Sanford says House race in SC about 'direction of our country'

The approach matches Sanford's strategy throughout the campaign: To frame the race as a choice between him and national Democrats on fiscal issues while avoiding mention of Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch — or his own personal baggage.

"I fought hard over the years to make South Carolina a better place to call home. But those efforts pale now against the larger battle for the direction of our country. Many that's why Nancy Pelosi and allies have spent millions of dollars to defeat me," he says in the ad. 

"But this contest is bigger than them or me, it's about two different visions of how we restore America and rein in Washington spending. We have got to get this right. I'm Mark Sanford. I approve this message, and humbly ask for your help — and vote."

The former governor, whose 2009 extramarital affair derailed his political career, is locked in what appears to be a tight race against Colbert Busch in a heavily Republican district. The election is next Tuesday.