Republican group wants Sanford to run

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

At least one faction of the Republican Party thinks South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford should run for president.

The National Board of the Republican Liberty Caucus passed a resolution encouraging Sanford to seek the office in 2012. It cited the way Sanford has voted his conscience on tough issues.

Dave Nalle, chairman of the California-based caucus, said: "In his two terms as governor of South Carolina, Sanford has shown independence and creativity and acted as a vigilant guardian of taxpayer interests."

The caucus is far from the highest profile organization within the GOP. It has no South Carolina chapter, and Charleston County Republican Chairwoman Lin Bennett said she has never heard of it.

"I guess they're like everyone else. No one wants to listen to Mark when he says, 'You know I don't want to run anymore,' " she said.

Sanford press secretary Joel Sawyer said Thursday he had not heard of the caucus' endorsement but said, "It's very kind and very flattering, but it's nothing he has any intention of doing."

Sanford's national political profile rose this spring as he tried to use part of the federal stimulus money to pay down the state's debt instead of using it to prop up next year's budget. His position was popular among many rank-and-file conservatives but much less so with GOP lawmakers. The S.C. Supreme Court ultimately overruled him last week.

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