The former Republican South Carolina governor and Congressman Mark Sanford who two months ago announced that he will be challenging Donald Trump for a run in the upcoming election, suspended his candidacy today Tuesday November 12, 2019.
He says “I am suspending my race for the Presidency because impeachment has made my goal of making the debt, deficit and spending issue a part of this presidential debate impossible right now,”. “From day one, I was fully aware of how hard it would be to elevate these issues with a sitting president of my own party ignoring them. Impeachment noise has moved what was hard to herculean as nearly everything in Republican Party politics is currently viewed through the prism of impeachment’’, He added.
Mark Sanford who began as a vocal Republican critic of the President before he lost his congressional seat in a GOP primary contest last year, made the announcement during a press conference at the New Hampshire statehouse.
Even though he blames the impeachment process, Sanford did not gain many supporters during his short-lived primary challenge. Sanford was one of three Republicans running to unseat Trump; former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld remain in the race.
However, unlike his rivals, Sanford focused his primary bid not on Trump’s conduct in office but on his sharp policy turns from traditional conservative values, including a skyrocketing national debt on his watch. But his message failed to resonate with Republican and Independent voters looking for an alternative to Trump. On a cross-country road trip to promote his candidacy last month, Sanford drew only a thin crowds of curious viewers, or none at all.
The other Republican challengers including Sanford have also faced institutional barriers, with a number of state Republican parties deciding to forego their presidential primaries as a show of support for Trump. In one of those states, South Carolina, former Republican Rep. Bob Inglis sued the state Republican Party to reinstate the presidential primary; a lawsuit which is still waiting for a decision.
Sanford announced late last month that he would be moving his campaign to New Hampshire in in an effort to gain more voters in the nation primary state. But he abruptly abandoned that plan today Tuesday, acknowledging that his candidacy, “a long-shot from the very start,” could not succeed in the current environment. “You’ve got to be a realist, and what I did not anticipate was an impeachment,” Sanford told reporters in Concord. “…But Ukraine came, and here we are” said Sanford.