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GOP Rep Struggles to Explain Health Care Vote: ‘I Attempted to Read the Entire Bill’

Following the American Health Care Act’s very narrow passage through the House of Representatives, one would think that if you were House member who voted for the bill, you’d be prepared to answer questions about why you actually voted for it. Especially if you’re a congressman who was initially a no on the bill.

But Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) decided to show up on CNN this morning without those clear answers, and struggled to explain his yes vote.

When asked why he shifted from a yes to no, Sanford noted that the debate eventually came down to shifting the debate to the Senate, and he thought the bill became acceptable following recent amendments. This then led to the most obvious question that he should have expected coming into the interview, yet one that left him stammering.

“Did you read this entire bill?” Alisyn Camerota asked.

“I turned through every page,” Sanford responded. “As to whether or not I got through some of the details on some of the pages, no. But, yes, I attempted to read the entire bill.” (Sanford is far from alone when it comes to not reading the bill but voting for it.)

He went on to tell Camerota that she’d also gloss over it if she were him while simultaneously stating it was “relatively modest” in size. The South Carolina lawmaker then said he “read it as thoroughly” as he could when pressed on why he didn’t dive into it.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Sanford has had a tough time explaining himself. Infamously, when he was South Carolina’s governor, he attempted to use a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail as an excuse for a six-day absence. It later turned out he was in Argentina visiting his mistress, a scandal that led to a divorce and censure by the state legislature.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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