Sanford touts fiscal record, opponent mocks his past in new ads

"I know I've spent too much, but what's a few trillion? It was all for you. But I've changed, I'll keep my promises this time. It'll be different. I'm sorry for all the mistakes I've made," says an actor parodying a sleazy politician, with a fireplace burning in the background. "Sugar, would you give me one more chance?"

The narrator then breaks in to tell voters to "break up with career politicians," as pictures of Sanford and other Republicans in the race flash onscreen. "The right guy: Teddy Turner. Conservative Republican. Economics teacher. Not a politician."

Turner is one of a number of Republicans seeking to make the runoff to fill Sen. Tim Scott's (R-S.C.) former House seat. The GOP primary is on March 19, with the primary runoff for the top two vote-getters taking place on April 2.

Sanford's ad, meanwhile, focuses on his fiscal record. It's a departure from his first campaign ad, which he used to ask voters for forgiveness.

"When it comes to spending, he was the most conservative governor in the country," the ad's narrator says. 

"He was rated the most fiscally conservative member of Congress. He eliminated almost a billion dollars in deficit and debt. He said no to the big spenders in Columbia. He said no to the Obama stimulus money. Others talk about cutting spending, he actually did it. Sanford went and did it. He holds up his convictions with courage. Mark Sanford is exactly what we need in Washington."

Sanford has been considered a favorite to win the Republican primary. He has near-universal name recognition and used to represent the Charleston-area district in Congress. When he entered the race, the former governor was up-front about the challenges he faces in convincing voters to look past his infidelity. 

“The reality of humanity is if you live long enough you’ll fail at something. And I failed, period. There’s no getting around it,” he told The Hill last month. 

“Some people will look at that and never forgive me, and that’s a consequence of my sin,” he said. “What I’ve heard from many folks is they’ll forgive me.”

Sanford's campaign suffered a blow last week when two members of South Carolina's congressional delegation — Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) — both endorsed another candidate, South Carolina state Sen. Larry Grooms (R).

—Updated at 1 p.m.