Outgoing GOP Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordBritain checking gun license applicants' social media, medical records Mark Sanford calls Graham 'a canary in the coalmine' on GOP's relationship with Trump Top cyber Pentagon official overseeing defense contractor project placed on leave MORE (S.C.), who lost his primary after President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE endorsed his opponent, slammed the president’s tone and said on Wednesday that he worried how it would affect the Republican Party in the future.
“I think again it hurts the Republican Party, and we saw it in this election. This wouldn’t be my words, but if you look at someone like Karl Rove, what he said emphatically was that we’ve been hurt in suburban districts based on tone alone. Style at some level can be substance, and when you go again to the lengths the president has on this stylistic change of really paving ground that we’ve never seen paved before, there is an electoral consequence,” Sanford said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“This is a temporary blip on the radar screen … I hope so, if not we’re in real trouble. The roots of the Republican Party run much deeper. A lot of people work for years, generations even, in the traditional components of conservatism, and we got to go back to our roots going forward. If not, we’re going to find ourselves in something of a no man’s land in political ground and in policy ground,” he added.
Trump endorsed Katie Arrington, Sanford's primary opponent in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, after Sanford criticized the tone coming out of the White House.
“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to [Make America Great Again]. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!” the president tweeted in June, referencing a highly publicized extramarital affair Sanford had.
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
Democrat Joe Cunningham defeated Arrington in last week’s midterms, marking the first time a Democrat will hold South Carolina’s ruby red 1st District in decades.
Sanford’s was one of several Republican-held seats that flipped in the midterm elections after largely suburban voters revolted against the president. Democrats could gain nearly 40 seats in Congress’s lower chamber.