On Mon., Sept. 30, former S.C. governor and congressman Mark Sanford appeared on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah to talk about his run for president. Specifically, Noah started with the question: “You are doing what many experts believe is the impossible. You are running against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. Why would you embark on a suicide mission?”


Sanford made it clear that he wants to talk about the national debt, bring Republicans back to being the party of fiscal responsibility, and the tone President Trump takes. Although Trump promised to eliminate national debt in eight years, his budgets are projected to add $9.1 trillion in the same time, to a total of $29 trillion.

Noah asked if Donald Trump doesn’t represent the Republican party, then why his approval ratings remain so high among Republican voters? (Trump currently has a 91 percent approval rating among Republicans according to Gallup.) “Is it possible that he doesn’t represent the party or do you think that maybe yourselves as the lawmakers have lost touch with what Republican voters actually want?” Noah said.

“That’s the 94 dollar question. That’s what I’ll find out over the course of this campaign. So it’s either all the conversations I had over 25 years of politics, in the house and in two terms as governor, either they didn’t matter and they weren’t real or or they were,” Sanford answered.


The two go on to talk more about the economy (“We’re headed for the biggest financial storm our country has ever seen outside of the great depression”), why a Republican should vote for him rather than Trump (“I’m offering them truth [about the economy]”) and impeachment, which Sanford did not want to speculate: “I don’t want to prejudge the process. … But it would seem to me, at first glance, that’s where you’d end up.”

Noah said Sanford “may be the only candidate I’ve ever heard say ‘I don’t think I will win and that’s fine’ but I’m running for a different purpose.” Sanford reiterated why he was running, and made the stakes clear:

“What you can’t do, I come from the coast of South Carolina, we have hurricanes that regularly hit our coast. If you’re a weatherman and been involved with politics for a long of time and have some degree of record on deficit spending and that sort of thing, to look at what is coming our way and simply say nothing. I mean, we are playing with the fire that breaks apart civilizations. You look at where we’re going on spending. You look at where we’re going on institutions. You look at where we’re going on civility and tone. Those are the things that break apart a civilization.”

Watch Sanford’s full Daily Show appearance on Comedy Central.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.