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. DRB

    Why in the world would he resign? I recall President Clinton who also was unfaithful, did not resign. No not one of us does not sin and for this man to humble himself, be honest and genuine in admitting he was wrong and consequences will come, is a reflection of true character and is the kind of statesmen I can forgive and continue to respect.

    June 24, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Grace

    Regardless of political party, many politicians (men and women) have been unfaithful. It's wrong, but give me a break, everyone goes crazy when it happens, but it should not be a surprise. I personally forgive the guy, he made a mistake and was letting his heart rule his head. He is human, we can't condem him for that, when no one is perfect. I hope he learns and grows from this experience and his family stays strong. His confession was the most sincere and apologetic that I have seen from past politicians (Clinton-Demorate-President!). I would still consider him for presidency. He will learn from this.

    June 24, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Gasman

    Cheating with your mistress on Father's Day? Sanford is a real prince among men. So much for the party of "family values." He obviously doesn't value his own family. That giant sucking sound you just heard was Sanford's political career going down the toilet. Another Republican dead man walkin'.

    June 24, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Cleaning up after W

    Can't say I'm surprised. Where are all the right wing-nuts that criticized the liberals for suggesting such a thing? Guess they were right, huh???

    June 24, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. toni

    His wife should leave his trifling but.

    June 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Hoke Murray

    How strange that all these 'family values' Republicans are suddenly turning into adulterers. Is it that they are trying to destroy the Republican party, or has all this 'socialism' caused them to lose their moral compass? Or are they just a bunch of hypocritical idiots? Oh, that's right- the GOP is the party of hypocrites who just don't care about whether their actions hurt their party or not.

    June 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. tedious898

    Fellow democrats, liberals, progressives....let's not gloat in this at the expense of the Governor's family (wife and kids).

    This is sad and we should be better than they would have been; were the shoe on the other foot

    June 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Colleen

    I'm really looking forward to the day when the sex lives of other people won't be considered 'news'. Is he a creep for cheating on his wife – yes. Should she boot him to the curb – yes. Should it be a lead story (now that we know he is not actually 'missing') – NO.

    June 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. alpha_nu_916

    i'm convinced that all politicians are scoundrels & crooks.
    could he have least chosen american . . .

    June 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Bye Bye 2012. The Republican Party is the gift that keeps on giving.

    June 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. GOP hypocrites

    I really don't care if a Democrat or Republican has an affair, but the big differnece is that Republicans run as being the "moral party". THAT is what makes Republicans such hypocrites.

    June 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. 77 Gamblers

    just goes to show, there is no such thing as a clean politician, regardless of party affiliation. Money, sex and politics, the axis of evil.

    June 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. pinkie

    I knew it, what a joke! Vacation my foot anytime a man leaves for 6 days and don't tell his own wife were he's going. HE IS CHEATING!!!!!!

    June 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. AC

    at least he didn't run off with an intern.

    June 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Beth

    Well duh...like ANY of us should be shocked by this. I'm just wondering what's going on with those Christian values the Republican party is SOOOOO concerned about.

    It's pure comedy watching the GOP fall apart!

    June 24, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. odysseus14

    That's gonna be my new pick up line! "Hey baby, I'm a GOP senator/congressman/governor"

    But what the heck is wrong with these women?

    June 24, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. matt

    I said yesterday that I thought something was fishy about this. Sanford – your a putz. Kiss your presidential run goodbye. You'll be lucky to be re-elected as Governor.

    June 24, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. DeeTee

    Me thinks he should resign. Apparently he has no time to run the state because he's too busy running down to Argentina to get his freak on.

    June 24, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Fed up in SC


    Mark Sanford is the biggset hypocrite to ever come out of the state of South Carolina. He should be impeached and if not then the rest of America will know why we are always last in eveything. He has ran this state into the ground and is the worst governor this state has ever seen. We were in a recession here long before the rest of the country. Did he use tax payer's money to go to Argentina? What kind of man would do this to his children on Father's Day? Is this the best the leaders of this country can give us? This is a sad and shameful day for South Carolina. Let's see how the repubulicans defend this. Mark Sandford you should be so proud.

    June 24, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. jj

    Well things happend in life both sides of the political arena have these issues i think its time we fix America and worry about this later. As the son of a com sgt. major that is in iraq we need to focus on the big picture and not this fool remeber folks United we stand divided we fall. Lets go obama im counting on you ....

    June 24, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. FactCheck

    Okay, an extra-martial affair is one thing but to bail out on your kids on Father's Day to visit his love toy? Now, that's cold. Of course, the Neo-Con artists are going on about how this is a private matter while continuing to berate John Edwards for a lack of integrity.

    June 24, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Island girl

    First of all, I am learning that his wife was privy to this affair. However, I believe that the timing of this filandering escapade should not be around Fathers' Day. Another thing that smells of fish is the Appalachian hike story. I think that someone in authority knew exactly where he was, etc. The media just happened to get in the way. As the ancestors would say: "Anything done in darkness will come to light".

    June 24, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Claudia in Houson

    Sanford's mistress probabably had threatened to breakup with him, why else would he lie and not be with his children on Fathers Day. I'd say he didn't want to lose her and has clearly made his choice to be with her. This relationship could have parted on American soil if Sanford wanted to be with his wife and family and not in Argentina. For that reason alone, I have no respect for this man and he should be impeached.

    June 24, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Glennis

    Well, as strange as all this little interlude was you just had to know something was up. In no way do I condone his behavior, but (unfortunately) he's just one of many politicians from both parties who don't practice what they preach. I suppose it all boils down to human weakness. Still, we expect and deserve better.

    June 24, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. J

    While listening to Gov. Sanford's news conference, I was struck by the fact the he referred to his sons as "those" and not MINE. I usually do not comment about anything online, but I thought this one word, "those" boys showed the deep problems in his family's future, and on his state of mind.

    June 24, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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