, to distract from our size of our audience,” Scott replied.
He added, “What we’ve seen is that poll after poll says that the voters don’t care, but it seems like opponents do care and so media coverage that opponents plant — it’s okay. Good news is we just keep fighting the good fight.”
Scott did not mention a specific rival campaign when placing blame.
Scott has been reluctant to share much about his private life. In a handful of interviews earlier this year, he did reveal that he is dating a woman, but he kept her identity private.
“There’s always time for a great relationship with a wonderful woman, and I thank God that that is happening,” Scott told NBC News in May.
In an interview with Axios around the same time, he touted the benefits of having a bachelor in the White House, saying “I probably have more time, more energy, and more latitude to do the job.”
Grover Cleveland, who first won the White House in 1884, was the last unmarried president elected, but he tied the knot two years later.
James Buchanan, who served one term from 1857-1861, was the last president to remain a lifelong bachelor.
Four years ago as he ran for president, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker’s bachelor status also made a few headlines.
Fox News’ James Levinson contributed to this report