Former South Carolina Governor and Congressman Mark Sanford announced he’d challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination for President on Sunday.
The libertarian ideologue will run a campaign on the issue of the United States’ existing national debt. He claims President Trump is insufficiently willing to cut spending levels in order to combat the debt, but seems hesitant to consider taxing the wealthiest members of American society in order to lower or reverse annual deficits.
Sanford, to his credit, is somewhat more willing to run a primary campaign on the basis of actual policy issues than personal grievances. Other long-shot “Republican” primary challengers to Trump, such as Joe Walsh and Bill Weld are mostly fixated on questioning the President’s “integrity” and personal characteristics, adopting a moralistic and scolding tone that mostly ignores the political concerns of everyday Americans.
Sanford himself lost his seat in Congress in 2017 to a pro-Trump primary challenger.
The former South Carolina Governor is mostly known for a 2009 extramarital affair he conducted while in office. He claimed to be “hiking the Appalachian trail” when he was actually in Argentina visiting his lover, Maria Belen Chapur. Sanford apologized for deceiving the public and essentially going missing as a sitting governor when he was caught red-handed.
Sanford’s primary challenge appears equally quixotic as Joe Walsh and Bill Weld’s efforts. There’s a case to be made that it would actually help the President retouch his populist-nationalist roots through a heated primary challenge against conventional libertarians and establishment conservatives, but the existing cast of primary challengers don’t appear set to deliver any semblance of a competitive battle.
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