Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford worked the crowd Saturday at the RBC Heritage with more than two weeks to go before he faces Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a special election May 7 in the state's 1st Congressional District.
Sanford shook hands and sipped cocktails as he tried to drum-up support from fans for what some have dubbed a faltering comeback attempt.
"Some call it retail politics, but I call it conversation," Sanford said of walking the course and talking with fans about "what they do and do not want to see happen in Washington."
He brushed off a dust-up this week that led the National Republican Campaign Committee to say it would not spend money on Sanford's race, after court documents showed his ex-wife has accused him of trespassing at her home in violation of their divorce agreement. Sanford says he was there to watch the Super Bowl with one of their four sons.
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"It wasn't trespassing," Sanford said in an interview near the 10th tee. "If you're dropping off your kid and you think as a father it's best for him not to sit alone and watch the second half of the Super Bowl, do you do that or do you just drop the kid off alone? I've got a view point and she (ex-wife Jenny Sanford) would have a different one."
He criticized initial media reports for leading people to believe he was "snooping around with a flashlight, trying to go through the shrubbery to get into the house."
"People have come to see the real story, which was, 'Wait a minute. This guy, as a dad, is with his son. He gets to the half of the football game and is taking his son home and his son wants his dad to watch the second half of the football game," Sanford said. "That's a very different picture. I think that water ultimately seeps to its own level in politics and I'm glad that larger word is getting out there."