Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Sunday said he’s challenging President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential primary, joining two other Republicans who have announced long-shot bids to win their party’s nomination.
He announced his decision to run during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” telling host Chris Wallace that Hurricane Dorian disrupted his original plan to announce in South Carolina.
“I am here to tell you now that I am going to get in,” Sanford said of the GOP presidential primary. “I think that as the Republican Party we have lost our way.”
He said the “epicenter” of his campaign is focused on the national deficit.
“The president has called himself the ‘king of debt,’ has a familiarity and comfort level with debt that I think is ultimately leading us in the wrong direction,” Sanford said. “The numbers are astounding.”
Trump’s steadfast support from Republicans coupled with his massive campaign war chest has created a daunting path for those seeking to unseat him from within the GOP.
A Gallup poll conducted last month showed Trump with a 39% approval rating across political parties, but an 88% approval rating from Republicans.
“You’ve got to know you basically have no chance of winning the Republican nomination,” Wallace told Sanford on Sunday. “So why run for president?”
Sanford responded that “you never know.”
“Once every four years, we have a chance to have a national debate on where we’re going next as Republicans and Democrats and as Americans,” he said. “And the thing that has been lacking in this debate has been an earnest and real conversation on debt and deficits and government spending.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.