By
Morning Joe
updated 2/18/2013 1:20:19 PM ET 2013-02-18T18:20:19

Former two-term South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has emerged with his first television ad since announcing last month his intentions to run for Congress.

Former two-term South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has emerged with his first television ad since announcing last month his intentions to run for Congress.

Sanford is one of 16 GOP members and two Democrats running for the seat Tim Scott vacated when he moved to fill Jim DeMint’s seat in the Senate.

Perhaps now best known for having a mistress, journalist Maria Belén Chapur, while serving as governor and for his 2009 trip to Argentina to see her, Sanford is now looking to rehabilitate his image and return to Congress.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski considered Sanford’s political ad on Monday and concluded that he’s got a good shot at winning the seat.

“The guy left with an approval rating close to 60%. How’s he doing in this race?,” Scarborough asked Time’s Mark Halperin.

“Despite his personal failings, he’s a great politician. He has great fingertip feel,” Halperin responded

In the ad, a solitary Sanford looks into the camera and directly addresses the extramarital affair that effectively had him censured by the South Carolina General Assembly due to an ethics investigation into whether or not he used state funds for his travel to Argentina.

“…I’ve experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. But in the wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances and be the better for it. In that light, I humbly step forward…,” Sanford says in the ad.

How does Scarborough feel about Sanford’s odds of taking the 1st District?

“I would have supported him in 2012 without a second guess. I think people are far more forgiving. This is not 1950. They’re going to judge him by his life’s work,” Scarborough stated.

The Associated Press’ Seanna Adcox reports that Sanford has $1.2 million in the state campaign coffers and that he’s no stranger to the state’s 1st District.

Video: Scarborough: I would've supported Sanford in 2012 without a second guess

  1. Closed captioning of: Scarborough: I would've supported Sanford in 2012 without a second guess

    bob's doctor recommended a different option: math doesn't add up, and so for years while many have talked, i've fought to do something about it. i've cut spending, reduced debt and made government more accountable. more recently i've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. but we can learn about a god of second chances and be the better for it. in that light, i humbly step forward and ask for vur help. i'm mark stanford.

    >> he announced in january he's going to be running for congress. a lot of people i know for dragging him into the race. in this case it actually happened. and as you know, the guy left with an approval rating close to 60%. how's he doing in this race.

    >> he's a great politician, and just my instinct is that had his perfect pitch for combining talking about spending fiscal issues, which was what his hallmark was in congress and before as governor, and the re-dempsey, very strong opening spot for a guy in a position to win that seat.

    >> i can tell you when i was in congress, there was nobody more courageous than mark. i always tell the story where i'm sitting, gingrich's people are yelling at us saying we're going to destroy you guys. we're going to cut everything in your district and you're going to voted out, and i'm sitting there next to make saying, this is not good, this is not good. i've burned one bridge too many. and mark looks up and starts laughing and says, are they threatening us? and he got up and walked out. and they just flows, scared to death. that was just mark. he put long-term debt ahead of everything else.

    >> well, he was a politician with a lot of national potential before this thing happened with him. a lot of republicans thought about him as somebody who could have been a serious 2016 player before this happened.

    >> i would have supported him in 2012 without a second guess. and i think people are far more forgiving. this is not 1950 . i think you judge him by his life's work. remember bill clinton ,

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