Posted on | March 28, 2013 | 26 Comments
UPDATE 8:30 p.m. ET — Well, Mark Sanford had some good moments — in his closing, he quoted Barry Goldwater from memory — but Curtis Bostic was the winner. He pointed out the risk of having Sanford as the nominee: “Democrats are excited about the possibility of taking this seat back,” he said, pointing to polls that show that if Sanford wins Tuesday, Republicans “will lose this seat and lose it needlessly.”
As I said earlier, merely by sharing the stage with the better-known Sanford and holding his own, Bostic scored an important win. In his closing argument, Bostic described himself as a “fresh, new face” and said, “I know I’m the new guy. I’m ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.’ I’m asking for your vote.”
UPDATE 7:40 p.m. ET — OK, I’m prejudiced, but Curtis Bostic is winning this debate. He is well-spoken, articulate and humorous. One of his best lines so far was when he mentioned his service as a Marine: “My boots have been on the ground in places where the enemy was real and . . . that enemy was radical Islam.” He also keeps mentioning the Constitution, which is mighty popular with Tea Party folks. For Bostic to share the stage with Sanford and hold his own . . . #Winning.
* * * PREVIOUSLY (5:53 p.m. ET) * * *
Just picked up my media credential at Porter Gaud-School, site of tonight’s debate between Curtis Bostic and Mark Sanford in the Republican primary for the 1st District congressional seat. We then went to get some Zaxby’s Chicken. Just so you know — transparency! — the special South Carolina tip-jar has raised $365 for the trip so far. Here’s a report by Alexis Levinson of the Daily Caller:
In the past two days, Bostic has been endorsed by one-time presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum, as well as conservative commentator Ann Coulter and the 60-Plus Association, by way of spokesman Pat Boone.
Santorum called Bostic’s second place finish “a win for the strength of his grassroots supporters and his robust conservative values,” and spent Wednesday in South Carolina campaigning for Bostic. During that time, he made a backhanded jab at Sanford and his “values.” The former governor left office surrounded by a cloud of scandal after he disappeared from the state, and upon his return, was forced to reveal that he was having an affair with an Argentine woman who is now his fiancé.
“I know I’m going to get the question about Curtis’ rival,” Santorum said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I believe in redemption. I believe in second chances. I have lost races for president and the Senate and I believe people can come back and serve. But the choice here for the people of the Lowcountry is, ‘Who is the best person who can represent you and your values in Washington, D.C.?’”
Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator whose son attends The Citadel and who might run for president again in 2016, said Bostic was strong on all three areas most valued by conservatives: a strong military, limited government and social and moral issues.
“He’s talked about the values of the Lowcountry,” Santorum said. “This is a ‘Mr. Smith goes to Washington.’?”
You should follow the hashtag #SC01 on Twitter.
UPDATE: The requisite photo:
National Affairs Desk, Porter-Gaud School, March 28, 2013