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 SanfordThe Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field Michigan GOP attempting to have Trump be only Republican candidate on ballot Weld files to run in GOP presidential primary in New Hampshire MORE (S.C.), who lost his primary after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe 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.