Mark Sanford debates cardboard cutout of Trump to protest South Carolina canceling its GOP primary

Mark Sanford debates cardboard cutout of Trump to protest South Carolina canceling its GOP primary
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Republican presidential candidate and former 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 (S.C.) held a mock debate with a cardboard cutout of President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Congress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff MORE.

Sanford could be seen “debating” next to the cutout of Trump at three different stops around South Carolina Monday as he called on the state Republican Party to change course and hold a presidential primary next year, according to The Post and Courier.


“I don’t want to make this my only debate between myself and the president of the United States,” Sanford said as he gestured to the full-size cutout of Trump standing next to him.

Sanford’s stunt came after the South Carolina Republican Party’s executive committee decided this month not to have a GOP presidential primary, saying it would save an estimated $1.2 million — the amount the State Election Commission says holding the primary would cost taxpayers.

South Carolina is one of four states that have had their respective GOPs cancel presidential primaries.   

Sanford said during one stop Monday that the state's cancellation of the primary led him to question the strength of Trump’s support, according to The Post and Courier.

“Why in the world would the Trump administration not be insisting, and the Trump campaign not be insisting, that the primary take place? Because in the world of politics, if you have a chance to lock in a 90 percent win, particularly if you’re in the 'first in the south' primary, you do it,” Sanford said, adding this might suggest Trump’s support could be “a mile wide and perhaps an inch deep.”

Sanford also said his team is currently looking at every option to push for a primary, noting that a legal fight would be the last possibility.

Trump indicated earlier this month that he would not be open to debating any of his three Republican challengers, calling it a “publicity stunt.”

“To be honest, I’m not looking to give them any credibility,” Trump said.

Former Rep. Joe WalshJoe WalshLimbaugh on Buttigieg: 'America's still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage' Bill Weld secures one Iowa delegate in longshot primary challenge to Trump Pence to make swing through New Hampshire on eve of primary MORE (Ill.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldButtigieg expands on climate plan with new proposals GOP governor endorses Weld in Vermont primary Trump wins New Hampshire Republican primary MORE along with Sanford are all running campaigns against Trump.