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Republican Mark Sanford ends his campaign to challenge Trump in 2020

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Mark Sanford dropped his challenge to President Trump for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, and said the focus on deposition has made it impossible for his campaign to get a grip.

"You must be a realist," Sanford said outside the New Hampshire state house. "What I did not expect is a deposition."

The former South Carolina governor and congressman announced his decision to suspend his campaign on the eve of television hearings in the American House. He focused his bid on warnings about the national debt, but said the accusation effort was damaging his campaign.

"It was a long shot, but we wanted to try to include this issue, how much we spend, in the national debate that takes place every four years," Sanford said. "I don't think there is a sense on the Republican side for a nuanced discussion of issues when an accusation hangs over me."

Sanford's departure from the race is the final blow to the struggling "Never Trump" movement that failed to attract a major GOP challenge for Trump this cycle. The only major options available to Never Trump Republican primary voters are now former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh. Sanford did not undertake to support the campaigns of the challengers on Tuesday.

"I give him the credit for taking a shot, for really trying," said Bill Kristol, a director of Defending Democracy Together, a 501 (c) (4) conservative anti-Trump group. "So few Republicans have had the guts to act."

Weld said in a statement that Sanford & # 39; s "vote in the primaries will be missed." In an interview, Walsh said he never understood why Sanford was taking part in the race.

"This is not about debt and this is not about rates and it is not about a problem," Walsh said. "Trump is unsuitable. It's an emergency, and that's the only reason why you get a primary against a sitting president."

When Sanford made an offer in the summer, some people who had known him for decades asked him if the entire campaign was a publicity stunt. Joel Sawyer, the long-standing gubernatorial spokesperson and press secretary of Sanford, said in July that while Sanford & # 39; s dedication to fiscal restraint is deep in his personality, it was accompanied by his desire for publicity and attention.

Sanford, 59, won three installments for U.S. House in the nineties, then two four-year terms as governor before an extramarital affair affected the end of his second term. But Sanford's secret meeting in 2009 to Argentina to visit his paramour, while his government officials in the dark told reporters that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, did not stop his ability to win elections.

After a brief interruption and divorce, he returned to politics and won a special election for his old chair in the American House in 2013, which held twice before his criticism of Trump led to a primary loss of 2018.

Sanford had transferred about $ 1.3 million from his days in the US House to his presidential primary challenge for Trump, but his fundraising for presidential campaigns would have been bland without the help of the prominent Republicans who had promoted his earlier campaign activities.

Sanford was less critical of Trump than the other primary competitors, although he warned voters in New Hampshire that Trump could become the modern Herbert Hoover, who was president when the Great Depression began. The purpose of his campaign, Sanford emphasized, was not to base & # 39; Trump & # 39 ;.

Aside from accusation, the Sanford campaign was confronted with other obstacles when a handful of state parties canceled their primaries and other nominative competitions, including in Sanford & # 39; s home state of South Carolina, prior to Trump's re-election effort.

But the noise of accusation, not election, has driven Sanford out of the race.

"Again, our campaign may be a victim of this process, but there is a much larger victim there," Sanford said Tuesday. "That is a debate on any subject other than deposition."

Trump previously had its & # 39; Three Stooges & # 39; mentioned, and according to the latest campaign financing reports, they all had difficulty with fundraising.

After Sanford left the race, Walsh asked for & # 39; one alternative to Trump, & # 39 ;.

"I think Republicans and conservatives and independents need an alternative, one, and I think having the three of us was just rather confusing," Walsh said.

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