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. Mike

    As a Carolinian I don't care where he went, I just wish he would have stayed there. The state is a mess, education in this state is a ranked 48th in the US, and he goes to Argentina?! Moron!!

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. Rob Mack

    All the major news sites have covered this story except for fox.com. If this was a dem it would be their whole news cycle. Thanks CNN and the other real News outlets. This dude is a bad liar, how did he get elected???

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  3. Shery

    If I left my job teaching for five days to decompress and did not tell anyone, I would be dismissed.

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Tony

    Never mind if something happened in the state and he was needed, what if one of his children was in an accident, or became ill and his wife did not know where he was. And it absolutely is our buisness, this bozo wants to run for president.

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  5. Democrat in NC

    What's that sound? Oh, it's the nails in the coffin.

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  6. landshark

    [...] LATE LATE UPDATE: Wow. The Appalachian Trail goes all the way down to ARGENTINA???? Who KNEW??? [...]

    There's a transporter station in Atlanta! Beam me up scottie!

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. carlo

    Esco June 24th, 2009 8:42 am ET

    I don't blame you for getting away at all…the public offices can be very stressful. It is dangerous to just go off on your own without notice though…especially a foreign country. They should just squash this story and move on.
    **********************************************
    You'll never get that lucky bub. Buenos Aires is a spot notorious for gorgeous people, some of whom can be had for the right price. This guy is a philanderer, and he's done it often, which is why his wife didn't seem upset about him being gone, but more upset that anyone found out.

    What makes it even more strange is that this guy's wife is gorgeous and his kids are adorable. What an unappreciative jerk.

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. Anonymous

    remove him from office........ NOW!!!

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Tesap;Savannah GA

    Again, I ask who is footing the bill??????????

    June 24, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  10. Candy West Virginia

    Interesting how he refused money that would help his state but had no problem supporting bush bankrupting this country with an illegal war. He was one of bush's staunchest allies. I don't care where he went or what he did although he sure seems a little unstable but to deny your own people money who are struggling because you are self righteous and yet you supported a crooked president, well that is hypocritical and typical republican.

    June 24, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  11. yolanda

    One down for 2012! Was he even a contender?

    June 24, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  12. Butch Dillon

    The chief executive of a state disappears for a week without notifying a soul and he doesn't understand why it's a story? Governing the state is a full time job, this guy isn't even a full time person.

    June 24, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  13. Fremann

    He was there for a reason? Think, clearly.
    The situation. Pay attention.

    June 24, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. Realistic2

    Weird to say the least. A governor is allowed to travel and take vacations like anyone else but this is alittle weird.He leaves the country without telling anyone anything?Not his wife, his staff and when it comes out on the media, they say he is hiking in the App trail and than we find out he is thousands miles away, very weird.

    June 24, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. Mike in Columbus

    Fishy much?

    June 24, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  16. FactCheck

    Maybe he thought he could see Iran from South America?

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

    As bad as we've got it here in GA with Sonny "Go Fish" Perdue, at least he never "wigged out" and left without telling someone.

    June 24, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  18. Adrian Middleton

    I guarantee you that he spent the weekend with ESCORTS, HOOKERS, and PROSTITUTES. I mean c'mon I have been to Buenos Aires..........they are EVERYWHERE. Not judging him because they are smoking hot just giving you the truth. Maybe now he will get that Republican Swagger back in his step!!! Go get em' stud!

    June 24, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  19. Fed Up

    Michael – Maybe Edwards can run again for you guys. You think Democrats are such stand up guys. What about former President Clinton, Gotta love what he does on the job!! Politicians are sleezy, and that my friend is the only true bipartisan bond they share!!

    June 24, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Larry

    Did the taxpayer pay for his trip?

    We're not paying for these morons to take "exotic" trips because they're a little "stressed"!

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

    Sanford. Name rings a bell. Is he or not somehow related to Ponzi Sanford? Seems like similar personalities.

    June 24, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. ralph

    They both begin with "A."

    June 24, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Just think...if Sanford was President of the United States, where would he be if the 3 am emergency call to the White House is made?

    June 24, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  24. Dude

    To Fred the Moderate,

    Sure you are a moderate, unless moderate means liberal in your world. What a stupid comment you made. What does this have to do with the religious right? The so-called "religious right" does 80% of the charitable work that liberals only talk about fool!

    June 24, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  25. Jim

    Beyond the issues of a governor not being available to serve his state in the event of a crisis and using government equipment for personal use. I wonder what this does to his security clearance; normally when you have a security clearance and plan to leave the country you have to file paperwork on where you're going to see if any conflicts arise. With him taking off like that, it could be argued that his clearance should be pulled and at that point does he become ineffective as governor

    June 24, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
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