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Arby's trolls Mark Sanford for quoting rival Wendy's slogan while campaigning in Iowa

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Mark Sanford Cardboard Trump08.JPG

Republican presidential candidate and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford held a press conference on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, at Alhambra Hall in Mount Pleasant. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

Republican presidential candidate Mark Sanford will campaign just about anywhere.

In a parking lot. At a hardware store. And, on Wednesday, outside an Arby's in Des Moines, Iowa.

With a roast beef sandwich in his right hand and a legal pad in his left, the former South Carolina governor tried to use the fast-food meal to take aim at President Donald Trump for failing to keep his word on campaign pledges. 

"Where's the beef on that promise?" Sanford said, referencing the U.S.-Mexico border wall while he waved the slider around, continuing to gesture to reporters with the sandwich still in hand.

But he made an error.

Arby's didn't take kindly to seeing its food used for political purposes, especially since Sanford used a decades-old Wendy's tagline to make his point. The brand account frequently takes aim at social media users in jest.

"Sir, this is an Arby's," the fast-food chain tweeted at Sanford.

The Arby's account has more than 847,000 followers.

Sanford, who launched a Republican presidential bid against Trump earlier this month, has 24,000 Twitter followers.

The former South Carolina congressman is in Iowa as part of a four-day swing through the Hawkeye state, which is home to the nation's first presidential caucus. Last week, he was in New Hampshire for three days.

So far, his efforts to connect with early state voters in both Iowa and New Hampshire have been centered around food.

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His schedule this week showed him making stops at Iowa restaurants like Zombie Burger, The Machine Shed and Jethro's BBQ.

The stump speech at Arby's was the last public stop on his Iowa tour.

In addition to drawing the social media slam from Arby's, Sanford's unconventional politicking led to some trouble on the trail.

According to a report from the NBC affiliate station in Des Moines, Sanford was reportedly kicked out of the Des Moines' annual World Food Festival on Sunday after soliciting attendees without a proper vending booth.

The TV station reported Sanford was then able to continue campaigning outside of the event venue.

Sanford, whose experience in politics spans decades, has often gravitated toward nontraditional campaign stunts.

As governor, he famously brought two kicking and squealing piglets to the Statehouse floor in 2004 to protest pork in the state budget.

Recently, he toted a life-size cutout of Trump across South Carolina to protest the state GOP's recent decision to not hold a presidential preference primary.

Sanford is one of three GOP candidates challenging the president in the 2020 contest. The two other candidates are former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh.

Trump has referred to them in tweets as, "The Three Stooges."

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.

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