Accuracy in Media

As America approaches the 2020 election season, two former elected Republicans continue to eye the chance to primary President Trump. Former two-term Massachusetts Governor and one time Vice Presidential hopeful, Bill Weld officially declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination on CNN in April of this year. Former Governor of South Carolina, and three-term US Congressman, Mark Sanford is the latest republican challenger to toy with the idea of primarying the president in the 2020 primaries to take the nomination.

BILL WELD

This weekend, the Republican challenger to Trump spent time at the Iowa Fair, where he did not persuade as many Republican voters as his team would lead on to believe. BuzzFeed News reported Weld arrived at the fair on Sunday in a quiet fashion compared to the huge crowds surrounding Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt).

“Trump is an ‘extreme racist,’” Weld said to reporters after his speech at the fair. BuzzFeed then reported “Trump called Mexicans rapists,” amongst a host of other statements. BuzzFeed did not mention that Trump denounced racism.

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” said Trump. 

Weld does not register in the polls and has raised less than $1 million in comparison to Trump’s $124 million.

MARK SANFORD

The former US Representative most recently lost his re-election bid to the 1st Congressional District in the 21st century in 2018, losing to Katie Arrington an American politician who served within the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2017 to 2019. According to the Post and Courier, Mark Sanford would not endorse Katie Arrington in the general election because Sanford believed, “part of leadership, at times, means knowing when it’s best to keep quiet… to me, this is probably one of those times.”

Sanford is amongst the latest republican challenger to publicly discuss running for President, attempting to defy all odds in defeating Donald Trump for the nomination. Recently, the former Governor took to CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” to explain his “Storm Coming” video released earlier this week.

Fox News and CNN have continuously covered Governor Sanford’s potential run for President over the last few months with some of the latest headlines coming from both news providers:

  • “Former Republican Congressman Warns a ‘storm’ is coming (CNN)
  • “Sanford, mulling GOP primary bid in 2020, confesses: ‘I don’t think anybody’s going to beat Donald Trump’ (Fox News)
  • Former GOP Rep. Mark Sanford eyeing challenge to Trump in 2020 (CNN)

Ultimately, Sanford has been traveling around New Hampshire, talking with voters and learning how they feel about the current political climate. The former congressman is keeping his word in deciding whether he will run, closing in on a Labor Day weekend decision.

PRESIDENTIAL COVERAGE BIAS

Most recently, Bill Weld and Mark Sanford have been claiming headlines and covered all over the media due to their idea in primarying the current president. Fox News and CNN especially have covered nearly every one of their moves as they make small waves. However, only one of those outlets continues to cover the president’s live coverage.

At the start of summer earlier this year, Trump held a rally in Orlando, Florida to officially kick-off his 2020 re-election campaign. An event that captured more than 19,000 attendees and millions of television viewers across the United States, CNN and MSNBC did not interrupt their regularly scheduled programming to cover his speech. Deadline also reported that “Fox News channel stuck with the rally” as many other live streams continued.




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