August 24th, 2009
02:47 PM ET
5 years ago

SC Republican gov candidate jabs Sanford in announcement

Sanford admitted to an affair with an Argentine woman in June.
Sanford admitted to an affair with an Argentine woman in June.

(CNN) – South Carolina's Republican Attorney General Henry McMaster officially announced his intention to run for governor on Monday - and he did so with a not-so-subtle swipe at the state's current scandal-tainted governor, Mark Sanford.

"Taxpayers no longer trust their government," McMaster said in a web video announcing his candidacy. "There's been too much dishonesty and too many scandals. Not long ago, South Carolina was a leader in creating new jobs. I know we can do it again."

McMaster also uses the video to blame President Obama – but not Sanford - for the 39,000 jobs that have been lost in South Carolina since his inauguration.

"What we need now is new leadership to pull us together," he said. "That's why I'm running for governor. And I ask you to stand with me."


McMaster's jab is notable because the rest of the Republican candidates for governor – not wanting to be weighed down by the Sanford saga - have so far tread lightly when handling questions about the governor. Also running on the GOP side are Rep. Gresham Barrett, state Rep. Nikki Haley, state Sen. Larry Grooms. Andre Bauer, the state's Lt. Gov., is also mulling a bid.

Sanford and McMaster were elected separately and aren't considered close political allies, but the two men have had a cordial professional relationship during their two terms in office. After Sanford admitted to an affair with an Argentine woman in June - a disclosure that led to subsequent revelations about his use of state finances – McMaster asked for investigations into the governor's use of public resources.

Democrats running for governor include state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, state Sen. Robert Ford, attorney Dwight Drake, and attorney Mullins McLeod. State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex is expected to jump in the race but has not officially announced.

UPDATE: Both Barrett and Grooms have publicly called on Sanford to resign.


Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Mark Robinson

    Let's see now, the recession and job losses started when?? The only blame Obama can shoulder for the loss of all of those jobs is that he did not run for president in 2004 and get rid of Bush then. The legacy of dishonesty moves forward one more time.

    August 24, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. No Incumbents 2010

    McMaster is a typical politician seeking political gain from another politician's troubles. Throwing Sanford under the bus instead of offering any solutions to increase job growth. McMaster should remember that Sanford isn't running for governor. Blaming Obama for South Carolina's economic problems after Sanford rejected the stimulus after running the economy into the ditch when Bush was POTUS, is pure hypocrisy.

    August 24, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Lulu'

    The guy blames Obama for the loss of jobs in S.C.
    Well, that's a god start for a wannabe candidate.............lies and more lies.

    As usual, republicans are dishonest!!!!!!!!

    Do they all have the same virus??

    How sad...............

    August 24, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. BushEra

    All of a sudden now we have bad leadership? Where was he the previous 8 years? Oh, now I remember in Argentina with Sanford.

    August 24, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Maria

    As the State Attorney General, I sure hope he's absolutly clear of any interpretation of scandal. One whif and he's toast, also.

    Brunswick,MD

    August 24, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Rebekah

    Wow...blaming Obama for the job loss...unbelievable, When will people realize...we make NOTHING in this country anymore! Greed, corruption , and the trickle down theory is the problem. Not to mention all our factories are now over seas! Americans need to wake the hell up...until we start making products with the seal Made in America... we will continue this spiral no matter who the President is!

    August 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Mississippi Mike

    Wow, that's very relevant to most of us. A political challenger is picking apart the record of the incumbent. I never thought I'd see the day when politicians stooped to this level... Just kidding, I'm being sarcastic.

    August 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    A day without a Sanford or Palin story on the ticker is like a day without sunshine. CNN, thank you... thank you!!!

    August 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. SC Integrity

    Re Rep. Nikki Haley's reason for "so far treaded lightly when handling questions about the governor" as noted below she has enough scandal of her own. Rep. Haley claims to not recall whether she flew coach or first class to China!

    From an AP report...:

    “She (Nikki Haley) recalled a dozen or so delegates, mostly from the business community, but said she couldn’t remember whether she flew coach or first class. Although expense records released by the state Commerce Department and comptroller’s office do not show the type of ticket purchased, her flight cost $6,842.

    “It was a big deal that we were the only state in the country that was asked to bring a delegation,” Haley said. “It was very prestigious.”

    Other state employees who went on the trip charged the state between $1,905 and $3,963 each for their flights, the expense records show.”

    August 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. bob in LA

    So a politician thinks people don't trust politicians! Yet, that same politician thinks he should be elected-again.
    What is even more ironic is his campiagn stance that on January 20th, business in South Carolina started having money trouble and began laying people off! Amazing!
    I use the Carigslist means test of jobs in the country.
    In December a page for job listing for the day contained about 20- today on a single day there are nearly 200. Sounds to me like some sort of a turnaround has started.
    I'm still looking but there are some signs of improvement!

    August 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. Independent

    Just what South Carolina need another Repub Governor....NOT!!!!

    August 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. Jay

    McMaster also uses the video to blame President Obama – but not Sanford — for the 39,000 jobs that have been lost in South Carolina since his inauguration. – This is not a true statement for McMaster to run on. People Sanford created this mess and also put the spot light on him when he refuse the Stimulus Money and unless it paid down the debt. Well what we now know is that Sanford created this debt by his careless spending and McMaster's Obama didn't and can't be blamed for Sanford mistakes. If you want to win as Governor try another tactics because that one may come back to haunt you.

    August 24, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Roger

    McMaster has spoken like a true republican, lies, lies, lies....how can he blame Obama for the jobs lost in SC, Obama has been in office about 7 months & GW was in charge for 8 years spoken like a true republican from the red state of SC.....BUT living in SC I know very well that most people here will believe every word that MR. MCMASTER tells them to believe....just like they believed Sanford until he admitted to being a hypocrite....& because he is a republican most people here think it was OK....

    August 24, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Reformed Republican

    Obama did it! Obama did it!

    Sounds like my little brother bleating to my Dad trying to blame me for something I didn't do but he did!

    But we just got a chance to see the great new rethuglicant election strategy for 2010...
    Americans, meet the new rethug strategy – Same as the old rethug strategy – Blame someone else for your mess...

    August 24, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Dennis

    Let's not lose sight of the fact that the job lose momentum was well under way before the inauguration, and will not magically stop just because somebody new steps into the office. If somebody can not realistically see how the job losses happened, how are they going to be able to effectively fix it?

    August 24, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. T. K.

    My. My, what's next??? People will be blaming Obama because their dog broke his leg!! The man can't do anything right as far as some people think.

    August 24, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Blame Game

    McMaster also uses the video to blame President Obama – but not Sanford — for the 39,000 jobs that have been lost in South Carolina since his inauguration***McMaster NO WAY! NO HOW !***LAY OFF President Obama's Tell Us how you plan on fixing the PROBLEM
    Waiting! Eyes Rolling!!!

    August 24, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. montag24

    "McMaster also uses the video to blame President Obama – but not Sanford — for the 39,000 jobs that have been lost in South Carolina since his inauguration."

    I'm curious – how many jobs were lost in South Carolina BEFORE Obama was inaugurated? I'll bet it was more than 39,000.

    August 24, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Lauren

    The repubs are a class act, only they could refuse stimulus money from the govt, which was desifned to help them, and then blame Obama for job losses in their state.

    August 24, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. southerncousin

    Lets talke about John Edwards using campaign funds to pay for his illegitimate baby, or Charlie Rangel not paying taxes on his vacation retreat. Let's talk about Maxine Waters (voted year in and year out as the dumbest congressman) calling republicans neanderthals.

    August 24, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Bleebo

    Joke McMaster.

    SHALOM

    August 24, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. C

    This is unreal. He blames Obama for the 39,000 jobs lost since he took office, but doesn't say a word about the jobs lost while Bush was in office. These are the type of politicians that are ruining this country. They only know how to blame someone else for the problems yet never once do they offer a solution. One thing I do not want, is another cry baby politician using my hard earned tax dollars to pay for their non-stop crying. Maybe it is time for another tea party.

    August 24, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Ken

    Yes, this fellow McMaster is just steeped in the real world isn't he? Blaming job losses in SC on Obama? Please,.......just more fairytale drivel from the empty-headed rightwing of this country. Please, tell me what tangible difference there could ever be in how SC is governed if McMaster takes over from Sanford? This would be like replacing 'dumb' with 'dumber'..........but we must accept reality; afterall, SC is a red state.

    August 24, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Shari, NY

    I cannot believe that this "type" is laying the loss of job 39,000 jobs squarely at the feet of Pres. Obama. Even a smart kindergartener would know that the current recession started almost two years ago but was swept under the rug by the previous administration. This figure has come about because of a RIPPLE EFFECT.

    Please South Carolina, wake up to what you are hearing! I am beginning to cry for you because many are not educated enough to do the math and read between the lines and lies of someone who is vying for a position by any means necessary. God help you all!

    August 24, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Kate in SW Fla

    The recession started Dec 2007. It is only in hindsight that economists are able to review enough data to make that "diagnosis." I am sure that if Bush had known that, he would have acted sooner, but he didn't – and it spiraled downward very quickly. Enter President Obama. he is doing as much as anyone can do to stop and reverse the downturn. But to blame those job losses on him is so ludicrous surely no one will beleive that. Oh wait, let's see. They believe that the President is an illegal alien and that the US Govt wants to euthanize senior citizens. guess there isn't much hope that they will realize these jobs would have been list no matter WHO was President, or Governor. So sad.

    August 24, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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