Bostic, Sanford spar over scandal in SC debate; Update: Video fixed

posted at 8:51 am on March 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The two top Republican finishers in the primary to fill former Rep. Tim Scott’s House seat in a special election next week met for a debate, one that by all accounts was respectful and even friendly.  Even so, Curtis Bostic did not spare Mark Sanford a challenge about his credibility after his personal scandal marred his final term as South Carolina’s governor.  Sanford admitted that this was “an important question,” and gave a lengthy answer that received “raucous” applause, according to the Daily Caller:

“Gov. Sanford, it is, to use the term, the elephant in the room. In 2009, you broke the trust of the people of South Carolina,” said the moderator. “How do you reconcile redemption with the mistrust in the personal decision which could or may have compromised the state and the party?”

Sanford called it an “important question, and one that I suspect one that I’ll wrestle at one level or another with for the rest of my life.”

“I failed,” he said. “And I failed very publicly.”

“What I would say is the events of 2009 absolutely represent a failure on my part for which there were and always will be at some level consequences. But that does not mean that because you’ve had a failure on your personal life, that you cannot step back into life again,” Sanford said.

He said that when the seat opened up, “all of sudden my phone lines light up with a lot of people saying, ‘Mark you need to do this.’ And at first you’re scared to death, you don’t know how you’d be received if you were to step back into the waters. But people kept calling, and they kept calling and they said, ‘Mark, you need to do this, because here’s a chance for you to learn not only from your experience in Congress and the governorship, but more significantly from what you learned on the way up and the way down and apply it to what is arguably one of the great conundrums of our civilization, which is how do we get our fiscal house in order.’ And should I make it, that’s what I intend to do.”

The video below contains some highlights from the debate, including most of Sanford’s answer to that question, although it skips the question.  Later, Sanford attacked Bostic for not offering a complete financial disclosure to the FEC, warning voters that they may be in for surprised.  “While my skeletons are out there,” Sanford joked, “they’re out there.”

Closer to the issues, Bostic hit Sanford for his performance in the same Congressional seat earlier in his career.  In three terms, Bostic pointed out, Sanford never had a bill pass in the House.  In one term, Tim Scott had more than a dozen, and Bostic told the audience that it takes more than a “Mr. No” to get things done. Bostic painted himself as a man who can say “yes,” which frankly in this Tea Party atmosphere is a huge opening for attack in a Republican primary.  Sanford instead chose to respond more philosophically, citing Barry Goldwater as an inspiration to emphasize that he didn’t keep score by how many bills he passed, but by how well he protected liberty.

Last week, a PPP poll showed Sanford with a significant but not insurmountable lead in the runoff.  Did he do well enough to hold off a Bostic charge? Take a look at the video and make the call yourself, but I’d say both men acquitted themselves well.


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ahahaha I cheated on my wife, humiliated my family, stole taxpayer money, and lied to my constituents. ahahahahhahahaahahahahahahaha IT’S FUNNY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT.

Jeddite on March 29, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Maybe Sanford can win this election, but I’m still not convinced he can. I think he’s a very poor choice, but typical of what the Vichy Republicans are running.

I don’t know how we’ll replace those Country Club types with real, honest conservatives, but it has to be done or the Constitution will be dead.

TKindred on March 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

here’s a chance for you to learn not only from your experience in Congress and the governorship, but more significantly from what you learned on the way up and the way down and apply it to what is arguably one of the great conundrums of our civilization, which is how do we get our fiscal house in order.

I’m not a big fan of the idea that Sanford is uniquely qualified for Congress because of his fall from grace. How does abandoning your job and family to chase tail in South America teach you anything you can apply to getting our fiscal house in order?

Happy Nomad on March 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Maybe Sanford can win this election, but I’m still not convinced he can. I think he’s a very poor choice, but typical of what the Vichy Republicans are running.

I don’t know how we’ll replace those Country Club types with real, honest conservatives, but it has to be done or the Constitution will be dead.

TKindred on March 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

It may be too late. To revive the GOP, that is. We have a Zombie Republican Party on our hands.

Myron Falwell on March 29, 2013 at 9:08 AM

The problem I have with Sanford is not any failing in his personal life. Plenty of politicians have those. It’s that he failed in his professional life. Going AWOL the way he did is a disqualifier IMO. It’s not like South Carolina Republicans don’t have an alternative in this race. Bostic may have his alleged skeletons, but nothing like Sanford’s. Why risk it?

Doughboy on March 29, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Politics is no place for penance.

If Mr Sanford had any humility and respect for the electorate, he would have demurred on any opportunity to run for public office.

Now like many others have done recently, he’s put personal ambitions and desires above common sense and honest conclusions.

In the end it will hurt the very people Mr. Sanford states he has a desire to allegedly help.

Mr. Sanford has actually unwittingly revealed to us that nothing has changed. Past is indeed prologue.

Marcus Traianus on March 29, 2013 at 9:20 AM

*gag*

bazil9 on March 29, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I wish Sanford would have just stepped down and gone away! The man is a hypocrite. he rebuked Clinton for his infidelity and his lies, declaring Clinton should have stepped down as President. when Sanford did it, he abandoned his position & left the state to meet his mistress, lied, committed adultry, then fought to remain in office, defending what he did and what Clinton had done was somehow different.

He has demonstrated he is self-serving and his morals, ethics, and honesty have an ‘on’/’off’ switch. While he has proven with those qualities he belongs in Washington, if we ever hope to change things there we have to make sure people like him never make it there…or ever hold office again.

easyt65 on March 29, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Yeah I guess this should be the point when we finally stop making our party the butt of every political joke.

Go away Sanford!

Valkyriepundit on March 29, 2013 at 9:43 AM

The commenters here are FULL OF HOTAIR! Sanford is the right choice, he is a proven fighter in the US Congress and as Governor he took on the worst bunch of Good Old Boy Republicans in the country! Bostic is a tool and has never seen a spending bill he would refuse to support. Bostic would also lose big to the DRat!

el Vaquero on March 29, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Somewhere it says…..”let he without sin cast the first stone”.

Right now I mostly care about fiscal matters, so I think Sandford would be the best choice.

I believe his ex wife supports him, so obviously she has put their differences (his infidelity, her lack of warmth which was probably why he strayed in the first place; it doesn’t appear that he is a serial adulterer like Clinton, Kennedy, etc.) so it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. I believe his four sons support him too.

And as for stealing taxpayer money, I am not sure if that is correct. It is my understanding that he met her while at a business conference for the state; since he was having an affair, and someone made a ruckus, he paid back the money spent on the trip.

And as for not telling his staff where he was when he was with his
girlfriend? You have to be kidding me. He was always available via cell phone. They could get in touch with him if they wanted.
Their announcing that they couldn’t find him was political.

Amjean on March 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Amjean on March 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Wow! I’m stunned with your post. Apparently lack of integrity, ethics, and morality don’t matter in your world.

Somewhere it says…..”let he without sin cast the first stone”.

How is this election about the redemption of Mark Sanford?

Right now I mostly care about fiscal matters, so I think Sandford would be the best choice.

Fair enough. So for you integrity doesn’t matter so long as the candidate says all the right stuff about fiscal matters? How does that make you any different than one of the parasitic single-issue voters that supported the rat-eared devil?

I believe his ex wife supports him, so obviously she has put their differences (his infidelity, her lack of warmth which was probably why he strayed in the first place; it doesn’t appear that he is a serial adulterer like Clinton, Kennedy, etc.) so it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. I believe his four sons support him too.

So….. It really isn’t adultery if you only do it once and the family doesn’t completely disown you afterwards?

And as for stealing taxpayer money, I am not sure if that is correct. It is my understanding that he met her while at a business conference for the state; since he was having an affair, and someone made a ruckus, he paid back the money spent on the trip.

So….. It really isn’t stealing if you pay back public money when somebody makes a ruckus?

And as for not telling his staff where he was when he was with his
girlfriend? You have to be kidding me. He was always available via cell phone. They could get in touch with him if they wanted.
Their announcing that they couldn’t find him was political.

So…. It really isn’t being derelict in your responsibilities as Governor if you have your cell phone on? There are some really easy ways to know if you are failing as a leader. One of them is if you have your staff lying for you.

Happy Nomad on March 29, 2013 at 10:33 AM

It’s bad enough cheating on your wife. But going AWOL. lying to the people of his state and misappropriating funds to finance his romance should disqualify this dirtbag from holding office ever again.

bw222 on March 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM

After watching Republicans lose race after race when it seemed they couldn’t, from the two yokels babbling about how rape doesn’t get you pregnant (remember, one of them made his remark while the other remark was still blazing its way around the web), to Christine O’Donnell, to Linda McMahon, to trying to find someone to run against an incumbent empty suit with a blank resume with the economy in the toilet and FAILING, now this imbecile running in SC and leading, I’m convinced that the national Republican party is throwing elections on purpose. To what end, I don’t know, but I can’t believe a party can be this inept.

Russ in OR on March 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM

“Hey, my cheating/stealing/humiliating my family is SOOOOOO 2009. Let’s focus on how I can fail in 2014.”

-Disgraced Governor & Appalachia Trail hiker Mark Sanford

portlandon on March 29, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I will always suspect that his girlfriend was a DNC swallow.

slickwillie2001 on March 29, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Wow…. his defense boils down to “greatness choosing the man”. If my eyes roll any further, I’ll be able to see out the back of my head.

Murf76 on March 29, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Somewhere it says…..”let he without sin cast the first stone”.

Amjean on March 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM

All I know about him is he’ll screw over other people and break promises/oaths for personal benefit without serious concern for his actions; because he’s already done so.

I’m not saying put him to death “throw the first stone” I’m saying accept that he’s got a history of not being trustworthy, maybe don’t trust him.

Do you give your money to robbers instead of banks for safe-keeping? I mean maybe he won’t do the same thing this time he’s done in the past… right?

How is looking at what someone does and considering that a template for what they’re willing to do offensive to you? Do you find learning form history offensive as well?

People may change, but they usually don’t. Why should we start with the assumption he’ll never do again what he’s already done and put himself above his job, his promises, and everything else?

gekkobear on March 29, 2013 at 1:24 PM

I don’t know how we’ll replace those Country Club types with real, honest conservatives, but it has to be done or the Constitution will be dead.

TKindred on March 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

The simple answer is to get informed about the candidates who are running, during the Primary election and then support the candidates who convince you that they are “real, honest conservatives.”

Running for Congress is a huge and expensive project that takes a massive amount of time away from family and career. A candidate and their family also lose almost all of their privacy during the campaign.

Good conservative candidates will only be willing to run if they know they can count on support from their fellow Conservatives.

wren on March 29, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Thank you for posting the video of the highlights from the Bostic vs. Sanford debate, Ed! The special run-off election on Tuesday (April 2) is an important one, so the more people who are informed about the race the better!

I watched the whole debate via the web yesterday and while both men did well, I was most impressed by Curtis Bostic.

Curtis Bostic was articulate, confident and a strong proponent of Conservative values.

Both men talked about the importance of developing “relationships” in order to get things done in Washington, several times during the debate. Mark Sanford may have had a head start in developing political relationships a few years ago. But any relationships that Sanford had in the past must have been seriously damaged by his embarrassing lack of judgement and integrity when he went AWOL to visit his mistress in Argentina. Why would anybody trust Mark Sanford again after he so publicly demonstrated that he was not worthy of trust?

Curtis Bostic is a strong candidate for the Republican nomination for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, and selecting him on Tuesday is the best way to prevent having to listen to Democrats make jokes about Republican family values in Argentina for the next several years.

You can learn more about Curtis Bostic at his campaign website:
http://www.stopspending.com/

Integrity matters!

wren on March 29, 2013 at 6:12 PM

People, especially the kind of people that Sanford panders to, love a good mea culpa. Even more so, they love a good redemption story.

He’s still a joke, though. There’s a difference between “mistakes” and what he did. After what he did and the public shaming that followed, trying to return to office is simply pathological power-seeking by someone without the conscience or moral clarity to realize his own urges.

mintycrys on March 29, 2013 at 7:14 PM