The best reactions to Tim Scott’s surprise girlfriend reveal, his biggest debate moment

South Carolina’s Tim Scott was mostly a background player in Wednesday night’s Republican presidential candidate debate — until the debate was over.

That’s when the U.S. senator brought a blonde woman up onto the stage to pose for a photo before they walked off hand in hand.

A soft launch, as they say.

The woman has been identified as Scott’s much talked about but never publicly seen girlfriend. With a headline that read, “Tim Scott’s girlfriend is, in fact, real,” Politico reported she is Mindy Noce, a Charleston interior designer and mother of three.

The internet, per usual, was quick to react to the surprise reveal by a politician whose marital status, or lack thereof, has long been pondered.

A lengthy article by the Washington Post Style section earlier this year explored why the American electorate seems to care at all about whether the never-married 57-year-old politician has a romantic relationship.

“And yet, for all the conventional wisdom that went out the door when (thrice-married former President Donald) Trump walked in, a long-held belief persists: that the absence of a wife and kids would make voters uneasy, especially the kind who vote in Republican primaries. Was that still true?” the article waxed.

Though Scott had coyly mentioned an unnamed girlfriend on the campaign trail, there were questions of her legitimacy.

Appearing on ABC News Live after the debate, Scott said, “She was at my kick off when I announced my candidacy back in May. The good news is we continue to have a healthy relationship, thankfully we both love the Lord, and have a healthy respect for one another and we have a lot of fun together. Hopefully as life continues, we’ll continue to see our relationship evolve, but more importantly I think the American people are more interested in their families than in my relationship.”

Scott says they have been dating for nearly a year.

Some reactions seemed skeptical, or at least skeptical of the timing of Noce’s public debut, given Scott’s continuing struggles in the polls.