The hard lesson learned this week for GOP candidate Mark Sanford is
“Bash a popular president at your own peril.”
With only hours left before the polls closed, a tweet from the President reaffirming his support for Rep. Katie Arrington would suddenly become the straw that broke the camel’s back reversing the assured victory of the scandal-plagued South Carolina incumbent and former governor Mark Sanford.
The stunning victory caught everyone by surprise especially Sanford, who had lambasted the President countless times, accusing him of being “partially to blame” for the violent attack by a deranged shooter during a practice baseball game between congressional Republican lawmakers last year, resulting in the severe wounding of Rep. Steve Scalise.
At the time Sanford took to the airwaves on MSNBC, accusing the President saying, “I would argue the president has unleashed, partially, again not in any way totally, but partially to blame for demons that have been unleashed.”
Adding, “The fact is you’ve got the top guy saying “Well I wish I could hit you in the face and if not, why don’t you and I’ll pay your legal fees,” that’s bizarre. We ought to call it as such,” paraphrasing remarks Trump made at a campaign rally last year.
Sanford went on implying that the President was responsible for the discourse at a senior center facility saying, “What is going on?
Adding, “They’ll say, ‘if the guy at the top can say anything to anybody at any time, why can’t I?'”
Ironically while Sanford accused the President of misbehaving, he forgot the skeletons hidden away in his own closet, moreover his mistress in Argentina while he was governor.
At the time the good governor falsely claimed he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, while he was actually in Argentina “bedding-down” his girlfriend for an extramarital romp.
Sanford soon resigned as governor when his affair was exposed, however, he was elected to the House two years later for a district he had previously represented for six years.
Which brings us back to the stunning victory by Katie Arrington and the President’s surprise last-minute tweet just three hours before the polls in South Carolina closed.
“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!”
The reference to Argentina reminded undecided voters once again, how disingenuous and self-serving Sanford truly is.
Moreover if elected the likelihood of supporting the Trump agenda would seriously be in doubt.
By contrast, Arrington campaigned as a loyal unabashed Trump supporter. Her platform openly critical of Sanford disloyalty to the President combined with his disingenuous attempts at covering up his affair, and the President’s earlier endorsement plus the 50,000 robo-calls on Tuesday to homes reminding voters of the President’s support for her, had her in contention.
However with the clock winding-down, the likelihood of a last-minute upset seemed unlikely, until the President’s tweet changed the political landscape in South Carolina, Arrington pulled a “come-from-behind” win by a slim margin of 50.6% of the vote to Sanford’s 46.5%. A stunning victory that left even President Trump a bit surprised.