STRATEGY

GOP Rep. Mark Sanford: Trump Threatened to Primary Me, Others

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford on Sunday said President Donald Trump threatened to back a Republican primary challenger against him if he voted against the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill that failed last month.

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Sanford said Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and Sanford’s former colleague in the House of Representatives, told him that Trump “hopes you vote against this because he wants to run somebody against you if you do.” According to Sanford, Trump has made similar threats to other members of Congress.

“I think that those kinds of threats are counter-productive,” Sanford added. “It all, I guess, fits in love, war and politics. But I don’t think it’s particularly productive to his own legislative agenda, and we’ll see what comes.”

Despite the threat, Sanford joined conservative and moderate Republicans in declaring that he would vote against the AHCA, referred to at the time as Trumpcare.

“I don’t work for him. I work for about 750,000 people here in the first congressional district,” Sanford said, adding that he wasn’t concerned about simply “checking the box” on healthcare without “taking into account both the considerations of the left and the right.”

—Andrew Desiderio