CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday left Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) stumped by a question on whether he’s “proud” of the Republican party, forcing the former South Carolina governor to charge the host with “asking a lot of strange questions tonight.”
Blitzer asked Stanford to react to a recent New York Times report that indicates Donald Trump’s relationship with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has “disintegrated” to the point where the pair “haven’t spoken in weeks.”
“How damaging is this to the Trump presidency?” Blitzed asked.
“I don’t know, Wolf,” Sanford admitted, shuffling awkwardly in his seat. “You’re asking me to go off on, you know, private speculation, private comment. I mean, I don’t know what was said, I don’t know what wasn’t said. I don’t want to get into Donald Trump’s mind, I don’t want to get inside Mitch McConnell’s mind.”
Sanford argued any infighting between the president and Senate majority leader is simply “conjecture,” insisting, “I’ll wait and see and see how that plays out.”
“But, congressman,” Blitzer pushed back. “If the relationship between the Republican president of the United States and the Republican leader in the Senate has so deteriorated that they’re not even speaking to each other right now, and that Mitch McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty the president will be able to salvage his administration, how extraordinary—you’ve been around for a while, so have I—this is pretty extraordinary, isn’t it?”
Sanford conceded “to that point” it’s “a real problem,” because it hinders the president’s ability to advance the GOP’s legislative agenda. Blitzer pointed out it’s also a real problem because it forces Republicans to choose sides between the president and McConnell.
“I guess the bottom line question … are you proud of where the Republican party is right now?” Blitzer pressed.
“Am I proud of it?” a visibly uncomfortable Sanford asked. “Oh, Wolf, you have a lot of strange questions tonight.”
“What I’d say is I think that it is an awfully tense time in politics right now,” he continued. “On the one hand you have a lot of the Trump supporters out there who legitimately are frustrated with their belief that nothing is getting done in Washington that improves their lives. On the other hand, you have people who are saying, ‘Wait a minute, some of the institutions that made this country great are being challenged in the process,’ and you’re going to have a real tug-of-war over the weeks, months and even years ahead between those two points.”
Watch the video below, via CNN: