Outgoing GOP lawmaker: Republicans better hope Trump is a 'blip' or we'll find ourselves in 'no man's land'
Mark Sanford/Screenshot

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), an outgoing lawmaker who was defeated by a pro-Trump primary challenger earlier this year, told CNN on Wednesday that his party had better hope President Donald Trump doesn't do lasting damage to its brand.

Sanford noted that, even though he was defeated by Katie Arrington this past summer, Arrington herself eventually lost South Carolina's First Congressional District to Democrat Joe Cunningham.

To Sanford, this shows the limits of running as a Trump Republican in a general election where the opponent isn't Democrat Hillary Clinton. However, he also expressed optimism that Trump's hold on the party would be short lived.

"This is a temporary blip on a radar screen," he said.

"Is it?" asked a skeptical CNN host John Berman.

"I hope so," Sanford said. "If not, we're in real trouble. The roots of the Republican Party run much deeper. A lot of people work for years, generations even, in the traditional components of conservatism. I'm simply saying we have to go back to our roots going forward -- if not, we are going to find ourselves in something of a no man's land in political ground and in policy ground."

Watch the video below.