REPORT: Trump Challenger Sanford Drops Out Just 65 Days After Launching Campaign: ‘You Gotta Be a Real’


Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford ended his presidential bid Tuesday, just two months after announcing his candidacy to replace President Donald Trump as the 2020 Republican nominee.

“You gotta be a realist, and what I did not anticipate is an impeachment,” Sanford said during a news conference at the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord, like the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier reported.

He contended that in the current political climate, “all of the oxygen is leaving the room” with battle lines clearly drawn between the red and the blue teams.

Sanford told reporters that he will look for other ways to advance the discussion on addressing the nation’s accumulating debt and annual deficits.

Sanford, who was an outspoken critic of Trump while serving in Congress, lost his 2018 re-election bid after the president endorsed his Republican primary challenger, Katie Arrington.

“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina,” Trump tweeted the day South Carolinians went to the polls in June 2018.

“I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes,” Trump added.

“VOTE Katie!

When Sanford announced his presidential candidacy in September, Trump tweeted, “When the former Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, @MarkSanford, was reported missing, only to then say he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend, it sounded like his political career was over.”

“It was,” the president continued, “but then he ran for Congress and won, only to lose his re-elect after I Tweeted my endorsement, on Election Day, for his opponent.”

“But now take heart, he is back, and running for President of the United States. The Three Stooges, all badly failed candidates, will give it a go!”

With Sanford’s departure, the most high-profile GOP primary challengers are former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Trump dominating the field with approximately 85 percent support to Weld’s 2.6 percent and Walsh’s just over 2 percent.

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