Mark Sanford Suspends 2020 Presidential Campaign
WASHINGTON – Former Congressman and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford suspended his longshot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, explaining that sometimes “you’ve got to be a realist.”
Standing outside the New Hampshire statehouse while holding an oversized trillion-dollar check to represent the national debt, Sanford told the reporters who had been covering him that “impeachment has made my goal of making the debt, deficit and spending issue a part of this presidential debate impossible right now.”
With that, Sanford’s campaign was over just 65 days after it started. Punctuating the abrupt feeling of the end, the fiscal conservative had been expected to have his name added to the New Hampshire primary ballot on Tuesday.
Instead, he said, “I’m going to look for other ways to advance these incredibly timely and important but now out of season issues.”
“From day one, I was fully aware of how hard it would be to elevate these issues with a sitting president of my own party ignoring them,” he continued. “Impeachment noise has moved what was hard to herculean as nearly everything in Republican Party politics is currently viewed through the prism of impeachment.”
Sanford, who lost his congressional seat in a Republican primary last year, failed to gain traction with early state voters despite repeated trips to Iowa and New Hampshire. Some of his events drew no attendees at all.
He was one of three Republicans running to unseat Trump. The others, former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, remain in the race.
Unlike Walsh and Weld, Sanford stayed away from criticizing Trump’s conduct or capacity for leadership and instead focused on how the national debt has skyrocketed on the president’s watch.
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