Sanford steps out, criticizes Romney and Pawlenty
August 6th, 2011
11:12 AM ET
12 years ago

Sanford steps out, criticizes Romney and Pawlenty

(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.

Filed under: 2012 • Gov. Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    ha ha ha ha ha - he also went searching all the way to South America to find a "soul-mate". Maybe his candidate is hiding down there somewhere. Or maybe on the Appalachian Trail. Keep looking, you low-life, keep looking. Perry may fit your hypocritical fake-christian ways.

    August 6, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. James

    Sanford is bought and paid for by FoxNews, and the Bachmann-Perry group. What credibility does this ridiculous man have? Furthermore, the credibility of those who are attempting to give him a voice should be scrutinized.

    Sanford: do us all a favor – stop talking and never come back to politics.

    August 6, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    This may be the only thing I agree with Sanford about.......but he is correct, there is currently no strong contender. In fact, many of the GOP candidates, are rubber stamps of each other.

    Where's Teddy Roosevelt, when you need him?

    August 6, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. CBR

    Sanford ruined his credibility by lying to his wife, family, and state. He had the ability to do great things but he could not live without his paramour.

    August 6, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mark Sanford always have good judgment

    August 6, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Grow up already...

    Keep looking, Mark... Why don't you try the "Mirror, mirror on the wall..." bit that Cheney did?

    I could hear it now- "Mirror, mirror on the wall... Who's the most unelectable of all?"

    August 6, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. thomas

    Dont Cry For Me Argentina !

    August 6, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    No one cares what Sanford thinks!

    August 6, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Larry L

    Oh yeah... the GOP needs another nut-job for their line-up of economic terrorists. I'm looking forward to the next election to vote out all of the GOP hostage-takers and replace them with somebody who cares about working class Americans.

    August 6, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Marty, FL

    I do not agree much with Sanford's nonsense, but the choices within the GOP field have become ridiculous–a flip flopper, secessionist, teabagger, hypocritical philanderer. You must be joking. And Ryan's destruction of Medicare and Christie's Bush-style are unfortunately no better.

    President Obama may not be perfect (no one really is), but many Americans will vote for President Obama any day when considering the alternatives.

    August 6, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. bobden

    If TR were around today, and if he was willing to help the current republican party, he likely would begin by throwing out the tea-baggers.

    August 6, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. John in Brooklyn

    Considering South Carolina's history for demonstrating everything that's wrong in social and political America (slavery, segregation, opposition to protecting the environment, opposition to the right of people to collectively bargain, undercutting workers' wages, opposition to Social Security, opposition to child labor....and the list goes on and on) Romney AND Pawlenty must be doing something right!

    August 6, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Sgt Schultz

    To think once Sanford was considered a leading GOP candidate for President...yes he dishonored his own family and especially his state...which already has a terrible reputation as one of the most right-wing extremist in the nation. But thanks to all the nuts in AZ, they aren't the worst at least.

    August 6, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Malcolm in St Louis

    He is angling for a job. Watch him show up as one the Murdoch blowhards in few weeks. He has to move fast the Brits are going to nail Rupert and his criminal gang masquerading as a news organization.

    August 6, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Tom In Millstadt

    @ Rick McDaniel I agree. I would take either Roosevelt over anybody out there in either party, but I think if Teddy were here now,he would be a Democrat.

    August 6, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Colearosa

    Does anyone even care what this cheating toad wants? Why is this EVEN news? Short news day?

    August 6, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Mike

    I'm a Democrat who supports President Obama and probably will vote for him again, but i agree with Sanford's point about how we don't need these Candidates to give opinions AFTER the fact. It would be nice if the Republicans would produce a candidate who actually has their own opinion and isn't afraid to say what they think might help, instead of focusing like a laser beam on tearing down the President. We need real solutions now, the time for partisan bickering has passed. We have already embarrassed ourselves before the world. This is coming from a young 30 year old.........

    August 6, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |

    Nobody cares about this Lizard Gingrich clone. Snooki Palin is ready to take Bachmann's money and TV interviews.

    August 6, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. DENNA

    Finally, Sanford makes sense. The current Republican field reminds me of clowns piling out of a small car. I can't believe these people actually think they are superior to President Obama. Oh, is he with his "soul mate" now?

    August 6, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Jeff

    He should back Gingrich, and you all know why.

    August 6, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. beevee

    May be this guy should a buy a nice in place in Argentina and settle over there. No more politics for you Mr. Sanford, You have too much of male hormone that can cloud your thinking.

    August 6, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. B

    All of these Republicans basically don’t get it ..

    Blind leading the Blind.

    August 6, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. w l jones

    A lot of people see but a few knows ,give the man a break. Said enough.

    August 6, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. gitagrip

    Guess Sanford got tired of hiking the Appalachian trail...
    Now, he has stayed quiet for awhile waiting like so many others that
    have disgraced their families and the offices they held, and thinks all
    is forgotten and forgiven.
    I doubt if he is as fortunate in that area as he thinks or hopes he is...

    August 6, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Thankfully Independent

    Ok candidates, who wants support from a gutless adulterer whom abandoned his state just to get some tail?

    August 6, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
1 2 3