By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford announced Sunday he is mounting a long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination next year, becoming the third Republican to challenge President Donald Trump.
In making his announcement, Sanford said there needs to be a “conversation” on what it means to be a Republican.
“I think that as a Republican Party we have lost our way,” said the former South Carolina governor on “Fox News Sunday.”
Asked if he believes he has a real chance at the nomination he replied, “I’m saying, you never know.”
The one issue Sanford said has not been discussed by anyone is the amount of debt the U.S. is taking on.
“The thing that has been lacking in this debate has been an earnest and real conversation on debt and deficits and government spending, and I find it astounding to watch the number of Democratic debates that I’ve seen and no mention, no conversation on where we’re going with regard to debt,” he said.
Sanford joins former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Rep. Joe Walsh in their bid to unseat a president who enjoys wide and deep support among GOP voters.
In addition to debt, Sanford said there must be a serious conversation about Trump’s trade and tariff policies, which, by any measure, are producing favorable results for the U.S., despite the fact that the political class despises them.
He also said there needs to be more “humility” and a general approach to politics.
“We’re not going to solve some of the profound problems that we have as Americans by tweet,” he said.
Sanford came to prominence in 2009 for an extra-marital affair he had while serving as governor. Following an unexplained absence, he said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when in reality he was in Argentina with his then-girlfriend.
He noted he had undertaken an “apology tour” following the affair, which taught him another level of humility and empathy, he said.
“And in contrast to the president, when he says there’s not a single thing that he sort of regrets or apologizes for, I profoundly apologize for that,” he said. “And I believe in the Christian model of repentance and renewal and a second chance.”
Still, Sanford and the other GOP candidates face a steep climb to unseat President Trump.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, said Sunday he believes Sanford’s wasting his time and should be supporting the president’s reelection.
“Let’s all come together and put this president back and reelect him, and I think that’s what needs to happen in our party right now,” he said.
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