While being interviewed by ABC News’ Jake Tapper, potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) admitted that Cheney and Limbaugh’s leadership probably isn’t good for the Republican Party. He said that Limbaugh is one of those leaders, “who have had more than their share of time at a front-row seat.”
Here is the audio courtesy of Think Progress:
When asked if Cheney’s upfront role was good for the GOP, Sanford said, “Probably isn’t…Everybody needs a rest from any of us in the world of politics. It’s why I am such a proponent of term limits. For a republic really to work it means you are going to have new life, new perspective, and new ideas coming into that political body on a regular basis. You know, while somebody may have been at the top at one point, to really keep an invigorated political system, you’ve got to have new voices stepping in and stepping to the plate and giving their opinions. And any time you have some of the senior leaders continuing to lay out their case for what they believe; it probably usurps the voice of new leaders coming in.”
On Limbaugh, Sanford said, “It is the same deal here. The beauty of America is everybody gets to say their peace. While everybody is entitled to say their peace, I think there is a certain value to some of the folks who have had more than their share of time at front row seat of the table of what comes next in the conservative movement or the Republican Party to defer, to allow other folks coming up through the ranks to give their perspectives…I think all of us need to give everybody a little bit more elbow room with regard to making our voice heard. That means if you got a disproportionate microphone, you might want to share it.”
What Sanford is really saying is, “Get out of the way old men. It is our time now. You are holding the party back by not letting go of the spotlight and letting people like me have a chance.” The basic point that Sanford is making is correct. The GOP will never rebuild if the old blood doesn’t get out of the way. However, he is making this point for the purpose of clearing the way for his 2012 presidential run.
Sanford has already had a run in with Rush Limbaugh for calling Rush an idiot for saying that he wants Obama to fail. Sanford told Real Clear Politics, “I don’t want him to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we’re all in trouble.”
Limbaugh let Sanford off the hook on that one, but I have a feeling that a response will be coming if Sanford keeps it up. After playing his hand all wrong on the stimulus package, Sanford is a long shot for the GOP nomination in 2012, but he is making it clear that he is going to try to muscle his way into the spotlight.