'Close Up' with Sanford gets national attention - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

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'Close Up' with Sanford gets national attention

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Local freelance interviewer Quintin Washington has picked up some national exposure this week after interviewing Rep. Mark Sanford.

Washington sat down with Sanford recently as part of his "Close Ups" series that he routinely posts to his YouTube channel. The interview was picked up by Buzzfeed and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on her blog.

In one snippet of the interview, Washington asks Sanford about the government shutdown. Sanford responded back, saying the government did not shut down, but there were "a lot of theatrics" involved in the situation.

"I mean everyone likes to describe it as such. The president, in some cases, shut down parts of government that were most visible to people. People were still getting their Social Security checks. They're still enacting, enrolled in Medicare. I mean, I could go through a lot of different functions of government. You know, we had planes that were flying on a nightly basis, you know, using pieces of sort of our national infrastructure grid. So a lot of things were happening."

He goes on to talk about the closing of the monuments around Washington, D.C., focusing on the Lincoln Monument.

He says the shutdown battle sparked a larger debate on fiscal responsibility.

Since the interview's spread across the Internet, Sanford's office has responded, telling Buzzfeed that 80 percent of federal workers continued their duties and only a small percentage of the spending was halted during the stalemate.

"Given the scope of government services that continue without interruption during a lapse in appropriations, calling it a ‘government shutdown' is overblown," the statement to Buzzfeed reads.

Washington's interview also touched on Sanford's opposition to the Affordable Care Act, balancing the budget, the drilling moratorium on coastal waters, and memories of his time in public service working with people like John Graham Altman, "Lawnmower Man" Chris Cox, and his family.

Washington also asked about Sanford's future and what's coming for 2016.

"If there's one thing that's abundantly clear, it's that I ain't running for president," Sanford said.

Washington's "Close Ups" series features one-on-one interviews with prominent members of Charleston's political and news scenes. To see previous interviews by Washington, click here

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