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. Ron Wisconsin Dells WI

    I have to agree you do have a point.But what we really need to do is help those familys that have or will soon lose there houses.And those poor people that have lost there jobs.Those are the people that are really paying the price for those big companys greed and raunchy attitude towards hard working dedicated employees.That are now on unemployment and food stamps.If you want to slay a dragon you cut off its head.If you want to go after corporate greed for this mess we are in.You go after the top Head of the corporation.Thats where you will find the heart of this mess at

    February 8, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Gary

    Why would we listen to the one who runs one of the states that ranks worst in most catagories. Sanford, Graham and DeMint should stay out of it. They can't even run their own state.
    We have the worst test scores in the country, High crime rates, high unemployment and no leadership when it comes to improving our state. We spend the least in smoking education and have the highest cancer rates.
    Graham looked like a clown last week, jumping up and down waving
    a copy of this bill in the air.
    Sanford "Equivocated"?? He dodged the question. Don't say No if you don't have a better solution.
    We see what low taxes gets you. Nothing.

    February 8, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Anna, Missouri

    I think that CNN should post the total that each state will receive from this package next to the list of their Senators, Representatives and Governors. Then they should ask each of these people if they will accept the money, or if they will encourage their state to refuse it. The Republicans are hypocrits. They can play partisan politics, because they know their states will get the money anyway.

    February 8, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Happy Camper

    He's starting to understand(or atleast say) what Ron Paul has been saying for years. Too bad he couldn't see the same thing was going on under the Bush administration.

    February 8, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. S Callahan

    Gov. Sanford you are correct.

    This 'bail out' should have NEVER happen with the 'big boy' banks. it really was just 'friends taking care of friends' on the backs of the taxpayers and their dollars. Let the greedy bankers fail...it's happen before..it's necessary to right this economy.

    With that said...now that the tide has turned...the 'little guy' is the one now needing the help and we, as a collective people, need to step up to the plate and help our fellowman (basics such as food,clothing, shelter, and sustainable work are priorities...anything other than that is just a political marshmallow).

    February 8, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. george


    February 8, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. eaaron

    I'm in Michigan and we will gladly accept those funds that the South Carolina governor does not want. I think it is easy for a governor who has a job to talk about not accepting money for those in his/her state that really need it. Perhaps South Carolinians should remove him from office and put him to work in one of the very few textile plants remaining in South Carolina and see what his opinions would be in five years.

    February 8, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. tigerakabj

    Does this fool think we haven't been paying attention to what they were doing these past 8 years?

    42 president put $5 trillion in debt on the books. Bush, with the help of the Repub brigade, doubled it to $10 trillion (2001-2007). On top of that, they started a war based on lies that cost $10 billion a month. This was after Clinton left a surplus of a trillion.

    The Republicans have no room to talk about "fiscal responsibility" or "fiscal conservatism." Now that a Democratic president is in there, they want to talk about "debt on our children." I can't wait for Obama's smackdown of the stupid coming on Monday and Tuesday.

    February 8, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. No Vaseline

    Idiot conservatives

    February 8, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Angie

    Ok another blowhard repub. all talk and no action. but when asked if his state would take the money. he gave a typical repub answer “I think that ultimately we’ll decide that question when we get to it,” the governor said.he would take it faster then he could blink. liar. repubs are so scared the what President Obama is planning is going to work they dont know what to say or do. with that stupid dumbbell bush and crazy war monger cheney they rubber stamped everything they wanted. the repubs are cowards. steele saying the power has gone to Dems head. What. Dems have only been in control of house and senate for 2 years. bush has lived in the White House for 8 years. look how things have turned out. ONE BIG DIASTER AFTER ANOTHER.

    February 8, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. cephalus

    Hey,there are schools in south corolina that has been trying to work it out for over a century,with no repairs,is this what the rest of america should do?

    February 8, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. jr

    Why are only Republican comments being posted that are against the stimulus..You have posted only a few comments for the stimulus. CNN you tend to want to fuel opposition to get a story. We all know how they feel...How do you think we got into the mess anyway!

    February 8, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Karin E.

    Then you have no choice, Mr. Govenor, but to put you money where your mouth is and refuse any stimulus funds intended for South Carolina. If you are going to "talk the talk," then be a man and "walk the walk."

    Glad I'm not a South Carolina resident in trouble - because it appears there are no elected officials representing you at home or in Washington.

    February 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Amber

    What about all the people who would starve in the interim for the sake of the market?

    If you ask me, a more apt comparison would be a soft landing vs. a hard landing.

    And while the Governor seems fairly secure that he would be all right in a "hard landing", I'm not so sure about me, or anyone else I know.

    February 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. Matthew, Detroit

    Every governor should be forced to cut spending and cut programs. They (republicans and democrats) arrogantly spend and have not balanced their budgets. This is simply forgiving their debts and they will spend more. Michigans Governor is the worst of them. California is very bad as well.

    February 8, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Jim Hall

    I saw this village idiot governor on CNN this morning. He makes about as much sense as the past village idiot that we had in the white house and the one that was of the republican party and his air head running mate that wated to take the place of the village idiot that was in the white house for 8 years. THIS VILLAGE IDIOTS SOUTH CAROLINIA GOVERNOR HAS ALMOST A 20% UNEMPLOYMENT IN HIS STATE AND HE ISN'T WORRIED ABOUT IT. How could the people of that state be so stupid as to vote for this idiot. He doesn't give dam_ about the people of his state. He says that he won't take a bailout for his state. How many times before have we heard that from republican elected officials and OH YES THEY DID TAKE A BAILOUT. You can tell that by the smirk on his face. Signed a prior republican family whom never voted for the past village idiot that was in the white house for 8 years nor voted for the village idiot that was a republican that wanted to take his place. The republicans have given Obama a very nice inheritance of a catastrophic measure Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri.

    February 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. br

    Would someone tell Gov. Sanford that the Church Age has come to an end..

    February 8, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Rob in NC

    Maybe if he actually invested in his state it would not be last in everything. When are these people ever going to learn that spending by the government to invest in the future is not only a good thing it's a responsibility? You can't spend money on the future if you using it to finance the past.

    February 8, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. athomasr

    The republicans got us into this mess and are simply to big of cowards to admit any wrong doing. They have lost all credibility with the majority and need to let another direction take place. Their good 'ol boy style of politics has brought this great nation to it's knees.

    February 8, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Kristen

    Let's get this thing over with? What does that even mean–just give up and let millions more people lose their jobs? Just let the economy implode? Thanks Herbert Hoover. Does the GOP learn anything from history? Oh, that's right, they're too busy re-writing it. As of 2008, according to the GOP, apparently FDR's New Deal did not help, although within 2 years of his program the unemployment level went from 26% to 12%. The same group of conservative morons who were on the wrong side of the Civil Rights debate are now pretending that the GOP and conservatism in general has never held racist beliefs. They use their token nomination of Michael Steele as a way to attempt to re-write their checkered past in the same way they will probably idolize Lindsay Graham when he comes out of the closet in a few years to try to erase all their current bigotry related to homosexuals. Pretty soon the GOP will be telling us that the South won the Civil War and that Lincoln was a war criminal.

    February 8, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. ruty

    Sanford is putting his name out there only to get reconized as a "maybe" run for the white house in 2012. I live in S.C. and I think he is not interested in the people of S.C. His interest is in himself. Just like Lindsey Graham.

    February 8, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Dan, TX

    The fundamentals of the economy in South Carolina are strong and we should just do nothing for South Carolina. California and Florida are hurting badly, so take the money that was supposed to go to South Carolina and give it to California and Florida instead. Those are all republican governor controlled states, so it should all work out fine. The republican governors/states get X, the democratic governor/states get Y. Let the republican governors get together and divide up the money as they think is needed.

    February 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Daniel Oladele

    I was saddened while listening to South Carolina’s governor response on the stimulus and the unemployment situation in South Carolina. I think we need to be more careful on what we say and how we say things. Politician should be more careful and be more mindful most especially when making comments that affect peoples' lives. There are many families without a job or on the verge of becoming homeless and no hope for the future. We should not wait for the economy to work through the current challenges but intervene now to safe families. No more time to wait as people need all the help they can get to get back on track. Let's put necessary measures in place to prevent future occurrence. Let's change our attitudes toward each others, the economy and the way we look at things because of our political differences.

    February 8, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Matt

    What an idiot! Let the economy fall and then somehow get back on its own feet while more and more fall into poverty and lose jobs and homes! What a moron! Thank God I dont live in SC!

    February 8, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Blossum

    Fine with the rest of us. Don't take the money, governor!

    February 8, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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