Sanford steps out, criticizes Romney and Pawlenty
August 6th, 2011
11:12 AM ET
3 years ago

Sanford steps out, criticizes Romney and Pawlenty

(CNN) - Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford stepped off the political sidelines on Friday, saying he is still searching for a Republican presidential candidate to support.

In the process, he lobbed some thinly veiled criticisms at two candidates already in the race, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

"Right now, I've been disappointed on the degree to which people are stepping out or not on real remedies," Sanford said during a Fox News interview. "Whether it is saying OK, we can grow at a certain percentage rate of growth that hasn't happened in 30, 40 years as a way of solving economic problems. Certain folks have not weighed into the debate until after it passed. I think that is not what we need."

Pawlenty rolled out an economic plan in June that included the optimistic goal of a 5% annual growth rate for the nation, a target that economists and political observers dismissed as unrealistic.

And Romney was recently criticized by Democrats and some Republicans for not taking a firm position on the federal debt ceiling debate until a deal was reached. Romney then came out against it.

Sanford, who spoke out on spending and debt issues long before the tea party movement arrived, named New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as two Republicans he would support because of their willingness to make unpopular fiscal decisions.

"I would say the attributes that I'm looking for at this point is a combination of Paul Ryan and Chris Christie," Sanford said. "I think we need somebody who is willing to get under the hood as Paul Ryan has, in real detail not political platitudes, but in real detail say here's where we can cut here, here's where we can reform here's where we can change. I think he's done a remarkable job on that front."

Though his second term ended in January under a cloud of scandal following his dramatic admission of an affair with an Argentinian woman, Sanford left the governor's mansion with solid approval ratings and a following among grassroots Republicans who admired his unapologetic fiscal conservatism.


Filed under: 2012 • Gov. Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    Adulterer, liar, hypocrite. + misappropriated public funds to cover private personal indescresions. Three small children now growing up in broken home. That about cpvers it. And we care about his opinions now, why?

    August 7, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Mitt Romney

    Well, just to clarify my position on the debt ceiling...
    I was actually for it before I was against it. But then when other Republicans were against it, I was against it. There was a period in there when I was again for it, but now I stand with the Tea Party against it.

    It helps if you just don't think about this too hard.

    August 7, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. james

    Larry L

    Oh yeah... the GOP needs another nut-job for their line-up of economic terrorists. I'm looking forward to the next election to vote out all of the GOP hostage-takers and replace them with somebody who cares about working class Americans.

    August 6, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
    Ezactly who would that be.............Another socialist idiot like Obama??? Or his cronies? The abortionist party and theives of the TAXPAYER"S???

    August 7, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. BOHICA

    Sanford needs to crawl back under his religious rock.

    August 7, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. hypatia

    I'm surprised his nose isn't half-way up Bachmann's colon. He likes witches.

    August 7, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. NVa Native

    Shouldn't he be off hiking around the Appalacian Trail?

    August 7, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Richard

    Just go away, screwball.

    August 7, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Joshua Ludd

    Yeah, I guess he has to find a candidate who is a liar and adulterer... like himself. Maybe he can find a candidate on that old Appalachian Trail.

    August 7, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Lorraine

    Romney ' is a business man that ran 4 prez before and lost don't think he will make the cut! Hypocrite well most r anyway seems so fake " chris cristi is a Bully ! Had enough of him , Bullying all the teachers in are state!! tjhat only goes so far !

    August 7, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. nuser

    Why would anyone care what he thinks.

    August 7, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. trashcup

    "I would say the attributes that I'm looking for at this point is a combination of Paul Ryan and Chris Christie" – what now? Is he looking for a man as a companion now? What an idiot. Who would ever listen to this cheater? Oh wait a minute, a republican dream team for 2012 – Palin and Sanford or Sanford and Palin. Yea right.

    August 7, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. StevenB

    Was anyone waiting around to hear what Sanford had to say?

    But what he is really saying is, "Remember me? Yoo-hoo! Over here! Someone pay attention to me!"

    August 7, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Sanford is a very religious man and the Republicans support him, he's one of them.

    August 7, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. K. in Miami

    Sanford ruined his credibility by lying to his wife, family, and state. He had the ability to do great things but he could not live without his paramour.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    You are correct in your assumption, however ALL Republican candidates LIE.....!
    Why is it okay for some Republicans to lie and be cherished for it, and others are not.....?

    I think this party is the most reprehensible and dispicable political party I've ever witnessed in my life...

    After the S & P downgraded our credit rating, every single one of the Presidential candidates released statements condeming President Obama for it.....

    Everyone in their right mind knows what REALLY HAPPENED.....

    Tea Party/Republicans held the country hostage over not raising government revenue by letting the Bush Tax Cuts "EXPIRE", I mean everyone know this to be a fact.....

    Yet every where you look, Fox News, Republican candidates claming that this is President Obamas fault, this is unbelievable.....And Michelle Bachman is the worst at telling lie's and making things up, these people are destroying our country.....!

    August 7, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Mishell

    Wasnt Clinton a democrat and a lying cheating ho? But the nation loooved him. Would vote him back in today. So for those of you railing on Sandford because he got caught, stop being the hypocrite you claim him to be. 90% of the scum in and running for office are the same lying cheating hos. If you want to point fingers at who is to blame for the crummy pool of candidates, look in the mirror. The media demands that these politicians spend MILLIONS on campaigns, only those backed by somebody who wants to keep their fingers in the pie can come up with that much $$. We allow this, why not run a facebook campaign? Let ANYONE run – turn our government back into "For the people, BY THE PEOPLE" instead of for the rich by the greedy. And quit paying to support the illegals. – Thank you. My name is Mishell, and I'm running for president.

    August 7, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. sybilquestion

    @CBR you're boring. Can't you find a more mature response than that. I guess because you are in politics and in a what was possibly a "cold bed" you can't fall in love with someone else?
    I admire him for being tough enough to admit that he found his "soulmate" and was in love, not in lust. That is the reason his wife left. He should have just pretended it was a "moment of lust' and Jenny and the rest of the miserable population would have been able to accept that and she would have stayed.
    From an outside perspective I think he did a good job in North Carolina and I hope he does something out of the ordinary and annoy all Republicans and run for office. That should straighten everyone out.

    August 7, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. sybilquestion

    Correction on my post, "South Carolina" before all the TROLLS come along to correct.

    August 7, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Birdwatcher1

    I think it is all very entertaining how people are "speculating" on who the GOP nominee will be. It is all a charade. It will be Mitt Romney, and no one can touch him. He is a walking disaster, but he can most likely challenge Obama. All this talk is nothing more than blah blah. There is no way in hell that someone like Bachman or Perry, or any other of the extreme nut jobs can even enter the ring. They have their nut job following ,who is very vocal, but that is it.

    August 7, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. mommazona

    This coming from a man thinks with his penis. The man lied to his wife and his state. He found his "soul mate" in another country and took "business" trips to satisfy his sexual needs. And we are supposed to listen to what he has to say? His 15 minutes of fame are over.

    August 7, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Jack V

    Who cares if he had an affair? But he was hypocrite while the Clinton stuff was going on. On top of that, the Republican party has more or less lost their minds. All they want to do is let the CEOs run roughshod over everyone else (deregulation, going lax on the laws, subsidies,etc) & telling everyone else how to behave in their bedroom.

    August 7, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. scmaize

    Sanford never was the brightest bulb on the tree. People just thought he looked the part–family man, evangelical Christian, extremely conservative, but it was all a house of cards. His ex-wife had the brains and the money, and he's just dull and very limited as a human being.

    August 7, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. nbg

    I have no confidence in any opinions this man may have. He was one of the first who not only demanded that Bill Clinton leave office after his affair was exposed, but when that didn't happen wanted him impeached. He then refused to leave office when his cheating was exposed, leaving me with the impression that he's a first class hypocrite. As an independent voter may I suggest to both parties that if they are going to run a candidate under the guise of "family value", by God they better have some. This statement also eliminates Newt Gingrich from my list of possibilities for basically the same reasons.

    August 7, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Luke Brown

    Is this a joke? How is any of this news?

    This guy knows nothing about governing or "what this country needs". He was a disaster as a governor. South Carolina still has not recovered from his failure to lead - highest unemployment in the country, the worst schools and access to health care, high poverty.

    August 7, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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