Former GOP congressman Mark Sanford held an event in Philadelphia on Wednesday to announce the launch of his 2020 presidential campaign – only one person showed up.
The South Carolina Republican, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, held . giant check for “one trillion dollars” and stood behind a small wooden podium while delivering the announcement, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“Besides me, news conference attendees included two photographers — including a Philadelphia Inquirer photographer — and a 6ABC cameraman who showed up briefly,” wrote the Inquirer’s Anna Orso.
Sanford’s presidential bid is a massive uphill battle. He and the two other Republicans challenging Trump – former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – won’t even be eligible to run in the five states (so far) that have done away with primaries all together.
“Sanford, who is challenging a politician obsessed with crowd size, interacted with just one person who wasn’t a journalist, one of his two aides or the French teens,” Orso revealed.
The president’s approval ratings have held steadily above 80 percent among members of his own party for most of his tenure – a fact that almost certainly spells trouble for Sanford’s presidential bid. The South Carolina lawmaker’s history with the president also doesn’t help.
In the run-up to the 2016 election, Sanford was outspokenly anti-Trump, leading The Washington Post to label him “one of the president’s most eloquent critics.”
“He took a gun and shot me in the head,” Sanford told the Inquirer on Wednesday, referencing the president’s support for Sanford’s pro-Trump opponent in the 2018 primary election.
“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!” Trump tweeted the day of the primary.
Sanford, who still carries the shadow of an unsavory 2009 extramarital affair scandal over his head, seemed pragmatic on Wednesday about his chances of succeeding against Trump.
“If there’s an appetite in terms of people’s concerns on the financial realities of our country and the way in which we are at a tipping point, then there’s going to be some level of measure and movement with regard to the campaign,” he told the Inquirer. “And if there’s not, there won’t be. And it will be short-lived.”
As of time of publication, a video Sanford posted to his YouTube channel documenting his campaign launch has 194 views.