Ousted Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina said his fellow Republicans are “running for the hills” because they can’t deal with President Trump’s “lies.”
In an interview with NBC’s
“Meet the Press,” Sanford admitted that he knows all about lying — referencing a sensational 2009 sex scandal that ended his governorship.
“We all know the story of 2009 and my implosion … I own it,” said Sanford, defeated in the GOP primary this week by a Trump-backed Republican.
“But there were incredible consequences — financially, politically, socially, lost my marriage, I can go down a long list.”
He continued: “And so maybe the reason I’m so outspoken on this now is there is no seeming consequence to the president and lies. And if we accept that as a society, it is going to have incredibly harmful consequences in the way that we operate going forward based on the construct of the founding fathers.”
Sanford became a national punch line in 2009 when he — as governor of South Carolina — went missing from the state, claiming he’d gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail. It turned out he was in Argentina, romancing a mistress.
Sanford recovered from that humiliation to win election to Congress in 2013 — before he was voted out of office on Tuesday night in the GOP primary.
When “MTP” host Chuck Todd asked Sanford why Trump’s biggest GOP critics — such as Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker — are those headed out of office, the soon-to-be former lawmaker bluntly said: “People are running for the hills.”
There’s too high a political price to pay for Republicans to stand up to Trump, according to Sanford.
“What you do as an elected official is — an old-time senator told me years ago, ‘The name of the game is staying in the game,’ ” he said.