Gov. Mark Sanford on 'Glenn Beck'

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," June 8, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: I want to go to South Carolina now and Mark Sanford — he is the governor down there.

Governor, I have to tell you — and maybe, you know, maybe, I'm crazy, and many people say I am — but the thing that frightens me here on this is when I think of California, the government comes in and saves it, you know, or they do it like they're doing with your state you now, jamming it down your throat — which they did with Bank of America, they did with Citibank, they did with G.M., they did with Chrysler — just jamming it down your throat and they come in and you've lost your sovereignty.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

Do you think that's a possibility at all?

GOV. MARK SANFORD, R-S.C.: Yes. I think that, you know, one of our big objections to the stimulus package was that in essence, the federal government — I mean, why have a state legislative body? Why have a governor at a local level? Why have county council? Why have folks at the, you know, at the municipal level if Washington is deciding it all?

In this case, what they were doing was they're basically deciding what our financial statement would look like in 24 months. Because with the stimulus package, when we spend it all, does in total, is to dig us a $1 billion hole 24 months from now, which we thought to be tremendously problematic, and now, on top of that, it prevented some restructuring, in our case, that was long overdue as a state.

So, I think if you take it from that angle, you got real problems — or based on the last conversation you're just having, you got tremendous problems going on in the private world, because what the Obama administration said when they said we pick the third guy is that we stand against private property rights and we stand against the rule of law — both of which have been the hallmarks of the American experience. What separates us from so many banana republics across the world is rule of law and private property rights.


SANFORD: So, you got an undoing of a lot of what that has made this country great. Sorry.

BECK: So, Obama said to you — you said, "We don't want the stimulus money." Obama says to you, "Yes, you're taking the stimulus money." It went to your Supreme Court, right?

SANFORD: Correct.

BECK: OK. And your Supreme Court...

SANFORD: We tried to get it into the federal court system, we couldn't. But, you know, it still ultimately got decided by the Supreme Court. It was decided at the end of last week. Our deadline was today. We signed the paperwork. But basically, what they did was they compelled us to go ahead and take this last piece of the money that we've been fighting over for the last couple of months.

BECK: Right.

SANFORD: And I think it's going to be a real mistake for taxpayers in our state and across this nation. I think it's going to be a real mistake for the school kids that will be paying the dead on this stuff. But basically, the Supreme Court — which, in our state, is elected by and appointed by the general assembly — said, "You got to take the money, you got to spend it all."

BECK: Right. And they also control the budget of the Supreme Court, right?

SANFORD: Correct.

BECK: So, I go back to the question that you said earlier, why have a governor at all? I mean, you're completely out of this.


SANFORD: In this one, yes. Now, if a hurricane hits this fall, they'll want me to make all kinds of decisions that won't be so nice, but when it comes to grabbing large chunks of money that Washington has left on the table, what they have said is, "We don't want a governor and we're going to decide it for you. We're going to do it differently than it's done in 49 other states in this country," where in every instance in those 49 states, the executive branch has control over this portion of the money — which in our state represents about $700 million.

BECK: Why did they — why did they need you to take it so badly? Why wouldn't they give to — Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "Let me take for California."


BECK: Why did they need you to take it so badly?

SANFORD: Because anybody in politics wants to have a good day if they can. And the way you have a good day in politics is not to make a tough decision. If you didn't get the money, we would have to make a lot of long overdue decisions with regard to restructuring outdated and inefficient programs in the state government. And instead, this federal money allows us for us to pay for it and deal with another — you know, those tough decisions another day.

I think that that's going to prove to be a giant mistake going down the road, but it is what it is and the courts have decided.

BECK: OK. So, I'm just looking at this: 53 percent of Democrats in your state say that you should have taken the money; 52 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of independents — which is bizarre — say that you should have taken the money.

Was there anyone — was there anyone in the majority on your side? There was nobody there.

SANFORD: Well, one, you know, you put in a quarter, you get the poll you want, has been my experience with polls. I don't know who did the poll or who's asking the question, or how it was asked.

BECK: Right.

SANFORD: But I would say, there is a silent majority out there that doesn't fit at all with those polls, who overwhelmingly were hard working small businesspeople who know what it's like to meet the bottom line, who had to actually make adjustments in their small businesses, who've actually had to — actually make real world sacrifices and they said, "Wait a minute, I don't get it. I don't know why government should be held to a different standard than my family is being held to or my small business is being held to."

So, I would say — one, I disagree with that poll. Two, what I would say is, if worrying about the popular flavor of the week or the month is the way we ought to be running a republic, then, you know, we're in big trouble — much bigger trouble than that poll would point to.

BECK: Governor...

SANFORD: I think that — again, we got to go back to the principles that made this country great and spending money you don't have to solve the problem created by too much debt is not one of them.

BECK: Yes. Governor, do me a favor, will you? Because I'm very concerned of the — about the lack — about the loss of state sovereignty — because they're doing it, whatever they're doing with the car companies, they're doing with — they're doing with the insurance companies, the car companies, the banks.


BECK: The only thing that they haven't done it with is the states and they're now doing it with you. But if you'd follow that and let us know and keep us up to speed on that. I'd appreciate it.

SANFORD: We will do that.


SANFORD: We will do that.

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