June 24th, 2009
02:54 PM ET
9 years ago

Sanford admits extramarital affair

(CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, just back from a secret trip to Argentina unknown to his staff or his wife, admitted Wednesday he has carried on an extramarital affair.

"I've been unfaithful to my wife," Sanford told a news conference in Columbia, the state capital. "I developed a relationship with what started as a dear, dear friend from Argentina."

His voice choking at times, Sanford apologized to his wife and four sons, his staff and supporters, and said he would resign immediately as head of the Republican Governors Association.

The affair was discovered five months ago, Sanford said.

Full story

Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Raven Darke

    Gee he's a liar. I am shocked...NOT. Being a Governor is an important job, it is one that might require being reached 24/7. I don't care what his excuse is he has breached the trust placed in him and like so many politicians particularly republicans he is two faced about it.

    June 24, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. dominican mama 4 Obama


    Sometimes divorce is for the best. It puts an end to all types of suffering. But it is the manner in which you go about a divorce/separation that can continue the cycle of pain. This guy has now added public exposure, ridicule and censure to the drama.

    He's an irresponsible, arrogant, AND selfish poor excuse for a man, and governor. Seems to make a lot of his most important decisions with the "head" downstairs.

    June 24, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Lary Craig

    mark sanford,john ensign..
    what is happening to the republiklans?whats happening to the party of "family values?
    LOL bunch of hypocrites
    this is exactly why they'll lose in 2012,and many,many years to come.

    June 24, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Reality

    Republican here. Ok all you republican nitwits in power. Clean it up! You are embarrassing us and yourselves. Get back on message and clean up your act or you will be gone. Period.

    June 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Peace

    What kind of a bug is eating the brains of these people nowadays?????
    One after the other and yet the lesson is not learned!! Disgusting.

    June 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    OMG!!!!! It is now official...the GOP has truly become the official party for sanctimonious hypocrits!!!!

    June 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Latin Larry

    John Ensign, Mark Sanford, . . . so much for the party of family values.

    June 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Edwin

    I think this whole thing is pretty dumb. Based on their comments, I think his staff and wife knew where he was - they just didn't want to say so to reporters. I feel sorry for his wife, but I honestly don't care if a governor or even a president has an affair.

    If there had been an emergency, I'll bet they could have contacted him quickly enough to deal with it. And I haven't heard any serious accusations about improper use of state funds or anything.

    Why are so many people so outraged when a public figure - that they don't even know - is unfaithful? I don't get it.

    June 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    I guess we won't be hearing any of his apologists comparing this to Obama taking some time off to see a Broadway play!

    (sound of crickets)

    The GOP continues to shoot themselves in the foot!

    Ensign is probably writing him a thank you note for taking some of the media glare off of himself!

    This is too funny!

    June 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Really?

    Sanford...I don't care about your personal exploits. Please don't air your dirty laundry using network time to do so. There are so many pressing issues. We all make mistakes, but I don't want to hear the details of your. I am not your therapist and I am tired of everyone using network time like the citizens are their therapist. You should be fired because you have a disregard for the liberty you have been given (car, credit cards) which belong to the citizens of USA and you lied and misled your coworkers. AS a leader this simply is not acceptable. You do not set the example needed.

    June 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Karrie

    I knew it, I knew it. Any time a woman says she doesn't know where her husband is (on Father's Day no less), and doesn't even take the time to throw out a white lie to cover his tail, it's got "another woman" written all over it.

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Steve

    Two weeks and two right wing Christian (prospective) candidiates for President are gone–first Ensign and now Sanford. "Pride goeth before the fall." Maybe now better educated and more reasonable centrist Republicans can reclaim their party from these (mostly) southern Christian extremists.

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. blue county / red state

    Love it when the "holier-than-thou" Republicans get caught with their pants down while still beating their "moral drums".

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. LoLo

    I knew it. These Christian Republicans are something else. They are such hypocrites. I bet he has children by his mistress also. Why would you leave your other kids on Father's day to spend time with a mistress. He definitely was burning the candles at both ends. Shame Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Bill

    This is much worse than if an independent or Democrat did the same thing. The Republicans are the party that espouses the 'moral high road', the party of the abortion Dr. killings, the party of the million man march, the party of the evangelical Christians, the party of the wing nuts, the 'Moral Majority'.
    In reality, they are the party of the ultimate hypocrites.

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. Pete

    HAD engaged? More like IS ENGAGING in an extramarital affair.

    Seriously, GOP, you rail against gay marriage as a way of "protecting traditional marriage", and you have yet another hypocritical "family values" embarassment.

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Unfazed

    This does not come as a surprise.

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. hadelaide

    Well, he will get a standing ovation from the state legislature when he apologizes to them during a closed door luncheon.

    When will people understand that when you point fingers at others, more are pointing back at you!!

    I really feel sorry for his wife and kids. The "family values" crowd has no one to blame but themselves.

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |

    Everyone is human – just because you are a politician does not mean you necessarily have to be super human.

    If anything, you are now closer related to the common man and should be a better representative of their needs.

    But of course, everyone is now going to bash you and act like they themselves have never sinned.

    These are the principles of Christianity, admit your wrongs and being forgiven. I know because I am one, a Christian, not a Right Wing nut job.

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Typical

    Like we didn't see this one coming....more of the same from the party of "do as I say, not as i do".

    June 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Rich

    Thank you CNN. Earlier I had asked you to get back at me with the answer to this question: What is so special about Argentina? And boy, you did not dissapoint. LOL. You exceeded my expectations. I knew that there had to be something unique in Argentina for this man to just fly off to it, as no one in their sane mind will just up and go there without a reason. Another Republican Hippocrite who just caught with his pants about his ankles. Rich...just rich.

    June 24, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Melissa

    Yet another crooked Republican. Why do they keep claiming moral superiority when their leaders keep getting caught cheating on their wives, taking bribes, and worse? What an idiot. Republicans people like this are why you won't be in power for a long long time. Your leaders keep humiliating the party with the worst possible behavior from childish namecalling to cheating on their wives to refusing bailout money when they have the highest unemployment rate in the country.

    June 24, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. bob

    truth will set you free!!!!

    June 24, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. CD in FL

    How stupid is that??? You just got back from a trip with your mistress and now you want to reconcile with your wife??? I hope his wife has more dignity than Nevada Senator's wife and will leave this idiot.

    June 24, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. southern progressive

    you have got to be kidding me.. i mean, earlier when people were posting that he was having an affair, i thought, nah.. certainly not.. just people joking.. and now to hear this.. i have to say i am in shock..

    so much for the republican party protecting the sanctity of marriage.. i guess this means that everyone agrees, this governor should never be allowed to marry again.

    right, everyone agree with me?

    June 24, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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