Former South Carolina congressman Mark Sanford kicked off his 2020 Republican presidential campaign with a news conference in Philadelphia attended by just one supporter – a Democrat who says he will not be switching parties to cast a vote for the long shot candidate.
One reporter and two photographers were the only people in attendance at the start of Sanford’s campaign launch this week, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“The bell in the Independence Hall tower rang at 9 a.m., and Mark Sanford took a deep breath. He grabbed a giant check for ‘one trillion dollars,’ stood next to a tiny wooden lectern, and asked me if I was ready for him to kick off a news conference announcing his bid to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primary,” wrote Inquirer reporter Anna Orso. “It didn’t really feel like a news conference. I was the only reporter there.”
“No other local TV station showed up to the kickoff spot, even though Fox 29′s studio is a block away. CBS3 and NBC10′s studios were within two miles of Sanford’s news conference.”
Eventually, a man whose daughter had studied under Sanford at the University of Chicago turned up to show his support for Sanford.
“Quinn, a 63-year-old retired lawyer from Center City, is a Democrat, too, and said that while he supports Sanford’s bid and believes what he’s doing is important, he has no plans to switch party registrations and vote in the GOP primary,” the Inquirer reports.
Sanford, who also served as governor of South Carolina, joined former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and ex-Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh in the field of challengers to President Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination.
Sanford’s legacy includes major controversy stemming from an extramarital affair he had while governor, for which he nearly faced impeachment due to ethics violations committed as part of the tryst.
“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA,” President Trump tweeted in 2018 when Sanford was seeking reelection to Congress. “He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!”
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
“He took a gun and shot me in the head,” Sanford told the Inquirer. “And that’s the end of that.”
During a television appearance, a New Jersey gender studies professor claimed that Donald Trump’s policies were to blame for black female obesity.
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Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst