Not just the DNC, either. In the span of one day, his decision to turn down part of the stimulus funds earned him criticism from the national organization, the Democratic Governors Association, and even James Clyburn, deploying one of his patented race-baiting denunciations. All for a guy who’s barred by term limits from running for governor again next year.
The DNC sent this note to South Carolina reporters this morning:
The reviews are in, and South Carolinians from both parties are rejecting Governor Mark Sanford’s decision to play politics with $700 million in federal job creation and economic recovery funds. On the same day the Washington Post is running a front-page story on the economic crisis in South Carolina, a bipartisan mix of South Carolina leaders are criticizing Gov. Sanford’s decision to put his personal political ambitions ahead of the people of South Carolina by threatening to reject economic recovery funds that will create or retain jobs, improve education, and complete infrastructure projects throughout South Carolina. As one local paper reports, “South Carolina’s Republican-controlled General Assembly is poised to rebuff Sanford and seek the stimulus money on its own.”
“Mark Sanford is putting his personal ambition ahead of the people of South Carolina by cow-towing to the Rush Limbaugh-led, obstructionist wing of the Republican Party,” said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. “Now is not the time to politicize these practical steps to create jobs in South Carolina and across the country. Governor Sanford should stop playing politics and work with leaders from both parties who want to use the economic recovery funds to help create jobs, fix our schools, reform our health care system, make America energy independent, and lay the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st Century.”
He wants to use a quarter of South Carolina’s stimulus money to pay down the state’s debt and is seeking a waiver from Obama to do so. Exit question: A slam dunk VP choice for 2012, assuming he’s not nominated for president? The GOP will be looking to prove it’s not a regional party by having someone from outside the south top the ticket, so Sanford would provide geographic balance at the bottom. He’s young, he’s got a solid record on ethics (he kept his promise not to run for more than three terms in the House), and he’s a Christian who proved himself willing to stand up for separation of church and state by not endorsing the SC license plates with crosses on them. Toss in his adamant opposition to new spending and a public nauseated by endless bailouts should find him much to their liking circa 2011. I’ll repeat what I asked you the other day: Romney/Sanford?