Republican presidential candidate and former Rep. Mark Sanford (S.C.) formally kicked off his 2020 campaign on Wednesday in Philadelphia — and only one person showed up.
When the news conference began, Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Anna Orso said she was the only reporter to greet Sanford, who planted himself near Independence Hall next to a wooden podium and held a giant check that read “one trillion dollars.”
“Nobody knows me in Philadelphia. I get it,” Sanford told the Inquirer. “I think in life we all do what we can do, what’s within our power to have an effect. So we’re just sort of moving along as we go along.”
Orso noted that she was accompanied by an Inquirer photographer at the event and that a cameraman from another network who later made a brief appearance.
The news conference was also a platform to kick off Sanford’s 3,500-mile “Kids, We’re Bankrupt and We Didn’t Even Know It” road trip meant to ignite a “needed conversation” among Republicans about the rising debt, the Inquirer reports.
After his campaign kickoff, he was reportedly set to make stops in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
Sanford, a former governor of South Carolina, said last month that he would challenge President Trump in 2020 as a Republican, despite his low chances of winning the primary. At the time, he said he was particularly concerned about the debt and deficit spending.
“If there’s an appetite in terms of people’s concerns on the financial realities of our country and the way in which we are at a tipping point, then there’s going to be some level of measure and movement with regard to the campaign,” Sanford told Orso Wednesday. “And if there’s not, there won’t be. And it will be short-lived.”