February 8th, 2009
11:04 AM ET
13 years ago

SC Governor: We're moving close to 'a savior-based economy'


Watch John King's interview with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As many state and local officials clamor for their share of the billions of dollars in federal aid in the stimulus bill under consideration in Washington, South Carolina’s Republican governor is sounding a note of dissent about federal efforts to help the economy.

“A problem that was created by building up of too much debt will not be solved with yet more debt,” Gov. Mark Sanford said Sunday, making a reference to the federal deficit spending that will likely finance the federal stimulus package.

“We’re moving precipitously close to what I would call a savior-based economy,” Sanford also said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

The South Carolina Republican said such an economy is “what you see in Russia or Venezuela or Zimbabwe or places like that where it matters not how good your product is to the consumer but what your political connection is to those in power.”

“That is quite different than a market-based economy where some rise and some fall but there’s a consequence to making a stupid decision,” Sanford said after pointing to the powers granted to the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to help deal with the current economic crisis.

“A lot of people who’ve made some very stupid decisions are being bailed out by the population at large,” he added.

Instead of bailing out failing companies, Sanford told CNN’s John King that the government should let the economy work through the current challenges without intervention.

“We’re going to go through a process of deleveraging,” Sanford said. “And it will be painful. The question is: Do we apply a bunch of different band aids that lengthen and prolong this pain or do we take the band aid off? I believe very strongly: let’s get this thing over with, let’s not drag it on.”

Although Sanford was critical of the federal government’s efforts to get the economy back on track, he equivocated when asked whether he would turn down money in the stimulus package intended for South Carolina which he would control.”

“I think that ultimately we’ll decide that question when we get to it,” the governor said.

soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. stag

    Great take on the stimulus deal. Is Sanford the only ploitician who understands this? Well, probably not, Sanford is one of the few with enough principals to speak the truth in the light of our new mesiah.

    February 8, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Joe Smith

    Herbert Hoover would be proud of the governor of South Carolina! Yea just sit back and let millions of Americans, and folks from your own state, go unemployed, homeless, hungry, without medical care, etc. Oh, guess that all wouldn't apply to the Sanford. Don't you just love people who believe in Darwinian economics, when they themselves are living the good life!

    Now don't accept one dime in Federal monies, gov!

    February 8, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Butch Dillon

    If Sanford feels this way about stimulus programs, then he should refuse any that might be made available to South Carolina. Regardless of how we got to where we are with the economy, if we do not act to resuscitate it there will be a great collapse in the future. I'd much rather take the word of economists on the question of economic stimulus than the religious sounding ideology of a narrow minded southern governor.

    February 8, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Dexter Skagway

    It's funny how the people who gave us this economic fiasco pretend that they have all the answers, and that everyone else is the problem.

    February 8, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. C W

    If Sanford really believes we should just tough out the current economic crisis without government intervention, then he should unequivocally say that his state will not take any money should the stimulus package be signed by President Obama.

    What a hypocrit!

    February 8, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |

    So, Gov. Sanford, how's the workforce in SC doing? Not good?

    Just saying...................

    February 8, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. obama all the way

    republicans need to HUSH, they certainly had NO ANSWER.

    February 8, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    Come on have a backbone state your position clearly and stop trying to play political games.

    February 8, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. BB

    With every job that goes away, the State Tax Base gets smaller. Maybe all State Government officials should get a percentage of their tax base as compensation. Might motivate them to keep their people working.

    People in SC are some of the poorest in the country. Gov. Sanford still makes the same amount of money. shame shame shame

    February 8, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. paul

    Well, Mr Sanford, "Why didn't you speak out during the Bush administration?? Seems partisan politics, once again.

    February 8, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Deb

    SC is all for the white rich repubs so I'm not surprise about his comments. The repubs really don't care for folks that are hurting because of job lose because most of them don't look like them......rich

    February 8, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. elsie

    South Carolina must be one of those states that Senator Ensign spoke of this morning on Meet the Press. He said that states have bloated budgets and do not need any money. The story is over at Think Progress, with video. So Gov Sanford, I guess you really didn't need that emergency money after all when your state ran out of funds to pay your unemployed their benefits and you only asked for it after being forced. You were ok with your unemployed having zero income. I guess that is because you are a zero yourself.

    February 8, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Obama 2.0

    Republicans needto stop the crap and grow up. And I hope President Obama watched Jack Welch on CNN, he was on target.

    February 8, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. I love porkchops

    Where do they find these confederates,still trying to win the Civil War with money now I guess.

    February 8, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Jake, ID

    Sanford is a snake oil salesperson and a very dangerous person.

    Also, to the poster who said Sarah Pailin could relax in watching Russia, here is my response.

    Sarah couldn't even watch her own teenage daughter, that's how the girl got pregnant. Do you really trust Sarah to WATCH Russia? I don't. She'd better watch her own kids, and leave Russia to a higher IQ level.

    February 8, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Moe, NY

    I only wish I was close to you and Sen. Shelby so that I could throw my shoes at both of you, and hopefully score a hit. I am so sick and tired of you self-serving Republicans....wake up and start helping this country and the people in this country or step down and let the American people elect officials who are willing to help.

    February 8, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Voted for change in Texas

    I watched this interview, and I was shocked! This Gov. and Sen. Graham days are numbered. No wonder their state unemployment is higher than national average.

    February 8, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. Survivor

    Sanford wants to be President too!

    Of course being in Red State SC – it totally helps him to be totally negative and anti-democrat – thats what keeps these folks in office down here and who can blame them?

    But I won't vote for him.

    February 8, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear John King, To a person, each and every Senator and Representative who are blocking the Stimulas Package will not be affected in any way other than having to pay more tax because of their high income bracket. They need to keep quiet and let Pres. Obama and his team try to fix all of the stuff that was allowed to happen during the Bush/Cheney Regime. Republicans bascially sat back for many years while the foxes raided the hen house time and time again. We as Americans sent a loud and clear message to our legislators...WE WANT CHANGE...of politics as usual.

    February 8, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Bill

    Please the Republican are the ones who got us in this mess. That means I will not listen to their stale old ideas.

    February 8, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Obama 2.0

    Saviour based economy???
    HMMM, let's see... S-A-V-E-Y-O-U-R-E-B-A-S-E-E-C-O-N-O-M-Y!

    That sounds great!!! Hey its like the old saying, you can call me what you want, just don't call me late to super!

    Eat something sweet, bitter Senator 😉

    February 8, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Marc PDX

    Jimmy Hussein Ocarter. Not the messiah after all...

    February 8, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Sanity has returned

    Of course he won't turn away any money earmarked for his state. Just like Palin's bridge to nowhere. They didn't build it because they didn't need the gov to help them build that bridge, but she kept the money. It"s always the same thing with these Republicans, whine, moan and complain about government intervention (socialism), but take the money anyway. Folks don't care what party they are when they are out of work, can't feed their families and have nowhere else to go. Unfortunately it use to be that you could relocate to find a job, now you can't sell your home because it's not worth what is owed on it. I say Gov Sanford should stick with his principles and refuse any government stimulus money. Let's see how that works out for him for the next election.

    February 8, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Obama/Biden 08 & 12

    just another repub hater with no ideas to contribute. just complain,complain,complain. I'm sure he was a major rubber stamper for dumbbell bush. he and alot of other repubs are not willing to try anything President Obama comes up with. they don't like compromise. they want EVERYTHING their or no way. so I say to the nay sayers shut the hell unless you can come up with something else to get people back to work and other to keep their homes.

    February 8, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. di

    If the Gov. watched the coverage of Katrina, then he saw how like a third world country the U. S. looked . Bush's economic plan was for us to go shopping and to lower taxes. Even now all the republican's can come up with is lower taxes. Thank God the Obama plan is actually a PLAN, and not more stupid ideas that don't work.

    February 8, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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