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Ex-SC Gov Mark Sanford Becomes Latest Republican To Challenge Trump in Primary



Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman, has decided to launch a longshot Republican challenge to President Donald Trump, saying Sunday that he aims to put his Appalachian trail travails behind him for good as he tries to navigate a path to the presidency.

“I am here to tell you now that I am going to get in,” Sanford said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” ”This is the beginning of a long walk.”

When asked why he was taking on an incumbent who’s popular within the party, Sanford said, “I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican. I think that as the Republican Party, we have lost our way.”

Fifty-nine-year-old Sanford has long been an outspoken critic of Trump’s, frequently questioning his motivations and qualifications during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election and calling Trump’s candidacy “a particularly tough pill to swallow.”

Ultimately, though, Sanford said he would support Trump in the 2016 general election, although he had “no stomach for his personal style and his penchant for regularly demeaning others.”

As Sanford sought re-election to his post representing South Carolina’s 1st District in 2018, drawing a primary challenger who embraced Trump, the president took interest in the race. State Rep. Katie Arrington repeatedly aired ads featuring Sanford’s on-air critiques of Trump and attached the “Never Trump” moniker to Sanford, a condemnation in a state that Trump carried by double digits in 2016.

Trump endorsed Arrington just hours before the primary polls closed, tweeting that Sanford “has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign” and that “He is better off in Argentina” — a reference to Sanford’s secret 2009 rendezvous to South America for an extramarital affair while his in-the-dark gubernatorial staff told reporters he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Asked Sunday if that incident could be a distraction to his campaign, Sanford said that the aftermath had forced him to attain a new “level of empathy.”

“I profoundly apologize for that,” he added, noting that South Carolina voters subsequently forgave him politically and sent him back to Congress.

Days after his first-ever political loss, Sanford described Trumpism as “a cancerous growth,” warning the GOP that the cancer is spreading.

“We have a president that will tell numerous dis-truths in the course of a day, yet that’s not challenged,” Sanford said. “What’s cancerous here is in an open political system, there has to be some measure of objective truth.”

Sanford won three terms for U.S. House in the 1990s, then two four-year terms as governor before the affair marred the end of his second term. He returned to politics a couple of years later and won a special election to his old U.S. House seat in 2013, holding on twice more.

Throughout his political career, Sanford has played up his outsider credentials — both in the U.S. House, where he supported a box to check on federal tax returns to put $3 toward the national debt, and as governor, bringing a pair of squealing pigs to the state House and Senate chamber to protest what he called pork spending.

As the main focus of his presidential bid, Sanford has said he plans to zero in on holding down federal spending, an issue on which he has railed since his initial stint in the House. Known during his Capitol Hill years as a deficit hawk, Sanford expressed a determination to bring debt and fiscal restraint into the national conversation.

“Let’s go out and try to force a conversation about that which is not being talked about in this country,” Sanford said Sunday.

If he hadn’t decided to run for president, Sanford had said he might start a think tank devoted to fiscal conservatism.

Sanford won’t be able to compete in his home state of South Carolina, which on Saturday — along with Nevada and Kansas — announced it won’t hold presidential nominating balloting in 2020.

Sanford’s possible presidential motivations immediately drew skepticism from some South Carolina political observers who have watched him plot a political comeback before and questioned whether he was merely seeking publicity and relevance following a defeat in last year’s primary.

Last month, Sanford acknowledged his motivations in an interview with The Associated Press.

“It’s not as if I’m saying, you know, I think I can become president,” he said. “But I think you can change the debate, and you might even have an impact on the general election.”

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  • andy says:


  • stephen russell says:

    Who, how, any plans, ideas, to rally or Nothing back to GOP elites policy

  • AllSeeingEye says:

    Hell no to a dirty rino.

  • Diana says:

    You won’t get in if I can help it you lying backstabbing ass don’t like you and sneaking off to cheat no no way we don’t need an pretending republican conservative, Trump is who this country needs we don’t want pro politicians anymore you are corrupt and disgusting, the Republican Party lost its way when they but bush in office really even before that not even having the balls to fight the worst dishonest Traitor obama he broke so many laws and all of you turned a blind eye while he was trying to out right Destroy America so kiss your ass goodbye

  • McDonald says:

    You have to be kidding? Are these jerks making any money while running to be a candidate for president?

  • Red Devil 5th inf. says:

    He’s an idiot, he should have switched parties and then he would have fit right in.

  • LMRRETIRED says:

    The best thing Mark Sanford could do is keep his mouth shut and go away ……. I used to live in South Carolina when he was Governor. I guess he took too many trips on the Appalachian Trail……..

  • C.L. Cake says:

    It’s the beginning of a long walk, alright… Off a short pier, I hope!

  • Arichie Barrett says:


  • Jim C says:

    NO WAY! This SOB will not be PRESIDENT. There is NO WAY any REP or DEM would vote for this ASS HOLE. Even hos Mother wouldn’t vote for him.

  • 2WarAbnVet says:

    This is a joke, right?

  • stevor says:

    how much has Soros donated to him?

  • Larry says:

    This is the quality of Trump’s opponent. The dregs are beginning to appear.

  • guest says:

    Sanford just wants to stir the pot. maybe he’s got some $$$$ from soros and the demonrat party. shy trust a person like him who would think he can beat trump. Sanford is probably going broke and he needs all the $$$$$ he can get from the demonrats and soros.

    • SoCal Lady says:

      I bet you dollar to donuts that Soros put up the money for Sanford to run…..Trump is going to Blast this guy out of the water or EXPOSE HIM for who he is!

  • Joan Arnold says:

    He cheated on his wife with our money.

  • Dragonfly43 says:


  • Mike says:

    Once again, W-H-O?!? LOL!

  • William Conley says:

    So in his own words I know I won’t win but I do love the attention and dark money funneling into my bank account.

  • Carlos says:

    Wasting your time we dont want another politician to play the swamp game. I want a president that stands up for America and the American people. That is why I will vote for Trump in 2020.

  • Dave seybert says:

    It’s the Democratic party that has lost its way….who the fuck does he think he’s fooling?

  • Kathie says:

    He must be crazy!

  • Alice says:

    Doesn’t stand a chance against PRESIDENT TRUMP

  • TommyD says:

    This guy was much better with his son picking up garbage.. you will be lucky to get Beto numbers, did 💩 when you were in govt, and Trump has done more with the Dems, swamp republicans, andmedia, all against him. Good luck @$$hole.. Trump 🇺🇲 2020..

  • Dora says:

    It’s nice to dream isn’t it…loser!

  • usac#95 says:

    Another scum politician working to get back in the congress to find another girlfriend

  • RWF