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. Andrew

    I know that Clinton is sending the message that Obama is all hope and has no plans, but instead of believing something just because you're told, you really ought to use the internet see if it's accurate. The reality is Obama has a 60 page booklet outlining his plan on his website, with links to even more in-depth breakdown of the individual aspects of the plan.

    Now, if you want to make the argument that he needs to make his plans more clear in his major speeches because not everyone is active on the internet, that's one thing. But claiming they don't exist at all is just a political mudslinging from the person running against him. There's no excuse for not finding out for yourself. Especially when you're on a comment forum, you obviously must know your way around the internet.

    January 12, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. ralph

    I have been following the presidential campaigns since 1996 and I have never seen anything like this.The republican governors and other political republican figures fully support and praise democratic candidate Barack Obama,if they could,they would even probably endorse him.
    It is not so hard to figure out what the purpose of this is,how to get sen. Obama to be nominated as a candidate.Those dirty republican political strategists know very well that a black candidate has no chance in "Bible Belt" and southern states,plus being a moslim woun't make it any easier in the final presidential contest.
    Please,think about it very carefully.

    January 12, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Frank

    Where is this great 60 page plan?

    January 12, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Inquiring Mind

    Another Boost ! this shows how Obama can unite and make people think outside of the box. Broaden Demographics.

    January 12, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. AnnAloha, PA Independent Thinker

    Beware of sheep in wolve's clothing

    January 12, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. zain maarouf

    Neither Hillary nor Obama will be President !!!!

    January 12, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. pedro

    The gov remarks are designed to derail clinton as oboma will be the weaker demoocrate and the GOP could retain the white house.Clinton is the one the GOP fears the most.sorry gov. Pedro

    January 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Ted

    These comments are from a Republican party that knows if Hillary is nominated that she will take the White House!

    January 12, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. Olof

    Oligarchy ! Be aware! Two families (dynasties) are in power for last 24 years in USA !

    It's time for change and a fresh start.

    We need America to lead the world.

    We need Obama !

    With Obama in office there is greater acceptance of American leadership to overcome the great challenges of mankind.

    Great opportunity for USA to regain the leadership of the world.

    Go Obama !

    Lead us, no matter our race or homeland !

    Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    January 12, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Julie

    It's a trick, can't anybody see it? The Republicans want Obama to get the Democratic nomination so they can rake him over the coals during the General Election. Republicans think they can beat Obama, they don't know about Hillary. If Obama gets the nomination, the Republicans will crack him over the head about his less than adequate resume.

    Pay attention people !

    January 12, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. David Snider

    If you believe a republican will with the presidency against Obama, I think you should enter yourself into a rehab facility for crackheads.

    Obama would crush Republicans. But I dont think he wants that. He's more about Uniting the country instead. Thanks Gov. A thoughtful comment!
    Obama 08

    January 12, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. MT

    Obama is someone that people can't help but respect(unless you are a tunnel visioned Hillary supporter).

    January 12, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Christian, Tampa FL

    That was well said, and I'm glad that the importance of Obama's candidacy is recognized by such a diverse group of public figures.

    At the same time, let's keep in mind that there have been a number of other noteworthy history-making campaigns this election, including Hillary Clinton's, Bill Richardson's, and Mitt Romney's, as well as all the others who have put a lot of hard work into the race.

    I favor Obama, because I believe he can work to unite the country and I'm impressed by a great majority of his policy proposals. I think that his resume is not one of inexperience, but rather of a different kind of experience that is unconventional, for better or worse.

    January 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. Mauri

    Julie, you're so right! From a long-time democratic voter, I've seen the Republican's modus operandi such as their falling all over themselves to endorse Obama. First, Karl Rove, who has reversed his strategy from helping Obama knock off Hillary. Now that she's winning, he's going after Obama, calling him "lazy." Now Governor Mark Sanford endorses Obama. That don't make one bit of sense except that regardless of how hard they try, Hillary Clinton is going to be our next president.

    January 12, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Concerned American

    We had Bush I and then Bush II how did that work? Well Clinton I and Clinton II won't be any better. I wonder if anyone remembers when Clinton I left the white house in 2000. They practically looted the White House, I think its funny no one has brought that up, stealing from the American public is a big deal.

    January 12, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. AJ, IL

    You are wrong Julie. The Republicans would rather have Hillary vs Obama in the general election. Sorry but it is true. It's not a trick! Obama is the candidate for change in Washington, about putting together working majorities (Democrats, some Republicans and Independents) in Congress to institute change. Hillary is out to beat George W. Bush. Unfortunately, Bush is not running in 2008. The Republicans know that Hillary is a divisive political figure that can rally the Republican party behind one candidate. You think Bloomberg is talking about entering the presidential race as an Independent because of Obama? Heck No! If Hillary gets the Dem. party nomination, Bloomberg knows that Hillary will be so divisive that relatively nothing significant would get done in Congress because there will be too much partianship.

    January 12, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. Tom, Boston, MA

    Only if Obama would articulate the substance of his change and hope....

    Common, Obama. you've got to overcome your fear of losing the election and come clean. trust me, it will work.

    otherwise, if you continue with empty rhetoric for another year until the election day, you have no chance of convincing enough minds and hearfs.

    try and put as much substance (or at least point the direction) in your daily comments as you can. i know it's not easy to do in soundbites, and your ideas are probably evolving as you speak. that's OK. just say so honestly. not learning and changing would be a problem. not being aware of, and thereby not being able to own, your own truth would be a problem. we should know that from our experience with Bush.

    we're waiting. but don't make us wait too long.

    January 12, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. Mike

    Obama he was preaching so well .I thought he was a minister

    January 12, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  19. Mike K

    Being president you have to have a big heart and a huge experience to do the job

    January 12, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  20. Barb K.

    To all who read this i hope you all think about what you are saying. To gain the highest office in our country may be wonderful, but with it comes a lot of stress. Who ever becomes President it will not be an easy road. I believe we should be praying for our country & it's leaders, not critical of them. Our country was founded on Christian values & principals, & yet we have strayed so far away from them ........it is no wonder that as a whole we can not unite. GOD looks at a man or woman's heart, & knows our thoughts. He sees no color of skin, in his eyes we are all the same. I ask what are his or her qualifications, what does he or she believe he or she can do to improve our country, whether they be man or woman. Now my question is who has the best qualifications, not the most money, nor good looks, but who do we think can best handle the job set before them ? I believe we should check out each person that is running for the Democratic or Republican ticket, & find out where they stand, & what they believe so that we can decide who would be the best man or woman for the President's race to the White House. May the best man win.............

    January 12, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  21. Tom Davie

    Any republican at this point 'endorsing' Obama is further proof that they really believe Hillary is going to win the election.

    They are VERY carefull not to knock obama down – until he is the actual candidate of course.

    Then they are going to tear him a new one on about 5000 different issues. Ranging from :

    – His all black 'church' that proudly WANTS only black people .

    -His drug use. His loyalty to the Koran

    – His (non ) experience , and certainly LACK any tangible evidence he can RUN THE COUNTRY when he has never run anything . Not even a business.

    Want more PROOF?

    Go to FOX . A REPUBLICAN news outlet.

    NONE of em are putting obama down. They all want HILLARY TO FAIL first.

    If he was some REAL THREAT, they would be cutting him a new one and promoting hillary clinton.

    January 13, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  22. James Brown ( Independent )

    Hillary Clinton is a lightening rod for all that is wrong with Washington , and brings nothing but more of the same division that results in nothing getting done.

    Obama has a track record of bringing people from all parties together to find solutions , and SOLUTIONS is what this county needs right now.

    OBAMA 08

    January 13, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  23. boobiebob

    Long life Obama!!!!

    January 13, 2008 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  24. Republicans would benefit from Obama nomination - he is the most likely to lost against them




    January 13, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  25. AnnAloha, PA Independent Thinker

    Could we get a list of total endorements for each candidate and see the totals and breakdowns to compare who supports who?
    In my opinion this would give the American voters an idea how different groups veiw what is important and how they tend to vote.

    January 13, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
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