I have no hesitation in continuing to support Mark Sanford. I recognize that there is greater risk in supporting Sanford. He is far more easily attacked in the general than Bostic, his rival in the runoff. He is far less able to attack his eventual Democratic opponent.
But there is far more reward with Mark Sanford and it is a risk I am willing to take.
As I noted in my original endorsement,
It’s a sad commentary on the state of play in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District that no one stood forward more solid on small government issues. But no one did. There are several people who are running and all of them are good people.
None of them have the track record in their time in elected office as committed to small government as Mark Sanford. Sanford caused many of us to embarrass ourselves defending him as he was embarrassing himself and his family. . . .
We have values and when those values are betrayed by those who fight with us, we must often show them tough love and show them the door.
But we do a terrible job with forgiveness and rehabilitation. Mark Sanford walked out of the Governor’s Mansion and out of public life for a while. He comes back as conservatives in Congress are fighting on all fronts, out numbered, depressed, and needing every man capable of manning the ramparts.
Mark Sanford can man the ramparts. Unlike his opponents, he has a stellar and uncompromising record as a limited government, pro-life, fiscal conservative.
I am willing to forgive him. And I’m willing to be graceful. We need him. There’s no better alternative. He’s with us. I endorse him without reservation. I hope the voters of South Carolina will show him grace and put him back in the fight at this desperate hour for fiscal conservatives.
I stand by that even now. Mark Sanford is deeply flawed, but so are we all in different ways. Mark Sanford left his wife for another woman. Ironically, many on the left assailing him now would be raising a toast to him if he had left his wife for a man and joined their cause. Kudos to conservatives who will not do that.
And we should not praise Sanford the man. But between him and his runoff opponent, I know where Sanford stands on the issues, I know he will side with conservatives, not leadership, and I know that he will wage the better, more aggressive fight against the ever expanding leviathan.
At this point, when so many who we send to Congress in the name of small government betray us, that’s where I trust Mark Sanford to hold the line.
I hope South Carolina’s voters will give him a second chance because the country gets no second chances.