Another Republican announces Trump primary challenge

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Republican Mark Sanford, a former governor and congressman from South Carolina, said Sunday that he will launch a primary bid challenging President Trump. Sanford is now the third Republican planning to challenge the president, even as the GOP is canceling its nominating contests in some states, including South Carolina.

In an interview on Sunday confirming his plans, Sanford said that Republicans have “lost our way.”

“I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican,” Sanford said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He also blasted Mr. Trump’s leadership style and said the Republican Party needs to focus more on debt and spending, warning the country is headed toward “the most significant financial storm” since the Great Depression.

“I think we need to have a conversation on humility and one’s approach to politics,” Sanford said. “At the end of the day, a tweet is interesting, maybe newsworthy, but it’s not leadership. And we’re not gonna solve some of the profound problems that we have as Americans by tweet. ”

Sanford served in Congress from 1995 to 2001, and again from 2013 to 2019. He was also South Carolina’s governor from 2003 to 2011.

His tenure as governor included a scandal in which Sanford disappeared for a week, with his staff saying he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was in fact engaging in an extramarital affair in Argentina. Sanford said Sunday he had “profoundly apologized” for that scandal, and said that was a contrast to Mr. Trump’s refusal to admit his shortcomings.

Sanford became a vocal critic of Mr. Trump in Congress, leading to the president calling him “very unhelpful” and “nothing but trouble” on Twitter. Sanford lost a primary challenge of his own in 2018 to a Trump-endorsed opponent — and a Democratic candidate, Joe Cunningham, ultimately won the seat.

Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld have also said they will challenge Mr. Trump in the GOP’s 2020 primary. But the Republican Party in three states — South Carolina, Nevada and Kansas — said they will not hold a nominating contest for the next presidential race, and all GOP delegates will already be committed to Mr. Trump.

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