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Government & Politics

South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford Visits Ohio In Longshot White House Bid

Mark Sanford at the Ohio Statehouse.
Mark Sanford at the Ohio Statehouse.

Former South Carolina Governor and Congressman Mark Sanford is in the midst of a longshot bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He's taking a cross country tour visiting 11 states and he stopped Thursday at the Ohio Statehouse.

Sanford's insurgent campaign is rooted in old-fashioned Republican rhetoric making a pitch heavily focused on the federal deficit.

With increased defense spending and a large tax cut on the books, the Trump administration will see the deficit top $1 trillion this year, Sanford said.

Holding a Publishers Clearing House-style check made out for that amount, Sanford argued the voters who care about government spending are his path to relevance.

“Either those people have been transported to Mars and they’re just gone, and they don’t care because they’re not here, or those people are still there,” Sanford said. “They haven’t been spoken to, and if someone speaks to them—and I’ve said up front, if they’re still there I think I’m going to have some measure of movement with regard to my campaign. If not, my campaign will be short lived.”

Sanford voiced concerns beyond the balance sheet.  He argued by over promising and under delivering the Trump administration could harm the Republican Party brand.

“If you elect me I’ll eliminate the debt over the eight years that I might be in office—that’s what he said, that’s what he promised,” Sanford said of Trump’s 2016 campaign. “In fact, the budgets that he’s proposed, not Democratic budgets, but Republican budgets that this administration has proposed—raise the debt by $9 trillion over the next 10 years. It allows interest to continue to be the fastest growing category of federal expenditure.”

Sanford is one of three challengers for the Republican nomination in 2020, including former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.  All three will face an uphill battle to gain the nomination.  Five states already, including Sanford’s South Carolina, have canceled their Republican primaries.

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