How Trump Sealed Mark Sanford's Political Fate With a Single Tweet

Trump says South Carolina Rep. Sanford 'better off in Argentina,' endorses primary challenger

Trump says South Carolina Rep. Sanford 'better off in Argentina,' endorses primary challenger

U.S. Representative Mark Sanford is the latest Republican to learn a tough lesson - challenging President Donald Trump can be political suicide.

"Based on the numbers I see, I think I'll end up losing this election", he told supporters.

Sanford was struggling to pull ahead of state Rep. Katie Arrington, who had attacked the incumbent for his frequent criticisms of Trump.

The congressman, former governor and one-time presidential aspirant was trailing a little-known state lawmaker who slammed him for his repeated criticism of President Trump, the latest sign that the most risky thing to do in the modern GOP is dare to take on the president.

During the campaign, Arrington ran an ad in which she vowed to go to Washington to "get things done, not to go on CNN to bash President Trump".

Sanford made enemies as governor in 2009, when he disappeared to Argentina during an extramarital affair.

But Trump saved his first two tweets while back in the National Capital District's airspace for the now-departing SC congressman - and his opposition of Sanford exposed a rare chasm between himself and conservative Republicans.

Arrington narrowly defeated Sanford after Trump tweeted on election day that Sanford had been unhelpful, adding, "He is better off in Argentina".

Arrington, who made a campaign issue of Sanford's criticism of Trump, won 50.6 percent of the vote to Sanford's 46.5 percent with nearly all ballots counted. In Alabama, Rep. Martha Roby has been forced into a July runoff, because Republicans there are still furious that she called on Trump to quit the 2016 campaign after the release of a video in which he bragged about sexual assault.

After declaring victory Tuesday, Arrington asked Republicans to come together.

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"I would start by praising the president. and then say, 'But here's an issue in my local area where I have some disagreement or I'd like to be something different, '" Collins said.

In 2013, he won a special U.S. House election in South Carolina's 1st District, which he previously represented for six years. Sanford has just conceded.

Despite her attempt to tie herself to Trump, Arrington supported Florida Sen.

In another big Virginia race, Republican Corey Stewart - once a state chairman to Trump's presidential campaign who was sacked for protesting the Republican National Committee - won the Republican primary to face Democratic Sen.

He said he hoped his defeat would not dissuade other members from speaking out against Trump.

House Speaker Paul Ryan downplayed the rift between Sanford and Trump Wednesday and said there are always going to be winners and losers in the same party during primary season. "I'm for ideas that I've long stood for in my entirety of my time in office, '" he said. "He is better off in Argentina", the president wrote. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes.

President Donald Trump has congratulated his loyalist Corey Stewart for winning Virginia's Republican Senate primary. She will face Democratic challenger Joe Cunningham in the heavily Republican district this November.

In Virginia, a state legislator favored by the Virginia Democratic Party establishment won a crowded battle for the right to challenge one of the most endangered congressional Republicans in November's elections.

He said Tuesday he planned to wage a "vicious" campaign against Kaine. Democrat Hillary Clinton carried it over Trump by 10 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.

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