January 11th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
8 years ago

SC's Republican governor praises Obama candidacy

Sanford has not endorsed a GOP presidential candidate.

Sanford has not endorsed a GOP presidential candidate.

(CNN) - The Republican governor of South Carolina wrote an op-ed in the state’s largest paper Friday in which he spoke admiringly of Democrat Barack Obama's presidential candidacy, and urged voters to think about the significance of the Illinois senator’s White House run as they make their presidential picks.

Mark Sanford said he wouldn’t be voting for Obama because of their differing policy views. “However,” he added, “as the presidential campaign trail now makes its turn toward this state, and as South Carolinians make their final decisions on whom to vote for, it’s worth pausing to take notice of something important that the Obama candidacy means for our corner of America.

“…In the Obama candidacy, there is a potentially history-making quality that we should reflect on. It is one that is especially relevant on the sensitive topic of race — because South Carolina and the South as a whole bear a heavier historical burden than the rest of our country on that front,” he added.

He said that Obama was not running on the basis of his race, and that no one should make their decision one way or the other because of it. “Nonetheless, what is happening in the initial success of his candidacy should not escape us. Within many of our own lifetimes, a man who looked like Barack Obama had a difficult time even using the public restrooms in our state.

“What is happening may well say a lot about America, and I do think as an early primary state we should earnestly shoulder our responsibility in determining how this part of history is ultimately written.”

Sanford, who endorsed John McCain in 2000, has not publicly backed any GOP presidential candidates this cycle. South Carolina’s Republicans head to the polls January 19.

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    I agree with Barbara's :
    "When I see Obama and hear him speak, he is not including me, he is excluding me. He is speaking to the youth, he is saying experience doesn't count, he is saying we are too old to change, to move forward, to bring people together. Senator Clinton has brought people together and when change comes through her efforts it won't have to be re-written a dozen times to correct the flaws in the rush to deliver the promise of sheer idealism.

    Senator Obama believes leadership is from the bottom up. The military, the management courses, the corporations I have worked for have all touted that: TRUE LEADERSHIP LEADS FROM THE TOP DOWN. We need someone to take charge and who EMPOWERS those to take responsibility, to participate and effect change. That someone is HILLARY!!!"

    this is my addition:

    what bothers me on Obama is:

    he was not raised i this country
    his muslim background
    not enough of experience

    preacher's way of rallying -( I am not able trust someone who is using this way of influencing people – too much emotions = brainwashing – these ways scare me, push me away. From the candidate I need facts, ability to be calm, reasonable, passionate, caring for people -but not shouting, and preaching! – keep this for church. If someone start shouting and preaching, I go away....it does not work for me. People act as he would be superstar, not political person....you can get this kind of excitement with superstars, not politicians.....we need a politician, leader, not a "star") is he masking the lack of real content by making masses to get excited by this rap-preacher style, by using the "in" words which actually do not mean anything else but the words???

    so far I did not hear him answer the questions when I watched some of the debates. It was always some talking out of real answer...for whatever reason.

    January 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  2. Here are candidate comparisons


    January 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |

    Living in Columbia SC I must honestly say that I have a new fond respect for Gov. Mark Sanford. WOW!! I am at a lost for words..........I would've never expected this coming from him at all being goverend by Mr. Sanford but he always seemed like a noble man.

    January 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. Emily N.

    Amy, I will get back to you. Hang in there.
    Thank you for the hillaryhub website. I love it!

    January 11, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. Jamie, New Orleans

    Why Amy I agree with you, we should have a President with excellent judgment. I now see what you see in Obama. I mean anybody who can make judgments about going to war without any of the intelligence information must be a prophet or something. Right, he wasn't in the Senate at the time so he had no idea of the intelligence information they received, yet he could make that important of a decision. That's exactly what I want my commander in chief to do.

    But Obama offers us a dream...well eventually you have to wake up from that dream and the war is still gonna be there, this ensuing recession is still gonna be there, this health care mess is still gonna be there. Is Obama planning on hoping his way through the Presidency.

    Hillary's the only one focused on the real issues. All anyone can talk about is CHANGE. While Obama's still running through the flowers in Hopeland, Hillary just proposed a 70 bil plan to stimulate this sinking economy. That's the change I want, more change in my pocket.

    January 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  6. chien Ng

    Who is the next president of the United State? The Worse republican candidate again.It is simple because Democrats have the wrong candidate.

    January 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  7. Seam, Philly, Pa

    What other candidate gets this type of praise from leaders of a different spectrum? Obama is an amazing dude, and most people will not realize it until we grow old and look back in history. He's a modern day phenom.

    Obama 08'

    January 11, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  8. Eric in Massachusetts

    With the success of Obama' "I've been to the mountain" bologna, I'm quite surprised. You'd think that Anthony Robbins, the inspirationa speaker, could have had a successful run against Bush back in 04. The way people just completely ignore the fact that Baracka Hussein Obama has no experience and seem to blindly follow the man, .... this really scares me. It's worse than the blind faith put in George W Bush. People are just so gullible. it's scary.

    People, turn off the TV and read some history books. Then start reading some papers and ignore the political stories. Then ask yourself if you honestly think that Obama has any aptitude to handle the day to day running of a major super power. If you are honest with yourself, you'll know the answer.

    January 11, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  9. Ginny Ca

    Go Hillary!! Everyone I know in California is backing you. We can hardly wait for Super Tuesday!

    January 11, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  10. tony a

    Roger or what do u call yourself. do u really watch tv? it has been shown like a million times. he said it and he is not denying it. he said obama was a -- tale

    January 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. KATIE


    he had never even been a muslim. His father was a moderate muslim from Kenya (a predominantly Christian nation) but his father turned ATHIEST. Obama's white mother had been a Christian all her life, and so has Obama

    Obama's father left when Obama was 2. Obama never got to even know his father!

    Out of all the candidates, Obama has never pulled the race card and the Clinton camp keeps coming out with them. Obama is really a man of great integrity and dignity and has never resorted to personal attacks or distorting and disparaging anyone's record. He sure points out distinctions but he's never misrepresented them in any debate.

    Lastly, Obama was BORN AND RAISED d in this country. He's only lived abroad in Southeast Asia for less than 4 years. Obama finished elementary school here, he went to junior high school here, and he went to high school here, and went to the Ivy Leagues Columbia University and Harvard Law where he was the first African American president and served in the State Legislature of Illinois for 8 years!


    January 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  12. Marsha

    Is there anyone else who's concerned that conservative democrats and republican governors are endorsing Obama. Hello? CLINTON 08!

    January 11, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  13. Gina

    I have enjoyed reading everyone thoughts and opinion. Nice to know that others think like me.
    The Gov. of SC is just covering his political career and being politically correct as well as doing his Republican job which I think is make sure that they destroy the Clinton campaign because they are not stupid Obama will not win a general election and I doubt if he will take the nomination. But let us look at making some real history instead of the two being on seperate tickets why can't Obama be VP then we would have the best of both in terms of history and in terms of a change we would experience, know how and freshness working together to make some significant change.
    I am an Afric an American Female and Obama is not my candidate Hillary is. She talks beyond the speech that someone else writes and they deliver, Obama is a great speaker, he delviers well but that is not the only ticket one needs. He spent his time in the Senate promoting his books which was his stepping stone to making his announcement surely no one believes that all of those months were he played like he was not sure if he would run for president he was running when he did the book tour not sure who paid for that.
    He talks about his leadership but what leadership has he demonstrated while he was in the Senate, Hillary did not get bills and changed made as a Senator by talking only to Democracts she has had to work with Republicans to achieve what she has so where did people decide that she is so polarizing.
    Is that something that that people decided on their own or did they get there with teh help of the medial espcially CNN (the Obama Channel) and Fox (The Republican channgel) CNN made a big deal today about Bill Clinton statement re: Obama and fairy tale however they did not play the tape in its entirity and if they had the public would have known that the last statement re: farily tale was in reference to his 2 min discussion on Obama voting record compared to Hillary voting record and that Obama has missed many of the votes which allows him to say I did not vote for something but he leaves off I was not there.
    Bottom line is Obama is not a saint,, he is a man and he has and will make mistakes but I guess we excuse men for making mistakes and beat up on women for whatever they do - maybe that is why we do have currently more women being abused in this country then black men and we all know that abuse is about power and control
    I backing Hillary, and I agree with the person who said be watchful of the Republicans they have a true political machine and they will do anything to maintain control

    January 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  14. Maris

    Hillary is leading Nationally in the polls by 13% (49% to 36%) over Obama. Why? Because she IS the MOST QUALIFIED for the job.

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON OUR 44th AND FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT!!! Let's make real history and show the world that we do believe in equal rights for women!

    January 12, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  15. danielo

    Republicans love to hate Hillary!! She excites their base.
    Some repubs respect Barack and that confuses their base! They dont have hard facts on Obama.
    No wonder the Governor is just falling short of endorsing Obama.

    January 12, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  16. roger

    You know what tony a. whether i watch Tv or not, i can feel it to my self that Republican can win this 2008 election.If you think that Obama is a TALE ? sory to say for me His not.And i dont want to compare Hilary and Obama to Mc Cain,because their nothing to him..And those 2 democrats candidates were LIAR. probably your one of them.I cant blame you,Vote for your candidate!and I vote mine to..............LOL

    January 12, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  17. Deltaforce

    John: If anyone is stupid it's you. The SC Rep Governor Sanford is saying it as is,

    but seeing that your intelligence is so limited, one can expect nothing better from

    you.. Oh yes if for any reason Hillary Clinton wins the Pres; Nomination, SHE WILL NOT WIN THE PRESIDENCY....


    January 12, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  18. Wilhemina

    The "Times Newspaper" in London, England has an article on Hillary's thinking, it refers to her statement about the Civil Rights Act only happening because a President LBJ was able to push it through to pass; therefore, with Hillary's thinking Nelson Mandela wouldn't have gotten anywhere without FW de Klerk, India owes its' independence to Ernest Bevin, not Ghandi, and of course AMERICA is free today thanks largely to the politically experienced Lord Shelborne, rather than dreamers like George Washington and his friends. The reply to this article was that it is better to have the "dreamer" than someone who goes along with the status quo! Looks like America is going for the Dream, America Has a Dream, that today we will be united, the White House will not be divided, no more scandalmongers.

    January 12, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  19. LOL!

    In response to you dimwits talking about Obama being Muslim:

    I hear Hillary is really a transplant from the planet Omicron Persei 8. That's why she has no 'emotions' and no 'soul'. I mean, did you even SEE a tear when she 'cried'? Coincidence? I think not. No emotions. No soul. Not human. Everyone, spread this around! America, no, the world has to know!!!!

    January 12, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  20. Jake

    You people make me laugh. When I see these comments that the republicans want Obama as theyre candidate because "they will make mincemeat out of him" where do you get that. If anything they would want Hilary as the candidate because then republicans could unite against her. We all know that republicans hate Hillary, her being the the democratic nominee would most definitely energize anyone who is conservative or right leaning. Now Obama they don't even know how to deal with him, if you notice he is the ONLY candidate talking about working with both sides which America is screaming for. No more hyper-partisanship and Hillary sorry to say is a symbol of that. The more conservatives that lean toward Obama just strengthens that argument, so why would republicans want him to be the candidate? He also has the ability to reach out to the independents as well, the democratic candidate to do that. I think you all need to stop with conspiracy theories and realize this. Either that or get Hillary to change her campaign slogan and make some appeals to the right as well.

    January 12, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  21. veronica

    Many Republicans have complimented Obama lately.
    I'm surprised so many are falling for this ploy of theirs!

    I'm sure this governor hopes Obama is the nominee. He knows he can't carry the state of South Carolina in the general election.

    January 12, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  22. Sophie

    Obama's already uniting our country if he can get a republican governer to praise him.

    God Bless America
    Obama '08

    January 12, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  23. eyeingtenure

    An intelligent and thoughtful editorial. Disregarding my instant reaction of cynicism, he does speak truth.

    The important thing is to avoid voting for a candidate because they'd be the first. That goes for Obama, Clinton, Romney - anyone who makes a "making history claim."

    I think I can respect Obama the most on this level, because he's never played the race card, while Hillary does play the gender card and Romney is a sleaze.

    January 12, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  24. Kevin, Landover, MD

    WHAT BAFFLES ME is that the Candidates and EX Presidents that SAY they care so much about the Democratic Party and the People of America SO MUCH. But yet don’t know how to get out the way when it is clearly NOT their time. Just amazes me.

    The Clinton’s time has PASTED and so has Edwards. ( But they all just hang on like a old Cold sore) to the very end.

    It shows how they all just get caught up in themselves and forget about us. The Clinton’s knew all about “Out with the OLD and in with the NEW when they ran in 1992. Now they are the OLD and can’t seem to get past their EGOS long enough to just step aside and let this man, Obama lead the Democratic Party.

    Obama will bring new voters out which will get more Congressional seats for the Democrats so things can get done for a change. Obama has cross over appeal to Republicans and Independents. But I guess at some point all that became back seat issues for the Clintons/Edwards HUGH EGOS

    January 12, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  25. Changeling.

    She found her voice. What that means is she found a strategy to win votes. She is as phony as the day is long.

    January 12, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
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