Sanford: “Sometimes in life you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say, whether there’s an audience or not for that message”
Disgraced former South Carolina governor and former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) is reportedly considering a 2020 primary challenge to President Trump.
Sanford lost his House seat in 2018 when his anti-Trump reelection campaign faltered and he lost the GOP primary to state Rep. Katie Arrington. She ended up losing in the general.
At that time, Kemberlee blogged:
Sanford spent three months running a hard anti-Trump campaign while Arrington hired a Trump campaign advisor and ran as a candidate who supports the president’s agenda.
Sanford, long known for wearing his emotions openly and speaking his mind, has been one of the most high-profile Republican Trump critics in Congress. He’s called the president’s tariffs on steel and aluminum “an experiment with stupidity.” He’s called Trump’s disparaging remarks about Haiti and African nations “something stupid.” He’s said that Trump has done some “weird stuff” in office.
During the 2016 campaign, Sanford said Trump should “just shut up” and stop focusing so much on his critics. He’s said that the president was “partially” to blame for the toxic rhetoric that led to the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). He’s said that “trading slights seems essential” to Trump’s personality, and he gave an extensive interview to POLITICO Magazine in which he said the president had “fanned the flames of intolerance.”
And yes, this is the same Sanford who, while Governor of South Carolina, got caught galavanting through South America with his Argentinian mistress, ending his marriage and Governorship. He later broke up with his mistress turned fiance in a public Facebook post. She claimed she learned of the breakup from the press.
And now Sanford’s reportedly giving serious thought to running for president. It seems surreal, but here’s the report from The Post and Courier:
Almost a year after President Donald Trump urged voters to reject Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina congressman is considering a Republican presidential run of his own against Trump in 2020.
Sanford, in an interview Tuesday with The Post and Courier, confirmed he will take the next month to formulate a potential run against Trump as a way of pushing a national debate about America’s mounting debt, deficit and government spending.
He would run as a Republican.
“Sometimes in life you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say, whether there’s an audience or not for that message,” Sanford said. “I feel convicted.”
Convicted? Is he saying he’s driven by his “convictions” to say what he has to say (even if no one is listening)? Or referencing his humiliating primary loss? Or hearkening back to the fallout from his tossing away his marriage and his governorship for his “soulmate” whom he later ditched via Facebook?
Anyway, moving along past that weird word choice, South Carolina Republicans are less than thrilled at the prospect of a Sanford presidential campaign to primary the sitting president.
The Post and Courier continues:
If he does get in the race, Sanford faces mammoth odds against getting any traction within the Republican Party. Hours after news broke of Sanford’s possible presidential bid, he faced blunt condemnation from his own South Carolina Republican Party.
“The last time Mark Sanford had an idea this dumb, it killed his Governorship. This makes about as much sense as that trip up the Appalachian Trail,” S.C. GOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in an emailed statement. [link added for clarity] The comment was later shared on the S.C. GOP Twitter account, which features a banner image of a Trump-Pence campaign logo.
Watch Sanford explain why he’s considering running against the president:
If Sanford does decide to run against Trump, he will face an uphill battle to primary a president who is very popular with his base. Trump is so popular, in fact, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refuses to consider bowing to her party’s immense pressure to impeach.
At this time, and in case you’ve forgotten, the only declared primary challenger is former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld (R).
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