In an interview with reporters on the campaign trail, Sanford — a former U.S. Representative for the Palmetto State and one of three Republicans challenging the president in the 2020 election — was asked if he believed the president was “scared” of competition by “trying to quash” it.
Sanford said that he did believe that someone on Trump’s “organization is scared” and attributed the lack of Republican primary elections in some states to that fear.
The former South Carolina governor went on to say that it would not make “sense” otherwise because people in the political world would make the moves to “lock in” a candidate who would easily win.
Watch the video here:
2020 Watch-New: Long-shot @realdonaldtrump GOP presidential primary challenger @MarkSanford – on the scrapping of the primary in his home state of S.C. – claims "I think somebody in his (Trump's) organization is scared, which is why you squash these nominating contests" pic.twitter.com/HwhA4fL5Ic
— Paul Steinhauser (@steinhauserNH1) September 20, 2019
“Otherwise, it makes no sense because, again, if you have a chance to lock in a 90 percent win in the world of politics, you do so,” said Sanford.
Earlier this month, Trump’s re-election campaign Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh told Fox News that the president’s 2020 campaign did not have anything to do with the states calling off their primary elections, pointing out that “there are volumes of historical precedents to support them.”
The former governor was then asked about a recent Fox News poll that found that 86 percent of Republican primary voters have thrown their support behind Trump, and whether or not any of them could “realistically” beat the president in a primary election.
Sanford said that the primary process was just starting out and that “we’ll find out” if the president can be beaten in a primary challenge.
“I mean, that’s what contests are about,” added Sanford. “… You just never know in the world of politics.”