Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford Launches Campaign To Challenge Donald Trump

'I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican,' he says.

Mark Sanford (C) speaks to media after casting his vote in the special election runoff with Elizabeth Colbert Busch for a seat in the 1st Congressional District May 7, 2013
Mary Ann Chastain / Getty Images

'I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican,' he says.

Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has officially become the third Republican to challenge Donald Trump for his party’s nomination for president in 2020, CNN reports.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, Sanford said that he had planned to announce his candidacy last week, only to be stymied by a hurricane that bore down on his home state. With Hurricane Dorian now in the rearview mirror, Sanford says that now is the time to make it official.

“I am here to tell you now, that I am going to get in,” he says.

With his announcement, Sanford is now the third Republican candidate to officially challenge Donald Trump for the Republican Party’s 2020 nomination. He’s joined by former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, who in 2016 ran as Gary Johnson’s running mate on the Libertarian Party ticket; and former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh.

By all accounts, Sanford’s candidacy, like that of Weld and Walsh, is a long shot, to put it mildly. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, though Trump’s approval rating nationwide remains low, among Republicans he has near-unanimous support. And indeed, it’s the Republican party’s voters, leaders, and delegates who will make the decision as to who will be the party’s nominee in 2020. And barring unforeseen circumstances, Trump is going to get the nomination easily.

Still, though none of Trump’s Republican challengers are likely to wrest the nomination away from him in 2020, the fact that he’s getting opposition from within his own party at all could potentially spell trouble for the New York real estate developer.

Yahoo News writer Mike Bebernes points out that, historically, incumbent presidents who have faced significant challenges from within their own party haven’t fared well in the subsequent general election. Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush, for example, all faced challenges from within their own party for their party’s nomination, and all failed to get elected for a second term.

Why Sanford Is Running

Long shot or not, Sanford says that he’s running for a couple of reasons.

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Specifically, he said that the Republican party has “lost its way” in a couple of ways: mainly, through profligate spending while failing to address the federal deficit.

“I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican,” he said.

He’s been a vocal critic of Trump, and in a video he released last month, which by some measures was something of a campaign commercial, he mentioned Trump obliquely.

“I listen to the President, who rules out action on the very things that drive our debt and spending,” he said.