Mark Sanford: Stephen Colbert's not on the ticket

Sanford said Elizabeth Colbert-Busch's success in the polls right now is based on "name and ID"

Published April 3, 2013 1:09PM (EDT)

After winning a runoff race for the Republican nomination for Congress in South Carolina, former Gov. Mark Sanford said he's not worried that his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, has the backing of her famous brother.

"Well, you know, at the end of the day, Stephen Colbert's a very popular, you know, well-regarded comedian, but at the end of the day he's not on the ticket," Sanford said on MSNBC on Wednesday, according to TPM.

Addressing an internal poll from Colbert-Busch's campaign that shows her with a slight lead, Sanford said: "[W]e're going to have a debate about ideas, and I think that when people really begin to digest those ideas, some real strong contrasts in terms of where she would be vs. where I would be, I think that will substantially change a poll that I think now simply defines name and ID as people know it, not issue ID. And I think ultimately debates in campaigns are decided on issues."

But, as Politico reports, national Republicans are still concerned that Sanford could lose this race for the party:

The concern among national Republicans that Colbert Busch could steal the 1st Congressional District seat is so real that they’re prepared to do whatever it takes to shepherd the former Republican governor to victory — including dumping cash into the race, sources told POLITICO. But Sanford forces will have a hard time overwhelming Colbert Busch in the competition for dollars: Her brother is going all out to raise cash for his older sister.

“This race is by no means a slam dunk for Republicans,” said one national GOP official. “If anyone says they know how this race is going to play out, they’re kidding themselves.”

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Elizabeth Colbert-busch Mark Sanford South Carolina Stephen Colbert The Colbert Report