Mark Sanford: 'I hope' Trump is a 'temporary blip on the radar screen'

Mark Sanford: 'I hope' Trump is a 'temporary blip on the radar screen'
© Greg Nash

Outgoing GOP 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.), who lost his primary after President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' 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.” 

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“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.

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.