August 16, 2019
Mark Sanford—the former South Carolina Republican governor (2003-2011) and representative (1996-2001) who vanished for a week in 2009 and subsequently confessed to an extramarital affair—has announced that he is considering mounting a challenge to President Donald Trump in 2020, CNN reports.
“There’s a big storm coming,” Sanford says in a campaign-style video released on August 12, adding that America is “in the most precarious financial position” and “not dealing with it could crush our economy, it could wipe out whatever we’ve saved, it could even destroy our republic.”
The former congressman has been privately considering whether to run since leaving office in January. Sanford’s presidential bid would be a long-shot against Trump, who has an 88% approval rating among Republican voters, according to the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center..
Sanford told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he’s been encouraged to run for president by people who “have said we need to have a conversation about what it means to be a Republican.”
He suggested that South Carolina voters are weary of “the bully in the schoolyard routine” from Trump. “So I think something is afoot both on the financial front and frankly on the tone and tenor front,” he told CNN.
In fact, he told the cable news network, “I just got through watching two Democratic debates that offered little more than a long laundry list of new political promises that we can’t afford. [Then] … I listen to the president, who rules out action on the very things that drive our debt and spending.”
Sanford says some have suggested an advocacy group, while “others have suggested running in the Republican primary against the President as a way of elevating the issue and changing the debate.”
Sanford lost his primary race in 2018, running as a “Never Trumper” for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Should he decide to run, Sanford also would take on former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, who announced in April that he was officially entering the race, as a Republican to take on Trump in 2020.
Sanford has said he expects to make his decision by September.
Research contact: @CNNPolitics