Sep 11, 2019

Mark Sanford on the issues, in under 500 words

Mark Sanford addresses a 2017 town hall meeting. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Editor's note: Sanford dropped out of contention for the Republican presidential nomination on Nov. 12th, 2019. Below is our original article on his candidacy.

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is one of three long-shot Republican challengers to President Trump. A longtime figure in Congress and state government, he is known as a budget hawk and fiscal reformer.

  • A frequent critic of Trump, he faults the president for steering the Republican Party away from traditional issues like the national debt and budget deficits.
Key facts:
  • Current position: N/A
  • Age: 59
  • Born: Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Education: Furman University (BA), University of Virginia (MBA)
  • Date candidacy announced: Sept. 8, 2019
  • Previous roles: Representative for South Carolina’s 1st District (1995–2001; 2013–2019), U.S. Air Force Reserve (2003–2013), real estate broker, farmer
  • % of votes in line with Trump, per FiveThirtyEight: 70.8%
Stances on key issues:
  • National debt and deficits: Government spending is Sanford's greatest concern. He strongly supports reducing the national debt and balancing the budget.
  • Climate change: Though Sanford joined other House Republicans in a call for action on climate change, he also voted against bills addressing the issue, including a carbon tax, fearing the cost of implementation if an economic slowdown were to occur.
  • Marijuana: Though Sanford has not publicly announced his support for legalized marijuana, he criticized the Trump administration in 2018 for threatening to prosecute marijuana businesses that operated in states where the substance has been legalized.
  • Immigration: Sanford holds traditional Republican views on immigration. He believes in a secure border and voted for penalizing sanctuary cities. However, he said does not support family separation at the southern border.
Key criticisms of Sanford:
  • Hiking trip: As the former governor, Sanford lied about his whereabouts for 6 days in 2009. Instead of hiking the Appalachian Trail as he claimed, he later admitted he was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, having an affair with a TV reporter.
  • Extreme frugality: Sanford has been criticized for taking thriftiness too far. As South Carolina's governor, he required his staff to use both sides of Post-it notes, and attempted to refuse $700 million in federal stimulus money in 2009.
  • Running in anger: Some Republicans claim Sanford is only running because of his animosity with Trump that came to a head in South Carolina's 2018 primary elections. The president supported Sanford's conservative challenger. Sanford lost, but insists a personal grudge is not driving his campaign.
1 fun thing:
  • As governor, Sanford held squealing, wriggling pigs under each arm outside the state house chamber to criticize lawmakers for including pork-barrel projects in South Carolina’s 2004 state budget.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

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Alaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary in support of Trump

President Trump during a news conference in the White House Friday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Alaska Republican Party has become the latest state GOP to cancel its 2020 presidential primary in a show of support for President Trump, the Anchorage Daily News first reported Saturday.

The big picture: The Republican parties in the key early nominating states of Nevada and South Carolina voted this month not to hold contests, as did Kansas and Arizona.

  • Trump has a near-90% approval rating within the GOP. But he faces challenges for the party's nomination from former congressman Joe Walsh, ex-Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former congressman and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
Keep ReadingArrowSep 22, 2019

Polls show Biden dominating in South Carolina but neck and neck in Nevada

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden is dominating the Democratic field in South Carolina but is neck and neck with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in Nevada, according to 2 new CNN polls.

Why it matters: South Carolina and Nevada are key early states, with primaries scheduled for late February after Iowa and New Hampshire. Biden's strong standing in South Carolina is largely the result of support from black voters, 45% of whom back the former vice president. The Nevada poll shows a tighter race with the 2 progressive senators chasing at Biden's heels.

Go deeperArrowSep 29, 2019

Joe Walsh on the issues, in under 500 words

Joe Walsh holds a news conference after his election to Congress in November 2010. Photo: Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Editor's Note: Walsh dropped out of the race on Feb. 7, 2020. Below is our original article on his candidacy. He is the second Republican to drop his challenge.

Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, who claimed he "helped create Trump" while announcing his candidacy in late August, is 1 of 3 long-shot Republicans running against the president for 2020. Walsh is pro-impeachment, but his previous support for Trump could complicate his popularity among "Never Trump" Republicans.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy