April 9th, 2009
03:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Sanford hits airwaves to make stimulus case

Sanford is going up with a television ad to make his case for rejecting stimulus money.
Sanford is going up with a television ad to make his case for rejecting stimulus money.

(CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is firing back against critics who say he should accept the entire $2.8 billion in federal stimulus funds allotted to his state, launching a one-minute TV spot in which he argues a substantial portion of the money will only saddle the state with further debt.

"The truth is more tax dollars will be spent in our state this year then ever before. But there must be a stopping point," the South Carolina Republican, who has not ruled out a 2012 White House bid, says in the ad. "Going further into debt will not solve a problem that was created by too much debt."

"There must be a price that we will not impose on future generations," he ads. "For me the easy thing would be to accept money handed out from Washington, but the easy thing isn't always the right thing,"

The ad is financed by Carolinians for Reform, a 501(c) chaired by Jim Kuyk, a South Carolina attorney and Sanford supporter.

After weeks of outspoken criticism of President Obama's stimulus package, Sanford sought permission last month from the White House to use $700 million due South Carolina in order to pay down debt instead of directing it toward education projects as envisioned by the Obama administration.

When the White House balked at Sanford's request, the Republican announced his attention to forgo the $700 million altogether.

The governor is now hoping to reach an agreement with the legislature that would allow state funds to be used to pay down debt, Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer told CNN Monday. If an agreement is reached, then Sanford will complete the process of applying for the $700 million in funds available from the federal stimulus package.

Sanford's ad comes close to a month after national Democrats launched their own 30-second commercial on South Carolina airwaves declaring the governor is "playing politics instead of doing what's right."

UPDATE: The Democratic National Committee said Thursday afternoon the new spot was a sign Sanford was feeling the heat over his stimulus stand. "It's not surprising that Governor Sanford feels he needs to spend a quarter of a million dollars defending himself in a television ad after rejecting millions in funding for his state," DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan said in a statement.

"Then again, if I had rejected $700 million for schools and public safety, I'd feel the need to go on TV and defend myself too, but that doesn't excuse Governor Sanford for putting his political ambitions ahead of the needs of South Carolinians."

UPDATE: The DNC has issued a reaction to Sanford's ad:

"It's not surprising that Governor Sanford feels he needs to spend a quarter of a million dollars defending himself in a television ad after rejecting millions in funding for his state," said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan. "Then again, if I had rejected $700 million for schools and public safety, I'd feel the need to go on TV and defend myself too, but that doesn't excuse Governor Sanford for putting his political ambitions ahead of the needs of South Carolinians."


Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Hopefully the state legislature will overturn Sanford's decision.

    April 9, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. ge

    just say no

    April 9, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. mfelder

    It fine that you don't take the money. How do you intend to fix your states economy, especially, if the legistaure doesn't pass your proposition.

    April 9, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Chuck

    Sanford is a partisan Republican like all elected Republicans, and that is the sole reason he's not taking stimulus money from our Democrat President. He's got to go!

    April 9, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Shirley In California

    Not only is this guy a liar and a fraud but he has about as much charisma as a goat. I think out of ALL the republicans stated to run in 2012 he would be the LEAST favorite. He's extremely boring, unintelligent and doesn't look well under lights and the camera at all. He can talk all he wants about the reasons for not taking the stimulus money but in the end the people of S.C. will suffer and I don't think they will forget this nor the people of the US. He will never make it to the WH mark my words.

    April 9, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. williefloyd

    Wouldn't anyone out there like a new governor??? I ,for one, know of one I would gladly see gone.

    Disgusted South Carolinian

    April 9, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Dave in Arizona

    Dude...you can't use it that way...period. Now do what you promised and turn down the stimulus money. TURN IT DOWN. Do not accept the dirty socialist money for the people in your state. Then be quiet about it and just count the days till you try to get re-elected.

    April 9, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Deborah

    We need more Leaders like Sanford!

    The American people are not willing to march lock step into Bankruptcy!

    I will be attending a Tea Party next Wednesday!

    The silent majority is waking up!

    April 9, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Lee M, Egg Harbor NJ

    The South of the Old Confederacy has never quite gotten over losing the civil war. And the first state to seceed was South Carolina.

    Perhaps we should revisit this question since there are so many secessionists amongst the modern republican party (ironically).

    Lets give republicans a few southern states and a few armed compounds in Idaho and let them continue to move backwards. I'm sure that if they just provide a few more tax cuts to any rich that might still live in these areas, they will all benefit from the great "trickle down" effect that the republicans promoted to great effect during the first Great Depression.

    April 9, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. gewe

    the only thing he,s worried about is he will not be able to hand no bid contracts to his corporate friends

    April 9, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    And how much is this 501(c) tax-exempt organization wasting on a TV commercial attempt to sell disproven POLITICAL ideology? Funny how that's absent from this article. Maybe a couple million to help save a political career of a guy whose unwilling to just do what Congress voted to have done?

    By the way, the WH did not "balk" at his request. The WH did it's job by stating it would enforce the legislation as written and refusing to subvert it in the manner Bush did with so much legislation. Sanford's subsequent request to Congress was tantamount to asking for a do-over on the Conrgessional vote. This guy needs to just suck it up and make a choice and live with the consequences.

    April 9, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Sammie

    He's a Republican ninny....enough said.

    April 9, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Chris

    So instead of taking the money and paying off debt, he prefers to spend the money from other funds and repay that with the money? That's a political pile of BS if I've ever heard of one!

    This is politics at it's worst. Is it any wonder that no one trusts these crooks?

    April 9, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Mark

    I admire this governor.

    April 9, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. minan59

    If the governor of South Carolina feels that his constituents can't use federal stimulus money, I am sure there are other areas in the country that can put this money to good use.

    April 9, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Geoffrey Pahl

    Sure, Sanford. Put abstract principle and personal political ambition before the needs of South Carolina's people. That's exactly why voters elected you, to not deliver for them. Stupid Republican!

    April 9, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. SHIRLEY "60"

    Sanford there is nothing you can say that should make people agree with your stubborness at turning down government for the poor and needy in your state. Let it go. You will never convince anyone except your well-to-do base that this was not done for any reason other than plain old down stupidity.

    April 9, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Sean Chong

    Sincerely, I'm a real economist. Whether you tax and spend or you reduce tax, you will still pass on the burden to your next generation. The Republican's reduce tax doesn't work as well as the tax and spent. Time to learn some economics, Mr. Sanford.

    April 9, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Brian

    TYPO: When the White House balked at Sanford's request, the Republican announced his attention to forgo the $700 million altogether. – How do you announce your attention?

    This coming from the same people who constantly bash Sarah Palin's speaking abilities. Idiots.

    April 9, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Still running for President and kicking the unemployed in his state to the curb.

    Pathetic!

    April 9, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. sensi johnson

    Who give him the money for this ad? If he was smart enough, he would have used the AD money to begin paying off some of the debt he's so concerned about. I think it's time for the wonderful citizens of south carolina to kick this guy out of town.

    April 9, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. mark

    Great new programs that get funded for two years and then the tax payers get to pick up the tab after the money is gone. Get ready for tax hikes, you think you have less money now, get ready.

    April 9, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. gl, Pittsburgh

    South Carolina Republican, who has not ruled out a 2012. He just mind as well not run becasue this is going to cost him.

    What minority will support him if you do run and I wish he do. Why do the racist Republucans keep forgetting is they need more then their white base to win the White House period. So let him, Palin, and Jindal keep panding to their base and see just how far it will get them.

    There is no excuse good enough not to accept the money in one of the poor state!

    April 9, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Beverly Sublett

    I Think it's appalling Governor Stanford that you would deny the people of South Carolina a opportunity to have better way of living. This is what the republicans have done for years hold down the poor and the middle class from having a better way of life. I think you are cruel to think that by paying down your debt in South Carolina how that is going to help the people. You do not care about people you think that by not accepting the stimulus money you are doing the right thing, you're not your holding people back.

    What ever you reap you shall sow!

    April 9, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. 60's survivor

    can you spell BRUHAHA!!

    April 9, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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