Mark Sanford, the Trump-hating Republican representative from South Carolina, lost his primary bid for re-election last night only hours after President Donald Trump slammed him on Twitter as no help at all for the Republican agenda in Washington.
Sanford was beaten outright by GOP challenger Katie Arrington during the June 12 primaries in the Palmetto State. Many thought that Sanford would at least win enough votes to force Arrington into a run off election, but it turned out that he didn’t even get enough votes to get that far. South Carolina voters rejected him. Arrington won 51.2 percent of the primary vote which was enough to knock Sanford out of his seat.
The election came only hours after Trump slammed Sanford:
If you are unaware, Sanford got himself in major trouble back in 2009 when news broke that he was screwing around on his wife with another woman (and a foreigner at that). He was caught lying about taking a trip to Argentina with the woman when he was serving as South Carolina’s governor. Eventually, the scandal rose to such a fever pitch and he disgorged so many lies trying to cover it up, that he had to resign as gov.
One of his many lies, for instance, was that he was on vacation “hiking the Appalachian trail” and not in Argentina. No, he really said that.
Sanford spent a few years out of politics but by 2011 he was already running for Congress again and he won his seat in 2012.
But since the era of Trump dawned, Sanford has been a reliable voice of criticism for the president and has often been a speed bump for the GOP agenda in the House.
Of course, Sanford didn’t think he was a Never-Trumper. In an interview with Politico last week he insisted that he only criticized Trump when it was appropriate.
“I think it’s entirely appropriate to say ‘I agree’ when I agree and ‘I disagree’ when I disagree,” Sanford told Politico. “That’s the American way. That’s what our entire political system is based on, is the fact that we can have dissent.”
Still, Sanford went on to slam Trump: “I wasn’t particularly impressed,” Sanford told The Washington Post at the time. “It was the normal stream of consciousness that’s long on hyperbole and short on facts. At one point, somebody asked about Article I powers: What will you do to protect them? I think his response was, ‘I want to protect Article I, Article II, Article XII,’ going down the list. There is no Article XII.”
As Reason noted: “Since then, Sanford has accused Trump of fanning “the flames of intolerance,” criticized Trump’s use of the word “shit-hole” to describe some third world countries, and most recently called the president’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports “an experiment with stupidity.” He’s also criticized Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) for not taking a hard enough line against the Trump White House.”
So, yeah. He was a pretty loud Never-Trumper. And now he’s gone.
The GOP winner, Katie Arrington, will now take on Democrat Jack Cunningham in the Nov. 6 general election.