Possible GOP challenger says Trump doesn't deserve reelection, but would vote for him over Democrat

Former South Carolina Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE (R), who is weighing a primary bid against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE, said on Sunday that he would vote for the president over a Democrat even though he said Trump doesn't deserve reelection.

NBC's Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddShepard Smith talking to MSNBC about prime-time spot as network eyes Chuck Todd move: report Administration officials defend Trump claims, Soleimani intelligence as senators push back on briefing Sunday shows - Administration officials grilled on Trump's Iran claims MORE asked Sanford on "Meet the Press" if he believes Trump has earned reelection. 

"I would say no, because I would argue he's taking us in the wrong direction," Sanford replied. 

But, Sanford said he would still vote Trump over the Democratic nominee. 

"I am a core Republican," Sanford said. 


"You just said you don't think he deserves reelection, but you're still going to be able to vote for him over Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger pens op-ed in defense of Biden: 'I stuttered once, too. I dare you to mock me' MORE?" Todd asked.

"Everything is relative in politics," Sanford said.

Sanford said the former vice president has embraced many of the progressive policies of his Democratic primary opponents, like Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Environmental activists interrupt Buttigieg in New Hampshire Pence to visit Iowa days before caucuses MORE (D-Mass.)

"I'm not seeing a great differentiation there, but I may be missing it." 

Sanford made a similar argument in saying he would not consider running as an independent, even though he added that he understands the difficulty in challenging a sitting president in a primary. 

"A lot of people said, 'If you're going to run, run as an independent.' I said no. I'm a Republican. The Republican Party has a lineage of historically doing some great things, but it's gone off the tracks as of late," Sanford said. 

He also admitted he is likely not the strongest candidate to mount a challenge against Trump, saying "I'm sure there are a bunch" of better options. 

Sanford lost a Republican gubernatorial primary, largely due to criticism from Trump. 

But if he chooses to run, it is not a "vanity project," he said.

"The idea of going out and possibly being a human piñata is hardly a vanity project," Sanford said. 

"What does success look like for you?" Todd asked.

"You can compete for ideas, if we began a national conversation on where are we going.. where are we going with the Republican Party in terms of what comes next," Sanford responded.