CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/Gray News) - Former Congressman and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says the decision on whether to mount a presidential campaign against Donald Trump is in God’s hands.
Sanford made that statement Wednesday afternoon a day after announcing he is considering launching a bid for the White House. Sanford said he will take the next 30 days to decide whether running for president is the right way to get his concerns about the nation’s debt, deficit and spending to become part of a national conversation.
“We need to have a conversation, we need to have it now," Sanford said Wednesday. "I think if we wait four years we are in real trouble because I don’t think we have that much time. I think if you wait for the next presidential cycle, which historical is when we have debated big ideas as a country, I think we would have waited too late.”
Sanford has called the growing deficit, the country’s debt and its ongoing spending the ingredients of “the greatest predictable financial crisis in the history of man.”
“We have never run a deficit in the history of our country in peacetime as we are right now, which goes back to, we’re getting close to the tripwire, and this thing is going to go off,” Sanford said. “We don’t have, again, four more years to wait in having a debate on where we go next. Because if we hit that tripwire, it’s going to have implications in the job market, it’s going to have implications in whatever you save today. It’s going to have implications in your retirement account. It’s going to ripple through our economy and it’s going to rip up people’s lives.”
Sanford said after his loss in his House re-election bid, a friend called him and told him God cleared his calendar for a reason and then suggested that reason was to become a voice about out-of-control spending.
“Republicans have lost their way on debt and spending issues,” he said. “Republicans used to be the party of financial conservatism, call it financial prudence or financial realism. And that’s not something that that people do these days.”
Sanford says while he agrees with Trump more often than he disagrees, he has concerns about the president’s style, which he described as caustic.
“I don’t think you have to tear people down to build yourself up,” he said of the president’s Twitter posts.
Earlier on Wednesday, Sanford released a YouTube video repeating concerns about the nation’s growing debt and deficit.
“I’m frustrated with many things in Washington these days,” Sanford says at the start of the video. “But on the top of my list is the way that people there have seemingly forgotten that debt, deficit and spending really do matter. And they matter more than just numbers. These things go to the heart of whether the American Dream is still alive, whether fairness and opportunity are cornerstones to that dream, and whether it’s okay to have taxation without representation, given deficits are nothing more than deferred taxes handed to the next generation.”
Sanford takes aim at Trump’s Independence Day parade and the current candidates hoping to unseat him.
“You can have a parade in Washington with lots of military equipment as the president ordered for the Fourth of July, you can avoid talking about it as people are in Washington, or in the presidential race,” he said. “But these things do not make a strong and they don’t make the problem goes away.”
Sanford says we are “living on borrowed time" and that “our present course can’t end well for us or for those that we love.”
Sanford repeated statements made Tuesday in which he said he was not certain a presidential run was the best way to make his points.
“I'm going to stand and say we need a change in spending, debt and deficits, and we need to look for any way possible to highlight this. So, it could be starting an advocacy organization. It could mean listening to my friends’ suggestions and challenge President Trump as a way of highlighting this issue.”
He ends the video with a call to action, asking people to make their voice heard and help him figure out how best to use his.
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