Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Sunday announced his plans to run against President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primary. Sanford made his announcement on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace, although he planned to make it earlier this week. He had to put his announcement on hold because of Hurricane Dorian, which ravaged the east coast.
“I have. I planned to announce that back home this week. We had a hurricane come visit us on the coast of South Carolina so that sort of disrupted plans, but I am telling you now I am going to get in," Sanford said.
“You’re going to run for president against Donald Trump in the Republican primaries?” Wallace asked.
“I am,” Sanford replied.
“Why?” Wallace asked, clearly taken by surprise.
“Because I think we need to have a conversation about what it means to be a Republican. I think as a Republican Party we have lost our way. And I'd say so on a couple different fronts. I'd say first, and sort of the epicenter of where I'm coming from is that we have lost our way on debt and deficit spending," Sanford explained. "You know, one of the hallmarks of the Republican Party and the conservative movement has always been 'how much do we spend?' It was Milton Friedman's notion that the ultimate measure of government is how much it spends."
"I think as a party we've lost our way. The president has called himself 'the king of debt,' has a familiarity and comfort level with debt that I think is, ultimately, leading us in the wrong direction," Sanford explained. "We can get into those numbers but those numbers are astounding. And just take, for instance, as a data point, this last debt deal that adds $2 trillion of additional debt to our country over the next 10 years, adds a third of a trillion dollars in new spending and, really, there wasn't conversation on that."
Sanford took to Twitter to reiterate why he's running:
I am compelled to enter the Presidential Primary as a Republican for several reasons – the most important of which is to further and foster a national debate on our nation's debt, deficits and spending.— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019
We have a storm coming that we are neither talking about nor preparing for given that we, as a country, are more financially vulnerable than we have ever been since our Nation’s start and the Civil War. We are on a collision course with financial reality. We need to act now.— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019
As I have watched the Democrat debates I hear no discussion, or even recognition, of what is occurring. Instead I hear a laundry list of new unpaid for political promises. On the Republican side, spending is up well above President Obama.— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019
@realDonaldTrump has ruled out action on the very things that drive spending and accumulated debt. Debate is even being cancelled on the Republican side, though I believe we need a conversation and action more than ever given our present course.— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019
Essentially no one “leading” in Washington is leading, or even speaking of, our financial predicament. We are living in a government spending and financial la-la land.. Which brings me to the larger question of what I, or any of us, can do about it?— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019
I have a unique vantage point and set of experiences – as a Governor, as a Member of Congress and as a taxpayer outside of politics. I do believe we must have this conversation now and humbly I step forward.— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019
I respect the view of many Republican friends who have suggested that I not run, but I simply counter that competition makes us stronger. I believe competition of ideas is good, not bad, for the Republican Party and for our country.— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019
I ask for your wisdom, prayers, suggestions and time along the road ahead. Please join us – get involved - and know how much I would appreciate hearing from you.— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019