Sanford debates Nancy Pelosi cutout in Colbert Busch's absence

Sanford and Colbert Busch are competing to fill the House seat vacated by former Rep. Tim ScottTim ScottCBS News lands Sanders as WHCA dinner guest Department of labor overtime rule is a roadblock to a bright career path Pop superstar Prince dies in Minnesota home MORE (R) when he was appointed to the Senate. 

Sanford's campaign has been struggling amid legal problems and polling that shows him falling behind in the special House election. Candidates typically don't demand more debates, or stage political stunts for media attention, when they are the front-runner.

Colbert Busch has agreed to a radio debate with Sanford next week but declined other invitations. Her team has kept the candidate mostly under wraps since Colbert Busch did poorly on a national television appearance early in the campaign.

Her campaign fired back against Sanford on Wednesday:

"While Mark Sanford continues his desperate campaign to deceive voters, Elizabeth Colbert Busch is spending her time with real people who support her campaign," said spokesman James Smith, who said the Democrat was meeting with a group of Republican supporters on Wednesday. 

"She doesn’t have to resort to phony cardboard cutouts to talk with the people of South Carolina."

Sanford trailed Colbert Busch by 9 points in a recent survey from the Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling, and he has had to deal with continuing questions about his ex-wife's charges that he repeatedly trespassed at her home. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee has said it won't give him any more support this election.

More in In The Know

Colbert interviews cartoon Trump

Read more »