Trump urges Republicans to oust Rep. Mark Sanford in primary |
Politics Election

Trump urges Republicans to oust Rep. Mark Sanford in primary

Poll volunteer Tom Spain hands out stickers to former Gov, Mark Sanford after he cast his own ballot at Alhambra Hall polling station Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (Grace Beahm Alford/The Post And Courier via AP)

President Trump has urged South Carolina’s Republicans to oust Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., in Tuesday’s primary – the first time the president has endorsed an opponent over an incumbent of his adopted party.

“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA,” Trump tweeted. “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!”

Trump sent the tweet just three hours before polls closed in South Carolina’s 1st District, but loyalty to the president had become a defining issue of the campaign. Arrington, a state legislator backed by a number of the state’s Republican leaders, had attacked Sanford for criticizing the president and voting against a funding bill that would have shifted some money to the construction of a border wall with Mexico. One of Arrington’s strategists, Michael Biundo, had been an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“Thank you, Mr. President!” Arrington tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. “Together we will continue to Make America Great Again!”

Sanford did not immediately response to a request for comment, but in an interview Monday, he said that he had not spoken to the president since last summer, when members of the House Freedom Caucus were summoned to the White House to discuss efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. When asked whether he thought Trump would intervene in the race, Sanford looked at his watch.

“Not yet, but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow,” he said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.