Republicans pull plug on Mark Sanford
By ALEX ISENSTADT, Politico
4/17/13 1:47 PM EDT
Blindsided by news that Sanford’s ex-wife has accused him of trespassing and concluding he has no plausible path to victory, the National Republican Congressional Committee has decided not to spend more money on Sanford’s behalf ahead of the May 7 special election.
The NRCC’s move comes hours after Tuesday night’s report by the Associated Press that Sanford’s ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, filed a court complaint accusing him of trespassing at her home in early February – which would be a violation of the terms of their divorce agreement.
(T)he news of the alleged trespassing once again thrusts Sanford’s damaged family life to the forefront of the campaign. It threatens to undercut his already shaky support among women, who polls show are unenthusiastic about voting for an admitted adulterer.
And, most dangerous of all, it undermines what had been the driving theme of the ex-governor’s campaign: that he has learned from his personal mistakes and put them behind him.
“The reason this is bad is because it takes all of Sanford’s problems in the past and takes them right into the present,” said one GOP official. “Every dollar that he’s spent reforming his image has been wiped away.”
“It’s an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court,” he said. “I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14 year old son because as a father I didn’t think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened.
“There is always another side to every story, and while I am particularly curious how records that were sealed to avoid the boys dealing with embarrassment are now somehow exposed less than three weeks before this election, I agree with Jenny that the media is no place to debate what is ultimately a family court matter, and out of respect for Jenny and the boys, I’m not going to have any further comment at this time,” Sanford said.