June 24th, 2009
08:35 AM ET
5 years ago

Sanford says he was in Argentina, not on Appalachian Trail

(CNN) - Gov. Mark Sanford did not spend the last five days hiking the Appalachian Trail - as his staff had indicated - but was instead in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the South Carolina Republican told The State newspaper Wednesday.

Spotted returning from the trip in the Atlanta airport Wednesday morning, Sanford said he had considered hiking the Appalachian Trail after his state's busy legislative season came to end but instead decided on a more "exotic" trip.

"I wanted to do something exotic. It's a great city," said Sanford of his five-day getaway that appeared to leave his entire staff and family in the dark about his whereabouts. Sanford also said no one else accompanied him on the trip.

Sanford wouldn't tell the newspaper exactly what he did in the South American country, besides take a drive along the coastline.

The South Carolina governor also said he hadn't planned to return until Thursday, but came back earlier after his chief of staff contacted him to say the story of his whereabouts was drawing widespread media attention.

Sanford expressed surprise the story was attracting such attention, saying it's not unusual for him to take such trips.

"I would get out of the bubble I am in," he said.

In a short interview with CNN Tuesday, Sanford's wife Jenny said she still has not talked to her husband since he left last Thursday and did not know where he went.


Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Can you spell bimbo? Boy, does this smell.

    Seriously, the person(s) I feel sorry for are his wife and kids. This guy is another fine example of male politicians run amok who cannot keep their in their pants. What is with these guys?

    This guy needs to give complete and total details about where he was and who he was with the entire time. If you want to be a public figure and you pull this sort of junk you need to learn there are penaties to pay. Only then can the public decide whether he is fit to hold office or not.

    June 24, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. relieved

    Those of us in Illinois are grateful to the Gov. – finally another state has a governor just as screwed-up as Blagojevich!

    June 24, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. Timbuk2

    Everyone needs time to themselves, that is just part of being human, however, when you take on certain responsibilities, the prudent thing to do, is be responsible. I can even understand your going on vacation, but to be so selfish to just disappear from the responsibility of being THE executive officer of a state, is disgusting. We have nothing to with how one leaves his family, that is truly personal, but to leave your state unattended is something else.

    I now know how people feel who voted for George Bush! Simply duped...

    June 24, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. Dianne

    His wife should be waiting at the door with divorce papers and a gun!!!!!. Who does he think he is kidding. Just up and leave four sons (one Father's Day weekend) and his wife and not tell them that he was going on a trip alone. Does he think everyone is as stupid as he is??

    June 24, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. Amazen1

    He should be drug tested asap.

    June 24, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  6. The Game

    [...]the governor, a possible 2012 presidential candidate,[...]
    yeah right!!!

    i think the serious thinkers within the GOP will have their new party running long before 2012 .. Nuff said !

    June 24, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  7. Elaine AR

    WOW! Curious and more curious...who in their right mind would leave their wife and family for 5 days without letting them know where he was going, let alone a governorship!! The man is hiding something. Throw the bum out!!

    June 24, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Jules

    Don't cry for me Argentina...lol... Lets see how this snowballs.

    June 24, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  9. srichey

    This is hilarious–kind of. I don't think we will ever know what actually happened.

    June 24, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  10. Gail Gannon

    Things that make you go hmmmmm.

    Wife doesn't know where he is?? Good for you lady, for not protecting him on this. Mrs. Sanford should research "narcissism" on the internet.

    June 24, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. Bob Painter

    I find this erratic behavior appalling for an elected official. What would happen if an emergency required the governor's attention?

    June 24, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  12. Ryan Wing

    You shouldn't all be assuming he had an affair. A lot of this has to do with news outlets making major stories out of rumors ... any time anyone said anything it got covered as breaking news.

    June 24, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. B'ham

    I heard he wants to run for President. Good luck with that. I feel sorry for my Republican friends. They have clowns and buffoons representing them. Too bad.

    June 24, 2009 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. Gotta Wonder

    I understand a guy wanting to take some time to himself, but couldn't he have given his wife a little more information? Hotel phone number, name of the country, or at least the name of the continent? Emergencies happen, and he was being a little too selfish in his escapade.

    June 24, 2009 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. V

    Just getting funnier by the minute! he he

    June 24, 2009 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  16. Tim S.- Tampa

    His critics have been saying what a flake this guy is ... Now will you listen?

    June 24, 2009 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  17. Luis

    The trip to Argentina has a first and last name. It's a matter of time.

    June 24, 2009 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  18. sms29s

    Unless he is a CIA agent in deep cover, there is no possible reason for his disappearance that can be consistent with the future of his political career. This guy is toast.

    June 24, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  19. Independent in Virginia

    Sounds like family problems to me. Good to know that CNN is all over this!! Did you find out what color shoes he wore when he returned from Argentina? What about the currency exchange rate? That can kill a vacation.

    June 24, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  20. joe smith

    one other thing..since Cnn, and the local law were able to find mr, sanfords chevy, ( at least it's American ), at the airport, maybe Cnn can use their vast financial resources to pin-point bin-laden, could you imagine the size of the Stetsen blitzer would need after that..

    June 24, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  21. Proc

    I blame George Bush. All heil Obama!!

    June 24, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  22. More politicians lies!

    Who cares already?? Hunt him down like a dog. Secret trip, there must be pictures of him with another woman!! What else could it have been?

    June 24, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  23. Pete

    Aww man this guy is crazy.

    June 24, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  24. Trey

    I think Sanford is a selfish, self centered person, especially since he did not even tell his 'Family" how arrogant can one person be! I still believe there is more to this story than he is telling. I hope he runs for President in 2012 and gets the nomination, that would guarantee Obama a second term! He is an "Idiot"!

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  25. Blame it on Rio

    What happens in Buenos Aries stays in Buenos Aries...

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
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