South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford (S.C.), days after his loss to a pro-Trump candidate in a GOP primary, offered defiant words on “Morning Joe,” saying he will always pledge allegiance to the flag rather than a president.
Sanford blamed his loss on Trump, saying his election came down to people questioning whether he was for or against Trump.
“We swear an allegiance to the Constitution and we pledge allegiance to the flag and what was weird about this race that I’ve never experienced before in any race I’ve been a part of was an allegiance question where people say are you for or against the president,” Sanford said during the MSNBC interview on Thursday.
“I’ve never before had a question of allegiance to a person, rather than allegiance to the flag and Constitution and to a degree that’s what this race came down to,” he said.
Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina who has served in the House since 2013, was defeated by South Carolina state Rep. Katie Arrington in Tuesday’s primary.
Arrington criticized Sanford, a frequent critic of Trump’s, for being insufficiently loyal to the White House. Trump tweeted his support for Arrington and took a shot at Sanford on primary day, saying the former South Carolina governor was better off in Argentina.
Pledging “allegiance to Donald Trump,” Sanford warned Republicans, could be “a mistake on a soul level.”
“There are always trade offs in politics … but I think everybody’s has got to answer that question for themselves,” Sanford concluded.
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