Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Clemson University, Feb. 10, 2016, in Pendleton, S.C.
Photo by John Bazemore/AP

Trump question leaves House Republican stumbling

As much of the political world shifts its attention towards the South Carolina primary, MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki checked in this morning with Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), the state’s former governor. Sanford noted he’d heard from a lot of locals that supporting Donald Trump would help “send a message” to Washington. The Trump candidacy, the congressman added, has “tapped into” Republicans’ “frustrations.”
 
MSNBC Live, 2/11/16, 9:07 AM ET

GOP shifts focus to South Carolina

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., talks to MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki about the diverse electorate in the state and what role the Gov. Nikki Haley will have in the GOP primary.
Kornacki followed up with a pretty straightforward question, which apparently caught Sanford off guard. For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s the exchange:
KORNACKI: What about your role in all of this? I saw you over the summer when Donald Trump made some comments about Megyn Kelly, you seemed to say at the time that would rule out Donald Trump for you. Is that still true?
 
SANFORD: I like every other [several painful seconds of unintelligible sounds] what’s the word I’m looking for? Well, anyway, I couldn’t, uh….
He then changed the subject, shifting to more general thoughts on Trump. When Kornacki pressed further about Sanford’s personal perspective, the South Carolinian eventually said he doesn’t “think” he’ll support Trump, but he’s leaving it to “voters to decide.”
 
Sanford’s troubles were understandable. There were plenty of Republicans who effectively, if not literally, ruled out Trump as a possibility in 2015, when they still assumed the New York developer’s support would collapse. But many of those same GOP officials and lawmakers are now confronted with the real possibility that Trump will be their party’s presidential nominee.
 
Asked if the anti-Trump comments they made months ago still apply, Sanford probably isn’t the only one at a loss for words.
 
 

Donald Trump, Mark Sanford and South Carolina

Trump question leaves House Republican stumbling