'Close Up' with Sanford gets national attention

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Local freelance interviewerQuintin Washington has picked up some national exposure this week afterinterviewing Rep. Mark Sanford.

Washington sat down with Sanford recently as part of his "CloseUps" series that he routinely posts to his YouTube channel. The interview waspicked up by Buzzfeed and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on her blog.

In one snippet of the interview, Washington asks Sanfordabout the government shutdown. Sanford responded back, saying the governmentdid not shut down, but there were "a lot of theatrics" involved in thesituation.

"I mean everyone likes to describe it as such. The president,in some cases, shut down parts of government that were most visible to people.People were still getting their Social Security checks. They're still enacting,enrolled in Medicare. I mean, I could go through a lot of different functionsof government. You know, we had planes that were flying on a nightly basis, youknow, using pieces of sort of our national infrastructure grid. So a lot ofthings were happening."

He goes on to talk about the closing of the monuments aroundWashington, D.C., focusing on the Lincoln Monument.

He says the shutdown battle sparked a larger debate onfiscal responsibility.

Since the interview's spread across the Internet, Sanford'soffice has responded, telling Buzzfeed that 80 percent of federal workerscontinued their duties and only a small percentage of the spending was haltedduring the stalemate.

"Given the scope of government services that continuewithout interruption during a lapse in appropriations, calling it a 'governmentshutdown' is overblown," the statement to Buzzfeed reads.

Washington's interview also touched on Sanford's oppositionto the Affordable Care Act, balancing the budget, the drilling moratorium oncoastal waters, and memories of his time in public service working with peoplelike John Graham Altman, "Lawnmower Man" Chris Cox, and his family.

Washington also asked about Sanford's future and what'scoming for 2016.

"If there's one thing that's abundantly clear, it's that Iain't running for president," Sanford said.

Washington's "Close Ups" series features one-on-oneinterviews with prominent members of Charleston's political and news scenes. Tosee previous interviews by Washington, click here.{}