(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.
Sanford is a complete embarrassment to the State of South Carolina.
Where does SC find these jerks, like Demint, et. al. ??
You'd think that Newt would be Sanford's choice. They likely shared a mistress sometime in the last 20 years.
Tell all of them to get lost! casanova!
My, My, My, look who speaketh for tha Publicans these days. Sanford is a shade better than Newt tha Poot- but thats not saying much. Looks like Romney is the best they can offer this time around and his healthcare plan is ONLY good for Massachusetts. He sure sidestepped some good political capital there, but then his conser buddies would have disowned him. Those Palin cross-hairs can be hell- damned if ya do- damned if ya don't. My advice IS this....follow Palin's good example- sit this one out AND rig for 2016- Obama has it this time AND you know it.
Maybe if they put the repubs running in a slinky dress he'll be able to find the "soul mate" he can support among the candidates.
"I think we need somebody who is willing to get under the hood..." . Funny words, coming from him.
Sanford and Sin. He's another right wing POS lying hypocrite.
To which Romeny and pawlenty replied. "Hey moron go "hike the Appalation Trail" with yourself".
Gee, I must have fallen asleep. I thought this clown was still governor of that redneck state. But I do agree with him that there are no good candidates in the GOP clown car currently and that is fine with me as I want Obama for a second term. Allowing the GOP back into the White House is very scary.
How is this guy's opinion conceivable important to the Republican field?
I'm with Larry! Bernie Sanders for President!
Go back to Argentina, boy! You could have had you a nice black South Carolina hoho, which no libtard would have dared criticize, but you had to go for the chicken fingers.
Isn't this "christian" and steadfast "family values" advocate in Argentina humpin' his hooker?
This guy hasn't learned anything. I bet he is still preaching the religious right's line to anyone that will listen, while living his life hypocritically.
HURRAY THE tea Bag – REPUBLICAN RACE PARTICIPANTS S ALMOST COMLETE thanks to the entry of this social and complete creep. My god how can they go so low and now to even think of Sanford??? Come on Amerca the tea bags are awful things can be so much better we need to demand more from the teabagging republicans!
America's answer to the oil shortage. The oooze that comes off this guy could fuel the world for centuries.
Where were these hypocrites with their lame advice when the economy began its inevitable nosedive under George Bush? Oops! I forgot; this man was with his mistress in South America.
Who wants to listen to Sanflord who preached hate and intolerance as a family values social conservative and lived a life of lies and deception. Besides, he won't find anyone in a very weak field of GOP/Tea Party candidates worthy to be president.
who cares what another insane, hypocritical bagger has to say. They are trying to destroy America, but we will send them packing in the next election. Americans are tired of their ignorance, bigotry, racisim, stupid costumes, and really bad spelling.
Who cares what this old ridiculous fool thinks about anything?
Jeepers, the guy's a joke.
Fortunately, since he's already toast, he can tell the truth. On their best days, Pawlenty and Romney are empty suits.
I agree that Paul Ryan is showing some Presidential characteristics. If his hat were in the ring, some economic conservatives / centrists might vote for him. However, he doesn't spend enough time flapping his gums about how much he hates gays and loves Jesus, so I doubt the right wing side of the party would ever support him.
Didn't your Mama tell you that Charity begins at home.
Perhaps Stanford could side with Arnold (the terminator) as they have a lot of the same morals. Mark Stanford should crawl back under his rock and never be head from again.