Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch slapped Mark Sanford over his affair when he was governor in last night’s tense, and only, debate in the special election in South Carolina’s 1st District–and now the House Majority PAC is doing the same thing.
Obtained exclusively by The Daily Rundown, the Democratic super PAC’s latest television ad against Sanford features a female GOP voter from the district slamming the former governor for his disappearance from the state while in office and the disclosure that he was having an affair with an Argentinian woman.
“I used to be for Mark Sanford–but not anymore,” says Jennifer Stark of Mount Pleasant, S.C. “He skipped town to be with his mistress on Father’s Day. Sanford even asked his wife for permission to have the affair, and wasted our taxpayer dollars on himself.”
“I’m a Republican. But Mark Sanford just doesn’t share our values,” says Stark.
While other Democratic ads have heavily alluded to Sanford’s affair with the woman he’s now engaged to, House Majority PAC’s is the most direct yet. And it plays exactly to the demographic that Democrats know they must win over to be victorious–female Republican voters.
The ad shows footage from Sanford’s teary press conference when he returned from Argentina, after he had told his staff he would be hiking the Appalachian Trail.
The more recent bad headlines for Sanford flash across the screen, too–earlier this month, an AP report revealed his now ex-wife, Jenny, had accused him of trespassing,
National Republicans were blindsided by the accusations and they pulled funding from the race, dealing a serious blow to Sanford’s comeback bid.
Left to defend himself, Sanford’s gone on the attack against Colbert Busch for Democrats groups that have come to her side–including the House Majority PAC. Combined, Democratic groups have spent over $1 million on the race.
Sanford has criticized HMP specifically, and after they put his personal cell phone number in a fundraising pitch–he had printed it himself in a full-page apology ad in the local paper–he released out of state cell phone numbers that had called his phone.
The GOP nominee continued pointing fingers at Democratic outside groups backing Colbert Busch during their Monday evening debate. From NBC Politics:
Sanford’s fallback, time and again, during Monday’s debate was to tie Colbert Busch to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. When his Democratic opponent only agreed to one face-to-face encounter, Sanford took to debating a cardboard cutout of the former House Speaker on the streets last week.
“It’s not believable to me that someone gives you a million dollars and not expect something in return,” said Sanford, arguing his Democratic opponent would be a reliable vote for Pelosi.
But Colbert Busch fought back, and wasn’t afraid to bring up the governor’s past personal failings.
During a question on the sequester and how to slash federal spending Monday, Colbert Busch saw her chance to pounce.
“When we’re looking at fiscal responsibility,” said Colbert Busch, “it doesn’t mean you take the money we saved and leave the country for a personal purpose.”
Sanford said he didn’t hear Colbert Busch’s rebuttal and turned the question back to the sequester.
The special election takes place on May 7 for the chance to succeed now-Sen. Tim Scott. While an automated survey from the Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling last week showed Colbert Busch up nine points, both sides believe the race is much closer than that and likely within the margin of error.