Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has dropped out of the Republican primary race just over two months after announcing his bid to unseat President Donald Trump.
Sanford, who was running as a Republican fiscal hawk, announced in a press conference at the New Hampshire Statehouse that he was ending his candidacy, the Post and Courier reported.
Sanford first announced he was running for president on September 8 during a segment on Fox News Sunday, citing the Republican Party’s lack of focus on the national debt. He seemed to acknowledge that the challenge to Trump would be a long-shot.
“Sometimes in life you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say, whether there’s an audience or not for that message,” Sanford said. “I feel convicted.”
The former governor and congressman’s campaign got off to a rocky start, as just one person and a handful of reporters and photographers showed up at a news conference in Philadelphia, PA to help him kick off his 2020 campaign and tour to raise awareness about the national debt.
“Nobody knows me in Philadelphia,” Sanford told a reporter at the time. “I get it. I think in life we all do what we can do, what’s within our power to have an effect. So we’re just sort of moving along as we go along.”
Trump has notably attacked Sanford in the past, calling Sanford very “unhelpful” when he was running for re-election to his congressional seat from South Carolina and endorsing his primary challenger, Katie Arrington. After Sanford announced his primary bid, Trump knocked the so-called “Mr. Appalachian Trail” for carrying on an affair in Argentina and lying about it while serving as governor of South Carolina. (RELATED: Trump Takes Aim At Primary Opponents)
Can you believe it? I’m at 94% approval in the Republican Party, and have Three Stooges running against me. One is “Mr. Appalachian Trail” who was actually in Argentina for bad reasons….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2019