Sanford, Colbert Busch sound off in debate - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Sanford, Colbert Busch sound off in debate

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Former Governor Mark Sanford and Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch sounded off in the first and only debate for the 1st Congressional District seat.

During the packed debate, attended by more than 500 people, the candidates had a chance to discuss their feelings on issues such as gun control, the Charleston Port, immigration reform and a host of other political hot button issues.

Throughout the debate, both candidates said they will work to get the finances of the country in order. Sanford discussed his experience as a Congressman and Colbert Busch discussed her experience as a businesswoman. One of debate issues of the night was the Charleston port. Colbert-Busch discussed Sanford's lack of support as a big issue for the race.

As a rebuttal, Sanford discussed Colbert Busch's donations to his gubernatorial campaign, shortly after leaving Congress.

"If it was not simply a political statement at this moment, I don't think you would have written me a 500 dollar check after I left the United States Congress as I began to run for Governor," Sanford said.

Colbert Busch said she did give money, but also said the Governor failed to live up to the promises he made to the port.

One of the recurring issues of Monday night's debate was how Colbert Busch financed her campaign. Sanford brought up the discussion of Democratic donations multiple times throughout the night, saying the Liberal ideals the donors believe in don't match up to what Colbert Busch has been promising. She shot back saying the only opinions that matter are the opinions of the voters.

"Nobody tells me what to do except for the voters in the First Congressional District," she said.

After the debate, News 2 spoke with the candidates about the issue. Colbert Busch said her support has primarily been local and not fully made up of Washington D.C. politicians, as Sanford alleged.

"We raised $870,000, which two thirds came from here, so I think it's a little off base," Colbert Busch said.

Sanford discussed a possible hidden agenda with the donations.

"If a million dollars is going to be spent from folks from out of state, what's their goal? Is it to have [Nancy] Pelosi elected as House Speaker in 2014? Is it to ensure President Obama's agenda," he said.

The governor's personal issues also made up a part of the night's discussion as Colbert Busch alleged he abandoned the state during the same time he refused stimulus money from the Obama campaign.

"When we talk about fiscal spending and protecting taxpayers, it doesn't mean you take the money that was saved and leave the country for a personal purpose," she said.

Sanford shot back, citing another politician's struggles with his personal life.

"Do you think that President Clinton should be condemned for the rest of his life based on a mistake that he made in his life," he said.

The election for now Senator Tim Scott's seat is May 7th.

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