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"Trump is running. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago," Timmons told business leaders at the monthly OneSpartanburg, Inc. Voice of Business Brunch. "I just hope he files after the (mid-term) election, not before. We can talk about whether he should run. That's a different conversation, but I do believe that he will.
"At this point, Biden is very much running for re-election," the two-term Republican congressman from South Carolina said. "Most of the Democrats don't think he should run, privately. But as of now, he's going to run. So if we have a Biden-Trump matchup, it is going to be … oh God. But at the end of the day, if the economy is the way it is right now, Trump's going to be re-elected."
Monday afternoon, Timmons toured the 560,000-square-foot Spartanburg Steel Products facility as part of a campaign by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers trade group to promote facilities that make American products.
Spartanburg Steel opened in 1962 as Firestone Steel Products, then became Spartanburg Steel Products in 1982. Roughly 400 employees produce complex assemblies and components for the automotive, heavy truck and agricultural industries.
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Timmons: GOP will re-take U.S. House in 2022 mid-term election
At the OneSpartanburg luncheon, Timmons said Republicans could retake control of Congress in this year's Nov. 8 mid-term election.
"Three months ago, everybody in Washington thought it was going to be an absolute blowout, 40 to 50 seats (gained by Republicans) in the House, four to five seats in the Senate," he said. "That's kind of changing, sort of. I still am very confident we will take the House by a substantial, very large margin.
"The Senate is more interesting. We've got some fun candidates over there. We'll see."
Timmons represents District 4 in Congress, holding the seat once held by Trey Gowdy of Spartanburg. The district includes much of Greenville and Spartanburg counties.
Timmons is seeking a third term in the U.S. House and has no opposition. He was endorsed by Trump and won his party's primary on June 14. Ken Hill of Simpsonville won the Democratic primary. But since then, Hill has withdrawn and will not appear on the November ballot.
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Also, Constitution candidate Michael Chandler was not certified for the November election, according to the State Election Commission.
"I had a long, fun primary, so I guess this is the prize I get," he said of being unopposed in November. "But we're not taking it for granted. We've got a lot of work to do, and we're going to keep working hard to serve people in the Upstate."
Timmons has recently faced allegations about his personal life in social media posts by Greenville developer Ron Rallis. The allegations were among topics discussed at a recent community forum after Rallis painted the former Bible Way Full Gospel Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville's Woodside community pink to call attention to his personal confrontations with law enforcement and Timmons.
Timmons supports Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade
Timmons said he supported the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and leave it up to states to regulate abortion.
"I do think it's an issue that should be left to the states, and Columbia is well-positioned to legislate it," he said. "I, like the vast majority of South Carolina, am pro-life. I was pleased to hear they're not going to be banning IVF (in vitro fertilization) or contraception. I don't think that is something the people of South Carolina want."
On foreign policy, Timmons met some resistance from businessman Billy Webster at the OneSpartanburg luncheon when Timmons said Russia and China would be less likely to invade other nations if Trump were president.
"There's nobody in Washington who thinks China would ever invade Taiwan when Trump was president," Timmons said. He said Trump left the use of nuclear weapons as a last option on the table when dealing with other nations. "The Chinese do not think Biden will use nuclear weapons because he won't, he would never under any circumstances. And they still will."
Timmons said China is likely to invade Taiwan within a year.
"When (the invasion of) Taiwan starts, we do not have our greatest weapon (nuclear) to deter their aggression," Timmons said.
Webster said Trump recklessly alienated foreign leaders by attacking their character and threatening that the U.S. would leave NATO. He said Trump made the world less stable.
Timmons said, while he also questions Trump's style and his obsession with tweets, he said Trump never apologized for putting "America first." He said Trump also tried to get other countries in Europe to pay their fair share for NATO's protection.
On the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act, Timmons and the rest of the Republicans voted against it. But Democrats passed it, and President Biden signed it.
"Just because you name something the Inflation Reduction Act doesn't mean it's going to reduce inflation," he said. "They know that and the American people know that. That was an excuse to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on green New Deal-type projects, and they're funding it by hiring 87,000 IRS agents."
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On the FBI's raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, Timmons said politics played a major role.
"It's extremely concerning when the FBI raids a former president's home, especially three months before mid-term, especially when that former president is likely to run for re-election," Timmons said. "We're going to get some answers to those questions. We can't be doing this stuff. This isn't a banana republic. We've got to enforce the rule of law, but do it in an equitable way."
Contact Bob Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support our coverage of Spartanburg County with a digital subscription.
This article originally appeared on Herald-Journal: Rep. Timmons: Trump will run for president in 2024, likely face Biden