South Carolina’s Mark Sanford Claims He Lost Primary Because He Is ‘Not Trump Enough’

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) waits for his introduction during a town hall meeting March 18, 2017 in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Protestors have been showing up in large numbers to congressional town hall meetings across the nation. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Sitting U.S. Congressman Mark Sanford now says that he lost his re-election primary in South Carolina because he is “not Trump enough.”

In a Sunday interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Sanford also said that Washingtonians are fearful of ending up on “the losing side of a presidential tweet.”

“The idea that you can’t speak out and say, ‘I disagree with you here, but I agree with you on 90% of the stuff’ … is, again, a twilight world that I’ve never seen,” Sanford complained.

Sanford lost his re-election primary on June 11 to State Representative Katie Arrington who ran as the pro-Trump candidate and highlighted many of Sanford’s attacks on Trump

Indeed, during his Meet the Press interview, Sanford attacked Trump as a liar.

“There is no seeming consequence to the president and lies,” Sanford said. “We’ve gone from George Washington, ‘I can’t tell a lie by cutting down the apple tree,’ to they’ve become so replete that nobody even questions him anymore. And that’s, again, a dangerous spot to be in a reason-based republic.”

The first congressional district race was a clear choice between the Never Trump movement and the president and his supporters. A former governor whose term ended in disgrace after he was caught having an affair in South America, Sanford launched a political comeback and was elected to Congress in 2013. But now that second act is now over.

The conservative-minded Sanford is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, but despite that he has spent much time directly attacking Donald Trump even going so far as to say that the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise was “partially” Trump’s fault even though the would-be killer was a devotee of Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

In other cases, Sanford called the president’s immigration policy “reckless” and “bizarre.’ Then, despite his own sex scandal-plagued past, he attacked the president over the accusations made by porn actress Stormy Daniels. Sanford even said he would not support Trump for re-election in 2020.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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