(CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has issued a statement following his press conference Wednesday:
"I apologize to the people of South Carolina. There are many people out there right now who are hurt, angry and disappointed with me, and rightfully so. Over the time that I have left in office, I'm going to devote my energy to building back the trust the people of this state have placed in me."
Full statement after the jump
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina state Rep. Nikki Haley, a 2010 Republican gubernatorial hopeful and key ally of Mark Sanford in the state house, removed a large photo of Sanford from her campaign Web site on Wednesday just hours before the governor admitted to an extramarital affair.
Since mid-May, Haley's Web site featured a banner-like photo of the governor. Below the picture was a quote from Sanford describing Haley "a terrific and inspiring choice as governor."
While Sanford hasn't formally endorsed a candidate in next year's crowded GOP primary, Haley is widely thought to be his top choice.
Just before noon on Wednesday, the entire graphic was scrubbed from the site. Neither Haley nor her aides responded when asked about the quick re-design.
(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.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will meet Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on July 10, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced Wednesday.
(CNN) - President Obama sent a direct message to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, weeks before this month's disputed election, Iranian sources said Wednesday.
The letter requested dialogue and engagement between the two nations, the sources said.
The sources said Khamenei has yet to reply to the letter but nonetheless it "had set the negotiating table in order for both sides to sit around it after the election."
Khamenei made an indirect reference to the letter in his sermon Friday at Tehran University.
"The U.S. president said that we were waiting for a day like this to see people on the street," the Iranian leader said. "Some people attributed these remarks to Obama and then they write letters to say we're ready to have ties; that we respect the Islamic republic and on the other hand they make such comments. Which one should we believe?"
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford admits he's been having an affair with a woman from Argentina — which is where he's been for the past week. This comes after days of speculation on the whereabouts of the Republican governor, ever since he went AWOL last Thursday.
Sanford's staff said Monday that he was hiking along the Appalachian Trail, where Sunday was nude hikers day. That's where he told his staff he might be going. I wonder if he knew it was nude hikers day. Probably not.
As late as yesterday, Sanford's wife told CNN she still hadn't heard from her husband. Sanford has four sons — and was away from his family over Father’s Day weekend… Charming man.
Sanford announced he's resigning as head of the Republican Governors Association. He was also once thought to be a contender for the 2012 presidential nomination. Governor Sanford is not what the Republican Party needs at this moment — or ever.
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(CNN) - Having made his rounds on the cable news circuit over the last few months, former vice president Dick Cheney is now headed to a book store near you.
Cheney has struck a deal with publishing house Simon & Schuster to write his memoirs covering a more than 40-year career in government, stretching all the way back to his roles in the Nixon and Ford administrations.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve during some of the most interesting and challenging times, as well as with some of the most fascinating people, in American history,” Cheney said in a statement provided to CNN. “I look forward to writing about these experiences for the first time.”
The book will be published by Simon & Schuster's Threshold Editions, where former Cheney aide and current CNN contributor Mary Matalin serves as editor-in-chief.
The deal - which media reports have suggested is worth in excess of $2 million - is the latest to be struck by Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer who most recently negotiated a book deal for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Barnett has also negotiated multimillion dollar deals for the Clintons and President Obama.
Daughter Liz Cheney called her father a "student of history" and said he has already begun collecting his thoughts in longhand and on his laptop computer.
"He wants to make sure that his story is told, and told in a way that his grandchildren will be able to understand and appreciate even 20 or 30 years from now," Liz Cheney told the New York Times.
Cheney mostly avoided addressing the media while in office, but has since become a vocal critic of the Obama administration's national security policies. His book, set to hit stores in the spring of 2011, will come on the heels of President Bush's memoir. That book is slated for release in fall of 2010.
Other Bush administration officials currently working on books including top aide Karl Rove, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
(CNN) - Rudy Giuliani fueled speculation Wednesday he is considering a run for governor with a high-profile op-ed in the New York Times, but the former mayor told reporters he hasn't decided one way or another on a potential run just yet.
In a conference call Wednesday morning, Giuliani denied the op-ed - in which he proposes a series of measures to fix the state's gridlocked government - was meant to be a signal he is actively interested in running for governor in 2010.
"I know how to send signals, if I wanted to I would do it." Giuliani said. "I am not leaning [in either direction]."
In the op-ed, which Giuliani says is "not a partisan criticism," the former Republican presidential candidate calls for a statewide constitutional convention to institute a series of reforms, including changes in the budgeting process, term-limits for law makers, and campaign finance reform.
Two polls out this week show Giuliani would easily top current New York Gov. David Paterson in an election match-up, but would face a considerably more challenging bid against the state's attorney general, Andrew Cuomo.
Giuliani largely withheld criticizing Paterson directly Wednesday. "There is enough blame for all to share," he said.
(CNN) - A new poll of New York State voters suggests it could be "game on" in the battle for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's seat.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday indicates Gillibrand trails Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a hypothetical Democratic primary match-up next year, with 27 percent of those questioned supporting Maloney and 23 percent backing Gillibrand. Forty-four percent are undecided.
Gillibrand is a former congresswoman from upstate New York who was named by Gov. David Paterson in January to succeed Sen. Hillary Clinton, who stepped down from her senate seat to become Secretary of State.
Maloney, a liberal congresswoman from New York City, is seriously considering a Democratic primary challenge to Gillibrand. Maloney could find success in labeling Gillibrand as too moderate to conservative for New York State Democratic primary voters.