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Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford Come Out Swinging in Debate

Patch sponsored the only debate between the former South Carolina governor and Stephen Colbert's sister Monday night at the Citadel. Both sides drew blood.

In a raucous debate in front of an animated crowd of South Carolinians, former S.C.

Gov. Mark Sanford and maritime executive Elizabeth Colbert Busch sparred over issues of immigration, debt, health care, gay marriage and local employment.  

Watch the full replay of the debate here.

Colbert Busch came into the evening ahead in the polls, and the consensus was that this was perhaps Sanford’s last, best chance to change the dynamics of the race for South Carolina’s first congressional district. As such, Sanford came out on the attack, and Colbert Busch worked to parry him and counterattack throughout the night.

With an apparently friendly audience on her side, she seemed to weather Sanford’s attacks throughout the evening. When Sanford tried to embarrass her by pointing out that she had donated to his gubernatorial campaign, Colbert Busch said she was guilty of listening to Sanford’s campaign promises about supporting maritime businesses, and that “You didn’t tell the truth. You did the opposite.”

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Colbert Busch fought back. In what may have been a novel attempt to avoid an embarrassing discussion of his extramarital affairs and “disappearance” during this term as governor, Sanford claimed he didn’t hear Colbert Busch when she referenced the scandal.

Colbert Busch cast herself as a self-made woman who “started off making $6 an hour,” but climbed her way up the corporate ladder to be a successful executive. While she said Obamacare was greatly flawed, she cheered the fact that under the legislation, “You can’t charge a woman more based on gender.”

For his part, Sanford linked himself to a range of conservative causes: Ronald Reagan, the budget-slashing congressional class of 1994 of which he was a part, and the Cato institute. And he tried to link Colbert-Busch to Obamacare, federal stimulus money and, most frequently, Nancy Pelosi.

On immigration, the two candidates argued to a standstill about the bill that South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham and seven other senators have supported. Sanford said he “would not vote for the bill in its present form.” Colbert Busch said she would support it, because, “We need tough, fair immigration form. You pay your taxes, you pay your fines, and you got the back of the line for a path to citizenship.”

In a striking display of how much the ground has shifted on the debate around gay rights, Sanford worked to disassociate himself from his vote for the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s, while Colbert Busch celebrated gay marriage (and quoted Dick Cheney) in calling it “a civil rights issue.”

Both candidates promised to reach across the aisle in Washington, D.C. if elected. Sanford said the scandals that dogged him as Governor would allow him to return to D.C. more humble. He said he was worried about the direction of the country if drastic spending changes weren’t made.

Colbert Busch promised to focus on the economy and take a pay cut as she was trying to get the nation’s “fiscal house in order” and sounded a hopefuly final note, announcing that “our best days are ahead of us.”

JoSCh April 30, 2013 at 04:26 PM
"thirteen years in IT field supporting higher education" What school? I hope not one that accepts public funds, otherwise it means you were a gov't employee like Ms Colbert-Busch. I believe the standard GOP response to you would be get a real job you commie!
JoSCh April 30, 2013 at 04:30 PM
One word CLINTON Who was the only president to run a balanced budget since LBJ? I'll take More Stupid Responses on the Internet for $600 Alex.
JoSCh April 30, 2013 at 04:33 PM
You're comparing infidelity with necrophilia? Weak troll that doesn't work when GOPtards use it to argue against gays, why would it work here? Now who's the hypocrite?
Tony April 30, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Here a little info for you, try to name a school that don't public fund in one or another? Yes, the college I work for receive public funds that accounts for about 20% of our funding. As far as get a real job; my previous jobs were public supported and on a few of the republican field could handle nine year in the Corps or a week working the blocks/units of a 1000 man jail. As far the commie part; well first reaction that try to control these day is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_Brooks
JoSCh April 30, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Oh I'm not saying you're a commie or that working for a school isn't a real job, I was just pointing out the standard GOP response that has been used on Colbert-Busch. I'm a progressive leaning conservative liberal; I support publicly funded higher education for candidates that qualify and the staff required to provide it, including IT staff. I don't get the Preston Brooks reference.
Tony April 30, 2013 at 05:58 PM
I understand that the normal that the normal GOP response; still make me mad. While I don't fit in either party; I do feel the two major parties are destroying our country if left uncheck. Preston Brook was a young SC Representative who beat Senator Sumner on the Senate Chamber floor after he dishonor Senator Butler of South Carolina. But these days I do attempt not to go to such externe, but I would defend honor and I know I wouldn't be "welcome" to a luncheon with either party.
Tony April 30, 2013 at 06:03 PM
oops; extreme
JoSCh April 30, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Jesus, Preston Brooks was a terrible person.
Jonathan Allen (Editor) April 30, 2013 at 07:56 PM
A user comment in this thread was removed at the request of the user. — Jonathan
Poesy19 April 30, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Gunny-Newt left office in a scandal, too! I am in his district. He left right after he was reelected!
Tony April 30, 2013 at 09:38 PM
We saw just that during the primary and that how we are at this point in the election. Where the republicans don't have there best candidate running against Ms. Busch because the vetting process was done with the nice guy approach. Which I'm starting to think it was done by the direction of the party, so as to allow Sanford to rise back to the top. With 16 candidates it was no surprise we were going to have a runoff and everyone was predicting Sanford being one of two in the runoff.
Tony April 30, 2013 at 09:50 PM
LoL, well you need to remember the times. We are talking dueling or in this case because Brooks felt that Sumner wasn't a gentlemen do to how he dishonor Butler, so he beat him like a drunkard. It wasn't the first fight on the floor of either chamber, but this had some South Carolinians characters.
Bong Sativa April 30, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Sanford's a joke & his candicacy is an embarassment ! Only the infamous Fred Merkel has pulled a bigger boner than "Bonehead" Sanford's Appalachian Trail Betrayal Fiasco forced him to relinguish the limelight he so craves (many present GOP voters were on hand to watch Merkel humiliate himself to) ! Repent,retire & for God's sake relocate !!!
Dean Lawson May 01, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Sanford is a major embarassment to the great state of South Carolina.
Joan Peters May 01, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Jim, I understand athiests, although I pity the emptiness they must feel. What I don't understand is the anger you display to those of us who have Jesus' peace within us. Why does it piss you off so much? I'm very sorry for you and I'll pray for you that Jesus' love and peace comes into your life. May God bless you and walk with you.
Joan Peters May 01, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Sorry, JoSCH, Clinton did not have a balanced budget. The president can't lick a postage stamp without Congress' permission. That balanced budget was all Newt Gingrich and guess who was in Congress with him? Yeah that's right, Mark Sanford. We'd have a balanced budget today, right now, if Harry Reid would allow it to come up for a vote, but he blocks everything.
Joan Peters May 01, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Reg, you are incorrect. There is no money in Social Security "Account" Only IOU's. The Gov't takes all the money that comes in and spends it elsewhere. The only thing on the balance sheet is the debt owed to the retirees.
Joan Peters May 01, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Gunny, I know Nancy Pelosi's positions and ECB will do as she is told.
Joan Peters May 01, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Gunny, noone said he was perfect. Are you perfect? I just KNOW how he will vote and he will vote and work for fiscal sanity.
Tony May 01, 2013 at 02:53 PM
I do agree with that statement 100%
stanley seigler May 01, 2013 at 02:53 PM
not a fan of organized religion and literal interpretation of the Bible...but doubt there are any 'true believer' atheists...eg; a quote from WWII: 'there are no athiests in a foxhole.'
JoSCh May 01, 2013 at 02:58 PM
These IOUs you refer to are what Americans call Treasury Bonds.
JoSCh May 01, 2013 at 03:27 PM
I know you are but what am I? Classic defense Joan. Classic. Using your "logic" it was Newt Gingrich who torpedoed the economy in 2007 by passing the CRA to allow Fannie/Freddie to sell debt when he was Speaker. Or was that Clinton gone rogue? Maybe Obama used his Kenyan time machine? Couldn't have been the majorities fault and certainly not Newts. I mean, it's not like he was ever paid by Freddie Mac for two separate stints as a lobbyist/consultant after he was ousted by his own party... right?
JoSCh May 01, 2013 at 03:37 PM
I generally identify myself as an agnostic. I go to church on occasion and I enjoy the general message, the fellowship, and the singing. But when I see more and more the repulsive sanctimonious disingenuousness of whatever brand of Christianity that Joan Peters is projecting it makes me WANT to be an atheist. Just so I can completely disassociate myself from those kinds of people.
stanley seigler May 01, 2013 at 03:54 PM
@joan peters re: Harry Reid blocks everything really now, thought that was GOP JOB#1, eg; 'Senate minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that his top priority was to ensure that Barack Obama was a one-term president. In his failed pursuit of that goal, he has lead his party to unprecedented obstructionism, abusing the filibuster to bring all Senate business to a halt.' 'Filibustering includes any use of dilatory or obstructive tactics to block a measure by preventing it from coming to a vote.'
Ajay Jain May 04, 2013 at 07:02 AM
Watch the ONLY debate between Colbert and Sanford and vote! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpPy5u7EszM
Ajay Jain May 04, 2013 at 08:02 AM
Would you Watch Colbert and Sanford debate and decide who to vote! https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
Frank Mockery May 04, 2013 at 07:06 PM
As usual you've avoided answering the question,where do the divinely delusional draw the line as to unsuitable behavior ? Would you vote for a child molester or wife beater if he was a Republican who shared your political viewpoint,instead of a Democrat who's above reproach ? Anyone considering voting for Sanford should pray for guidance & anyone who inexplicably votes for him despite his numerous shortcomings should pray for forgiveness (whether this worked for him or not remains to be seen) !
Ajay Jain May 04, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Watch the ONLY debate between Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford and decide who to vote for! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpPy5u7EszM
Chris Winston May 06, 2013 at 03:14 PM
With polls opening in less than 24 hours, Patch wants to know: Why should Elizabeth Colbert Busch be the next congresswoman? http://charleston.patch.com/articles/speak-out-why-should-elizabeth-colbert-busch-be-the-next-congressman Or, why should Mark Sanford be the next congressman: http://goosecreek.patch.com/articles/speak-out-why-should-mark-sanford-be-the-next-congressman

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