GERAGHTY: One of the curveballs that shook up this race was the trespassing charge against you. Is there any other news that you could foresee coming up in the final week before Election Day, when charges and counter-charges get most intense?
SANFORD: South Carolina is the poster child for strange campaign tactics on the eve of every election. Yesterday, the pornographer Larry Flynt supposedly endorsed my campaign. I don’t think it’s by accident that he is doing that five or six days before the general election. It’s an effort to bring the focus back to my personal life and the well-chronicled failure that has already been discussed at length.
The whole trespassing issue was unforeseen, because that information had been kept in records that were supposedly sealed for the good of our children. Wherever one is on these matters, you can have a mom and a dad who both legitimately and equally love their kids but see two different ways of showing it. That’s why we have a family-court system. These matters should never be deliberated in a larger venue, where it can get back to the kids and it can be brought up at school; it’s not a fair format for the children involved.
How it came out, I don’t have a clue. I guess there are always October surprises in November elections, and I guess that was ours.
Initially people were very concerned, but then they saw that there’s a broader story here. They say, “Whoa, you’re telling me he was at a Super Bowl party with one of his boys; his boy wanted to go home; the former wife was out of town; she was flying back that night; he called; he didn’t want the son to watch the game by himself — that’s a very different story.” People have seen the fuller context now.
GERAGHTY: There are two themes that your campaign has emphasized in the past weeks — one is the union that opposed the Boeing relocation to South Carolina, and the other is the idea that a vote for Colbert Busch is a vote for Nancy Pelosi. Are these your main closing themes, or is there some other closing message coming this week?
SANFORD: It wasn’t as much about unions, really, as about the idea that you have to make a choice. You can’t be all things to all people in the world of politics. On each vote, you have to go “yes” or “no.” Up until that debate, on most of these issues, Colbert Busch wanted to be “yes” and “no.” She could call herself an “independent businesswoman,” but at the same time she would go to a union hall and say, “I want to be your voice in Washington, D.C.”
We said, wait a minute. This is the “let’s stay undefined and that way I can be all things to all people” approach. We need to say where we stand on issues.
The union in question is the one that actually brought the case before the National Labor Relations Board. This isn’t just some odd contributor. If they had been successful, they would have prevented Boeing — arguably the biggest economic development in the Charleston area — from being here! You’ve got to pick one or the other; you can’t pick both. To date, she has not been willing to pick a side. You can pick Boeing — who gave our campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law — but you don’t get the luxury of being on all sides of an issue like this.
On Pelosi: We’re not just at a financial crossroads in this nation, but at a philosophical tipping point. If Pelosi were to become speaker again, I don’t think her solutions would be anything like the ones preferred by the people of this district. She’s been such a heavy player in this race. I’ve heard more about Nancy Pelosi’s opinions of me than I have about Elizabeth Colbert Busch’s.
GERAGHTY: In these last six days, as you and your campaign begin to focus on getting out the vote, is your biggest concern getting enough donations, volunteers, or some other factor?
SANFORD: It’s all of the above, although we have a ton of volunteers. We’re certainly resource-short relative to Pelosi and company. When they chuck in a million dollars, we just can’t compete with that. I took out an ad in the paper, and I told people, every time you see that ad, call up and talk to two or three friends. If enough people do that, we’re going to be okay in this race.
We’re working on having the resources we need to get our message on the airwaves. We’re going to wear out our shoe leather in these last couple of days.