{{show_title_date || "SC’s Sanford debates cardboard cutout of Nancy Pelosi, 4/24/13, 5:30 PM ET"}}

Mark Sanford takes on Pelosi - a cardboard cutout, that is


There are less than two weeks before voters in South Carolina’s 1st District head to the polls to decide the Congressional race between Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch, his Democratic challenger. A survey by Public Policy Polling released on Monday showed Sanford trailing Colbert Busch by nine points.

To try changing the dynamics of the race, Sanford wants to debate.  Colbert Busch has agreed to just one debate, instead focusing her campaign on public events.

But Sanford–you may have noticed–has a high tolerance for embarrassment. So on Wednesday morning, Sanford set up shop on a street corner in the district, podiums in tow. No Colbert Busch? No problem. Sanford set up a cardboard cutout of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. A recent Gallup poll showed Pelosi as the least liked leader in Congress. Her negative approval rating is perhaps one reason why she was given the role of Sanford’s cardboard debate partner.

“Since Elizabeth Colbert Busch refuses to articulate her views publicly, we are left to draw inferences for what she stands for on the basis of the groups that have made substantial monetary investments on her behalf,” Sanford said in a press release.

“While Mark Sanford continues his desperate campaign to deceive voters, Elizabeth Colbert Busch is spending her time with real people who support her campaign,” said Colbert Busch campaign spokesman James Smith.

Sanford’s campaign road has been bumpy. His ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, filed a complaint in family court this past February, accusing him of trespassing on her property. Under the stipulations in their divorce agreement, they are not allowed on each other’s property. The National Republican Congressional Committee announced that it would not provide financial backing for Sanford in the Congressional race.

Sanford bought a full page ad in Sunday’s Charleston Post and Courier, acknowledging his “rough week” and giving his own account of what led to Jenny’s Sanford’s trespassing allegations. (The fact that he considered it a rough week for himself–given the Marathon bombings–didn’t improve the public’s perception of him.)

Take a look at the Hardball Sideshow for more on the real Sanford versus cardboard Pelosi.