Former conservative governor and congressman speaks of ‘Trump hijacking’ of the party

In an article in the Business Insider calledMark Sanford said GOP leaders went along with Trump ‘hijacking’ the party because it ‘had come to stand for surprisingly little‘” by John Dorman, former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford offers direct criticism of what his party has become.

While I am not a huge fan of Sanford’s, disagreeing with him more than I agree, I do agree with him on his assertion in this article. Here are a few salient paragraphs, with a link to the entire article below.

“Mark Sanford, a longtime conservative lawmaker from South Carolina, viewed the Republican Party through a critical lens long before former President Donald Trump took office in 2017, as he detailed in his newly released book, ‘Two Roads Diverged.

‘Before Donald Trump’s arrival in Washington, the conservative movement as represented by the Republican Party had devolved into a lukewarm mess,’ he writes. ‘Reality was the Republican Party didn’t really represent conservatism any longer.

‘There was no strong objection within Republican circles to what Trump began to change in the Grand Old Party because to many of them, the GOP had come to stand for surprisingly little,’ he writes. ‘The people who truly believed in conservative ideals were disillusioned and tired of the Republican Party’s abysmal efforts to advance their ideas.

While in office, Trump was able to muscle through the 2017 tax-reform bill, which lowered the top corporate-tax rate from 35% to 21%, and installed a raft of conservative judges to the federal bench, but Sanford was less than impressed with the president.

After Sanford publicly clashed with Trump, who called the then-congressman ‘nothing but trouble,’ he lost the GOP primary for his House seat in 2018 to the state legislator Katie Arrington, who went on to lose the general election to the Democrat Joe Cunningham, in what was considered a major upset.

In his book, Sanford says that if someone is asked what the GOP represents, they might say ‘it stands for freedom.’ But he says: ‘Trump’s style was far too autocratic to allow that answer to stick, and his flirtations with leaders like Vladimir Putin undercut the GOP’s moral high ground on freedom.'”

There is truly not much more to add to Sanford’s comments as I want his concerns to be highlighted as a Republican.

23 thoughts on “Former conservative governor and congressman speaks of ‘Trump hijacking’ of the party

      • Thanks for confirming. That saga was fascinating to watch as it unfolded real-time and I’m glad he has had an opportunity for “act 2” of a political life.

      • Babsje, what amazed me is he got elected as congressman after all his mess. My favorite story is when his wife heard him call his mistress his “soul mate,” she refused to go his mea culpa press conference. Keith

  1. I have long had zero respect for Mr. Sanford, however I will agree with him on this point. The GOP has been on a downhill slope for years and they have lost their way, sold whatever values they once had. The only thing holding them up today is faux rage at anything proposed by any Democrat. Can this house of cards stand for long?

  2. Note to Readers: i did see where several Capitol police officers have sued the last president for his role in the January 6 insurrection. Also, a few of the last president’s attorneys have been vilified by a federal judge for bringing bogus court cases to trial on the election fraud claims.

  3. In the Thatcher era and as the length of her tenure led to the hubris which is the fate of many a transitory successful leader there arose a term in the UK press ‘The Men in Grey Suits’. This referenced those with little public personae but great influence within The Conservative Party ranks. The perception being that these people had decided she was now a liability and in her case to be gently moved aside.
    Maybe you are witnessing signs of the equivalent in the USA, although I very much doubt if it will be a gentle moving aside and something move equivalent to a civil version of change of government (of the party) in classical Rome or Greece’s City States.

  4. Note to Readers: One of the things Sanford did as SC governor that bothered me (beside his Appalachian Trail hiking with his mistress), is he would not accept stimulus funds for his state. He state has a swath of poverty down 1/3 of the state near where I-95 comes through and yet, he did not want to help people with that money. Investing in your dilapidated resources helps people and the economy. And, he said no.

  5. Note to Readers: Per Newsweek, a quote from Senator Pat Toomey of PA, one of the seven Republican Senators to vote to impeach the former president for his role in the January 6 insurrection, caught my eye:

    “I think after what happened post-2020 election, I think the president’s behavior was completely unacceptable,” Toomey told CNBC last week. “So I don’t think he should be the nominee to lead the party in 2024.”

    The former president responded in his usual name-calling manner. As an independent, the question of whether the former president will run is not the one to ask. The question is why would the most deceitful, corrupt and now seditious president ever, be permitted to run? If he were to run and win, he would finish his work to put a dagger in America’s democracy. There is not enough whitewash to paint over his crimes against our country. Full stop.

    • PS – I posted an email to Senator Toomey thanking him for his political courage. I would encourage others to do so. He needs to know his speaking out against the former president is on the side of the angels.

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