Less than a month after officially kicking off his presidential campaign, Mark Sanford is calling it quits. The congressman and former South Carolina governor was one of three Republicans hoping to take the GOP nomination from Donald Trump next year. But he failed to find an audience, something that was painfully clear when he launched his campaign in Philadelphia to one person, a reporter.
Upon ending his campaign, Sanford reportedly said, “I don’t think on the Republican side there’s any appetite for a serious nuanced debate with impeachment in the air.” His departure leaves former Congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld as the two Republicans hoping to separate the party from Trump, who will no doubt be pleased by the Sanford news. In August, when it was clear that Sanford was gearing up for a primary run, Trump dubbed him, Walsh, and Weld, the “Three Stooges.”
Trump has also made fun of Sanford for trying to cover up an affair with an Argentine journalist in 2009 by saying he was hiking the Appalachian trail. Expect him to celebrate the suspension of Sanford’s campaign with something similar.
In his short time as an official candidate, Sanford didn’t gain much traction with his warnings about the ballooning national debt. His “Kids, We’re Bankrupt And We Don’t Even Know It” tour took him through 11 states as he warned about the “incredible financial storm coming.” As he crossed the country, from Pennsylvania to California, he toted a giant novelty check with him. The $1 trillion check was made out to the “Burden of Future Generations.”
Sanford’s lack of supporters wasn’t the only thing complicating his bid for the GOP’s nomination. The party has also been rigging its primary for Trump. Several states, including Sanford’s home state of South Carolina, have canceled their 2020 caucuses or primaries, with plans to crown Trump the winner of all their delegates.