In a move out of the Clint Eastwood political playbook, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) engaged in a public "debate" on Wednesday with a life-size picture of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) while accusing Elizabeth Colbert Busch, his opponent in a May 7 congressional election, of ducking him.
"Since Elizabeth won't debate, I'm allowed to debate Nancy," Sanford said, before asking "Pelosi" to comment on allegations the National Labor Relations Board was moving to block a move by aircraft maker Boeing to build a plant in South Carolina. Sanford's successor, Gov. Nikki Haley (R) signed a deal worth $120 million in incentives on Wednesday for the company to expand its operations in the state.
According to The Hill, Sanford also accused Busch of running a "stealth campaign."
"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," he said.
Reuters reported on Monday that Colbert Busch leads Sanford by 9 points among likely voters.
"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 James Smith, a spokesperson for her campaign. "She doesn't have to resort to phony cardboard cutouts to talk with the people of South Carolina."
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that, while the candidates are scheduled for just one debate, on April 19, Colbert Busch's campaign agreed to a joint appearance with Sanford at a Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce event, just before they appear at a forum organized by the Goose Creek chapter of the NAACP.
Sanford is running his campaign without support from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which decided to stop funding him after it was revealed that he is due in court on May 9 to face charges of trespassing on his ex-wife's property, which would the terms of their 2010 divorce settlement.
Watch video from WCSC, posted online on Wednesday, below.
[h/t Now This Is News]