Sanford steps out on path to political comeback

By Eric

CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) -- Former Governor Mark Sanford has stepped out onto the political comeback trail. Sanford made his candidacy official Wednesday for South Carolina's First Congressional District.

He discussed openly his thoughts behind the decision.

"There's been this strange opening of doors, and I don't know exactly what it means but we'll find out here in nine weeks," Sanford said.

The former governor and Congressman is confident he has something to offer. And it comes at time when some say his fiscally conservative credentials could benefit the current Congress.

"Not in our kids kid's lifetime, but in our lifetime and our immediate kids lifetime, if we don't get this thing solved, we're going to see destruction of the American dollar, destruction of the American dream and the opportunity it's provided," he said.

Sanford also had his four sons in mind when he chose to re-enter the political world. He told them he would not run for office if they didn't approve.

"We had lengthy conversations about go versus no-go, but ultimately they know me, they love me, they said, 'Dad this seems to be hard wired in you,'" he said.

Sanford said he knows this race will make national headlines because he's in it. But regardless of the scrutiny, and his past shortcomings, he hopes to be accepted.

"I failed, I very publicly failed. I've dealt with the aftermath, I'm a wounded warrior; I got it," he said. "But you still feel like you have something to contribute, and you still feel like you could make a difference, so you got to try."

In doing so, Sanford plans to steer the focus toward his report card of fiscal reform and investments that landed in the state when he was in office.

When asked if he could do one thing to fix the current Congress, Sanford replied, "If I had a giant wand, oddly enough it would be a spending wand. The biggest risk, the biggest threat to America and American sovereignty is the debt. That polarization (in Congress) has got to come to an end around some solutions, if not we're in real trouble."

It will be left up to the voters to choose to give him a second chance.

Sanford said he would "absolutely not" run if his former wife Jenny Sanford was also a candidate.