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. karina

    I'd love to know what his wife really knew or what she really thinks about this whole ordeal. She's a better woman than me if she just forgives him for not telling her that he left the country!! I think there is alot more to this story and I hope it all surfaces soon. He sounds like a nut and a total jerk!! But I think alot of people felt that way with his refusal of the stimulus money.

    June 24, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Wife did not know where he went

    Sanford and that GOP senator from Nevada got together, didn't they?

    June 24, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. beelzebub55er

    Another right-wing moral trooper from the Independent and Sovereign Nation of South Carolina. Used to live there, now I don't even FLY OVER IT. Those people don't get it. Even if they throw out this bum, they'll just replace him with someone equally as incompetent from FARTHER right. Oy!!

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

    I smell blood in the water. Let the feeding frenzy begin.

    I mean it is completely normal to think maybe I will go hiking and then take a left turn,ditch the hiking equipment, drive more than 200 miles, and get on the next available flight out of the country without telling a soul.

    Let's start a pool. Check Block A if you believe the real story is a lover (male or female). Check Block B if you believe the real story is financial corruption. Check Block C if you think it is even more wierd than this.

    June 24, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. New Day

    Wow, I have gone out driving and gotten lost in the past but, I have never ended up on another continent. :-D

    It's kinda a non-story, other than our insatiable apetite for weird stories.

    June 24, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  6. Roxanne in SC

    I live in Greenville, SC and I am embarrased and appalled that this is the guy that was elected to represent this state. I didn't vote for him and I don't like his policies or agendas but this takes the cake. There is so much more than meets the eye in this story and I am sure that it will unfold slowly and painfully. I totally understand the need to unwind and recharge but not telling your second in command or your wife is extra fishy. Also, the fact that your wife didn't cover for you seemed like their is friction in your marriage. If it were my husband, I wouldn't have told anyone that I didn't know where you were because I know people would speculate. I'm telling you, we will find out more.....

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

    Wow...cuckoo cuckoo...sounds like someone might need some therapy. I hope his insurer doesn't rescind his insurance contract...after all, being a Republican might arguably be considered a pre-existing mental disease lol :-)

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

    Maybe he started cooking meth on the side to make up for rejecting the stimulus money.

    June 24, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Roxanne in SC

    I live in Greenville, SC and I am embarrased and appalled that this is the guy that was elected to represent this state. I didn't vote for him and I don't like his policies or agendas but this takes the cake. There is so much more than meets the eye in this story and I am sure that it will unfold slowly and painfully. I totally understand the need to unwind and recharge but not telling your second in command or your wife is extra fishy. Also, the fact that your wife didn't cover for you seemed like their is friction in your marriage. If it were my husband, I wouldn't have told anyone that I didn't know where you were because I know people would speculate.

    June 24, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. Dave the truthteller

    Ha Ha, Lib monkeys, if BO had done this you would be praising him for getting away and clearing his mind. Lib monkeys are soooo predictable.

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

    Sanford is a moron and an embarrassment to S.C.-He was actually in Myrtle Beach with another moron-Mayor John Rhodes. They were discussing more ways to keep tourists OUT while riding their Suzuki crotch rockets without helmets in the city limits of Myrtle Beach.

    June 24, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  12. Jay

    Wow, I feel sorry for the people of South Carolina. For your own sake, impeach this psycho ASAP. Who knows what he'll do next.

    June 24, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Mikw

    I love this guy. Finally a man who doesn't ask or need permission from the press or anybody else to take a few days off.

    June 24, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. pam Eugene OR

    He can kiss 2012 good bye. There is no excuse good enough to justify leaving his family on Fathers Day and not telling his staff he would be out of the country. There is much more to this than we know now. Everyone has a right to time away but this is not the way to take it unless you have something to hide.
    What are you hiding Sanford?????

    June 24, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. Palmetto Bug State

    "Some people out there in our nation don’t have maps" ring a bell? Anyone know where Lauren Upton was during all this? She could have been his navigator!

    Impeach.

    June 24, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Mike

    Why does he has to lie to the people of SC and his own family? There is something very wrong with this guy and doesn't deserve to be a governer!

    June 24, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. Faithful

    One time my ex husband told me he was going to the corner store to
    get cigarettes he came back a week later??? He was really with
    some one else.( woman) I am not saying that the governor was with another woman. I have become suspect of husbands that vanish into mountain air. ooppss I mean Argentina. ooppss I mean the corner
    store. FAITHFUL HONEST HUSBANDS DONOT BEHAVE IN THIS MANNER. remember what ever you do in the DARK will come to LIGHT. Be patient all the truth will be known shortly.

    June 24, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  18. Rachel Sears

    This is just bizarre. I can understand going for a walk to clear your head or even going to the family cabin to clear your head for a day, but to leave the country for 5 days and not tell your wife or your staff? And then to go to Buenes Aires of all places? There's some funny business going on here.

    June 24, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  19. Kellie in Fort Worth

    Seriously? Really – I mean, come on!

    How long before the GOP has another bimbo eruption on their hands, and poor Mrs. Sanford is dragged out to stand behind her idiot husband with a plasticine smile on her face for the cameras while he confesses his infidelity – or worse? This isn't the end of this story.

    The family values crowd needs to GET SOME.

    June 24, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  20. brian

    he's searching the world for Obama's birth certificate...

    June 24, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  21. Beeker25

    The story changing of where he went is typical of the GOP. When get caught, put out some more lies then confess the truth. No wonder people of SC don't like him.

    June 24, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  22. Dan

    I'm not sure which is stranger: the fact that he left without informing his wife or government officials and that his children didn't know where he was on father's day, or that he seemed clueless that people might think it was weird.

    There is more to this story.

    June 24, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Greg

    You people are the insane ones. If this was another one of the unending streak of liberal politicians who pull strange stunts you would be defending him at all costs.

    I happen to agree with most of you that it was an incredibly stupid and irresponsible thing to do, but seriously... you guys need to step off your high horses or at least apply the same standard to those who represent your political views in government.

    Amazing that you would jump to the "ooooh he must be cheating... what a scum bag" argument... like it's SUCH a political career ender, yet you brush off Clinton's oval "oral" office antics like it's no big deal.

    June 24, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. New Day

    Hey JT, there are other things to do in Argentina other than sleeping with women. Maybe he craved a soccer riot, or a theatrical show in a language he doesn't understand.

    June 24, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  25. Michael Newman

    Gov Sanford has just about the worst judgement of any elected official in the USA.... just amazing!.... And, what about his committment to "family values"; abandoning his wife and four young sons on Father's Day!

    June 24, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
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