Trump Challenger Sanford Drops Out Just 65 Days After Launching Campaign: 'You Gotta Be a Realist'


Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford ended his presidential bid Tuesday, just two months after announcing his candidacy to replace President Donald Trump as the 2020 Republican nominee.

“You gotta be a realist, and what I did not anticipate is an impeachment,” Sanford said during a news conference at the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord, as the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier reported.

He contended that in the current political climate, “all of the oxygen is leaving the room” with battle lines clearly drawn between the red and the blue teams.

Sanford told reporters that he will look for other ways to advance the discussion on addressing the nation’s accumulating debt and annual deficits.

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Sanford, who was an outspoken critic of Trump while serving in Congress, lost his 2018 re-election bid after the president endorsed his Republican primary challenger, Katie Arrington.

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“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,” Trump tweeted the day South Carolinians went to the polls in June 2018.

“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,” Trump added.

“VOTE Katie!

When Sanford announced his presidential candidacy in September, Trump tweeted, “When the former Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, @MarkSanford, was reported missing, only to then say he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend, it sounded like his political career was over.”

“It was,” the president continued, “but then he ran for Congress and won, only to lose his re-elect after I Tweeted my endorsement, on Election Day, for his opponent.”

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“But now take heart, he is back, and running for President of the United States. The Three Stooges, all badly failed candidates, will give it a go!”

With Sanford’s departure, the most high-profile GOP primary challengers are former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Trump dominating the field with approximately 85 percent support to Weld’s 2.6 percent and Walsh’s just over 2 percent.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith