One of the questions asked frequently online is ‘why doesn’t the Republican Party stand up to President Donald Trump?’. Several of Trump’s policies go against traditional GOP stances, like the president’s attacks on free trade.
After Tuesday’s primary vote, some are pointing to the results in South Carolina as a possible answer.
Republican Representative Mark Sanford, the incumbent, faced state Representative Katie Arrington in the GOP primary for his seat in the House. Sanford publicly criticized Trump, at one point saying the president “fanned the flames of intolerance.”
Hours before the polls closed in South Carolina, Trump took to Twitter to comment on the contest between Sanford and Arrington.
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
It’s unclear if Trump saw the writing on the wall, that another GOP incumbent would lose their seat and sought to distance himself from Sanford or if the president’s Tuesday afternoon tweet cost Sanford his House seat.
Regardless, Trump took credit for Sanford’s defeat.
My political representatives didn’t want me to get involved in the Mark Sanford primary thinking that Sanford would easily win – but with a few hours left I felt that Katie was such a good candidate, and Sanford was so bad, I had to give it a shot. Congrats to Katie Arrington!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
Sanford stated Tuesday a president commenting on a primary was “fairly unusual.” Sanford added he’s “neither for nor against Trump” and bases his decisions on his political values.
Not all conservatives agreed with Trump’s view on Sanford.