The Republican Party needs to be more like John Deere tractors -- that is, more sturdy and reliable -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) argued.

"In many ways, a political party is nothing more than a brand," Sanford told Newsweek in a short interview. "The great brands of time have succeeded in as much is that they've done what they say they're going to do."

"People buy a John Deere tractor because it does what it says they're going to do," he added.

Sanford has seen his national profile as a conservative leader rise since vocally opposing the stimulus package passed by Congress last month, and refusing to take some of the dollars for his home state.

"You know, that's very flattering and kind, but I can't be focused on that," Sanford said in response to the "rising star" characterization.