Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday exited the 2020 presidential race, a mere two months after first announcing his bid to challenge President Donald Trump in a Republican primary.
In a press conference, Sanford, who ran on warning conservatives about the ballooning federal deficit, confessed that his campaign messaging was overshadowed by the ongoing scandal surrounding Trump’s quid pro quo dealings with the Ukrainian government. “You gotta be a realist, and what I did not anticipate is an impeachment,” the ex-governor reportedly said.
Sanford’s bid was considered a long-shot from the start, as Trump remains popular among Republicans. The president played a key role in unseating Sanford from his congressional seat in the 2018 midterms, repeatedly bashing the ex-governor and endorsing Trump-friendly challenger Katie Arrington who ultimately lost in a general-election upset to Democratic candidate Joe Cunningham.