In an interview posted today on NBC, Bloomberg reports that former Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford is quick to conjure concerns about the leadership style of President Trump – a man he obviously considers to be part of the reason he lost his primary election – and the mindset of his voters.
“This was not about policy, it was about personal loyalty. And that’s where I think this race has much greater implications,” Sanford said in a transcription provided to media.
Sanford is referring to the public spat between himself and President Trump, a man he has stood opposite to on many positions in the past yet whom remains exceedingly popular with his substantial base of support. In an interview last year with Politico, an unabashedly left-wing publication, Sanford was both aggressive and passive-aggressive in his attack on the President’s character, alluding to him as a dishonest and improper man. Politico offered as much space as Sanford would like to have taken up, the interview runs just under 5,000 words, and glowingly reports Sanford’s subversive dissent as he concedes he is, politically at least, a dead man walking.
During the recent South Carolina Republican primary campaign that culminated in a vote last Tuesday, Sanford’s challenger – fresh-faced newcomer Katie Arrington – contrasted herself with Sanford, promising much stronger support of President Trump’s agenda without any grumbling or waffling. Utilizing footage of public criticisms made of President Trump by Sanford posted by Arrington’s campaign to YouTube, it was made very clear where the battle lines were drawn between the two.
An elder statesman, a representative of the old guard Republican, and a career politician whom did not get along with President Trump versus a young gun, a representative of a populist political movement surrounding a central message of “drain the swamp”, and an ardent and pledges supporter of the MAGA agenda.
President Trump took to Twitter on election day to excoriate Sanford and to endorse Arrington publicly. Recently coming off a capacity crowd at a rally closing out the month of May in Nashville, and in Singapore at the time for the historic peace summit, President Trump was seemingly fired up, having Sanford in his sights.
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
Despite his decade of political service, Sanford was defeated by a margin of about 3,000 votes out of a total 65,000 ballots cast, as reported earlier by The Inquisitr.
Sanford also spoke to interviews about his worries that loyalty to President Trump may signal some dangerous existential threats to voters who follow him.
“People are running for cover because they don’t want to be on the losing side of a presidential tweet,” Sanford told Chuck Todd at NBC. “The idea that you can’t speak out and say, ‘I disagree with you here, but I agree with you on 90 percent of the stuff’… is, again, a twilight world that I’ve never seen… There is no seeming consequence to the president and lies,” Sanford went on, referring to an old piece of Americana, “… We’ve gone from George Washington, ‘I can’t tell a lie by cutting down the apple tree,’ to they’ve become so replete that nobody even questions him anymore. And that’s, again, a dangerous spot to be in a reason-based republic.”
Despite Sanford’s protestations, the voters themselves may not be too bent out of shape by his departure, particularly given that they are the ones responsible for democratically deposing him. Washington Times columnist Cheryl Chumley lambasted the defeated Sanford and his post-defeat interviews for his presumptive tone, denying him the claim that he spoke for voters or even understood the contemporary vox populi. She closes her op-ed with the following words.
“Crying in the media about so-called loyalty pledges is a no-winner of a message – a smoke and mirror line for the disgruntled losers of the party who won’t get on board with what voters want. Face it, and face up: Fact is, establishment Republicans are being sidelined by Trump fans.
That has nothing to do with a pledge. But it does have everything to do with what voters want. It’s called the voters’ will, and these days, voter will appears to be overtaking elitist GOP will, en masse.”