Mark Sanford, Donald Trump Republican Challenger, Pledges To Build The Border Wall If Elected

Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and member of Congress who is one of a few Republicans challenging Donald Trump for the party’s nomination, said in an interview Wednesday that he would commit to completing President Trump’s long-promised border wall between the U.S. and Mexico were he elected president.

Sanford made the comments Wednesday in an interview with The Hill.

“I don’t disagree with the president on immigration,” Sanford said when asked about the wall. “That’s not a friction point.” He went on to suggest that his voting record as a member of Congress would back up his conservative views on immigration.

Sanford, however, said that Trump has not lived up to his promise on strengthening the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and said that what the president had been successful in was causing “a lot of friction” and creating “smoke and fire.” There hadn’t been a single new mile of border wall built under the Trump administration, Sanford said.

Although he said he would “absolutely” commit to building the border wall, he said that he believed the issue to be “overblown.”

“I say to my Republican friends, look, you realize this is not about closing the entire border, this is about another 70 miles. And I say to my Democratic friends, this is, again, overblown. This is not about closing the entire border, this is about another 70 miles. I think there’s a lot of hyperbole on both sides of the debate – it’s been sensationalized. I do think we need a secure border, though.”

As The Inquisitr has previously reported, the Trump administration earlier this week claimed that its proposed border wall would be beneficial to the environment, alleging that immigrants start fires along the border, and a wall would stop what they deemed an “environmental crisis.” Opponents of the president’s proposed wall have argued the opposite, saying that adding more wall along the southern border will disrupt ecosystems and bring harm to the environment.

Still, Sanford spent most of the Wednesday interview explaining what he believed to be the most important issue facing Americans and the driving factor of his campaign – the economy.

“We’re living the the 1920s again and we don’t even realize it,” Sanford claimed. “And what followed the 1920s was a thing called the Great Depression.”

When asked why he was running for president, Sanford told The Hill that he was running because the nation was heading toward a “predictable” financial crisis. Sanford said he found it remarkable that there was little conversation in the current presidential election cycle about government debt and government spending.

Sanford said he hopes his candidacy sparks discussion on what it means to be a member of the GOP.

“I think we need to have a conversation as Republicans about what it means to be a Republican,” Sanford said. “It used to mean engagement with the rest of the world as opposed to looking inward. That has ramifications in trade and tariffs.

Sanford also said a conversation was necessary about protecting the frameworks set by the founding fathers. Sanford accused the president of challenging those frameworks, which he said holds the balance of power in place.

The former governor also added he was running to unseat Trump because of tone, which he said has been off during the Trump administration. He said that his former district in South Carolina, which he represented from 2013 to 2019, had gone to the Democratic Party for the first time in 50 years, which he attributed to the tone coming from the top of the Republican party.

Sanford is one of just a few Republicans who have attempted to unseat the president by offering a primary challenge to his candidacy. However, as Politico noted, several state GOP organizations have canceled state primaries or caucuses in a move some say is undemocratic.