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.”
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. The comment was later shared on the S.C. GOP Twitter account, which features a banner image of a Trump-Pence campaign logo.
The S.C. Democratic Party also weighed in on the news, welcoming a Sanford run while also taking a jab at Trump.
“Always nice to see a candidate with fewer extra marital affairs than the president,” the S.C. Democratic Party tweeted.
Republicans in South Carolina would have to agree to hold a primary for Sanford to be on the ballot, but the path is much easier for Sanford to be considered in Iowa, which holds an open caucus, and New Hampshire where there’s just a $1,000 filing fee to get on the 2020 GOP ballot.