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South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford is considering a primary contest against President Donald Trump, according to a recent report.

Sanford, a former governor and congressman, spoke about his plans to The (Charleston) Post and Courier.

“Sometimes in life you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say, whether there’s an audience or not for that message. I feel convicted,” he said.

Sanford served in Congress from 1995 through 2001 and served as Governor of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011. Although at one point considered a rising star in Republican politics, in 2009 he admitted to an extra-marital affair with an Argentinian woman, having told the media he was hiking the Appalachian Trail during several days when he disappeared from public view.

Sanford finished out his term through 2011, and in 2013 was elected to Congress. He lost a 2018 primary for re-election after Trump opposed his candidacy.

The immediate reaction to Sanford’s plan was not encouraging.

“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,” South Carolina Republican Chairman Drew McKissick said in an emailed statement.

Sanford said the roots of his campaign are in the realm of fiscal policy.

“I’m a Republican. I think the Republican Party has lost its way on debt, spending and financial matters,” he said.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld is the only other Republican who has said he will run against Trump.

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato said the issue is not whether Sanford would defeat Trump, but the extent of the impact Sanford could make.

“Is he a serious challenger to Trump? If you mean by serious challenger that he could beat Trump, the answer is no, but there are other ways to measure challenges,” Sabato said.

“If he can make the argument against Trump, if he can rally whatever remaining ‘Never Trumpers’ there are out there, then he could have an impact.”

In 2018, Trump tweeted his opposition to Sanford on South Carolina’s primary day.

“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!”

Arrington won the primary but lost the general election to Democrat Joe Cunningham.

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15 Comments
  • Mary Wilk says:

    If this guy does run, he’s just there to fulfill his purpose of taking votes away from President Trump. He knows he isn’t going to win by any stretch of the imagination. Republican and Independent voters must realize this and vote accordingly.

  • CF
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