‘Sanford’s not serious,’ Republican 2020 challenger fires at former SC governor

Polling at around 2 percent nationally, former South Carolina Gov. and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford has made it clear he’s running for president to start a conversation about the growing national debt.

But fellow Republican and 2020 GOP primary opponent Joe Walsh believes that’s not good enough.

“That’s silly. That’s not serious,” the former congressman from Illinois said. “Mark Sanford is not serious.”

In an interview with Fox News Wednesday, Walsh called out the S.C. Republican for several of his past statements about the election and President Donald Trump, including Sanford’s stance on impeachment. Sanford has advocated for “moving forward incrementally” when it comes to impeachment, while Walsh has called for a faster approach.

Walsh also blasted Sanford for saying he would vote for Trump over a Democrat if the incumbent president became the Republican nominee.

“That’s, like, crazy,” Walsh said. “Trump’s unfit. He’s a danger to the country. Sanford’s not serious.”

Sanford initially made the statement in August on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Since then, he has said he isn’t sure if he would vote for Trump over Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.

Walsh, who is neck and neck with Sanford in national polls, said he is “not in this to start a conversation about the debt.”

“I’m in it to win, and I’m in it to stop Trump.”

Thursday, another Fox News reporter asked Sanford to respond to Walsh’s statements.

“I can’t imagine anything more serious than debt, deficit and government spending,” Sanford said.

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Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.