June 29th, 2009
12:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Meghan McCain: Sanford affair is 'private matter'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Meghan McCain wrote Monday that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's revelation that he had an extramarital affair "isn't relevant to his role as a public official" and called on her fellow Republicans to forgive him.

McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said that she is "mad" about the "hypocrisy of it all," and doesn't condone Sanford's actions, but added that the public needs to "stop requiring that our politicians live at such a high level of moral superiority."

"Above all, the Sanford scandal just makes me sad for my party," she wrote on the Daily Beast Web site. "The GOP is struggling right now to find anyone who looks to be our next leader. Those who have been anointed so far have ended up falling completely short. Going forward, I suggest that the party concentrate less on what goes on in the bedroom and more on what is going on in policy."


Filed under: Mark Sanford • Meghan McCain
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    When elected officials like Sanford, take his affair and mixes it with his duties of office then he does have to answer and it should be made public......he left his State went out of country without telling his Lt. Gov so if anything came up some one in his state would be in charge......that is completely irresponsible of an elected official......if that is the way he runs the State he lives in then can you imagine the way he would run this country.......this republican was more interested in what went on in his bed with his mistress than what this country is facing and not to mention what he put his wife and sons through......so Little Miss McCain keep it clean or you might be the next one to fall...........

    June 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Amazing!!!

    It would've been a private matter, EXCEPT he went AWOL on the job. Just because of that, it became a public matter.

    June 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Not holding people to such high standards is fine and good when its something small. Not something as HUGE as an affair that he stole money for in order to have. If you are a politician among other responsibilities, you are a role model, so they must act as such.

    For a party that runs on "high moral standards" and always seems to be condeming some group or another for "immorality" they should without a doubt lead be example.

    At least when they speak about the value of the sanctity of marriage, now we'll know what they're talking about.

    June 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Rker321

    Sorry, but I do agree with you that and adulterous behaviour is a matter between husband and wife. But what is not permissible is the fact that the man, based his platform on moral values, and family values. He had the gall to condemm Clinton for his affair and voted for his impeachment. How about impeaching him now for the same offense.

    June 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. David K.

    You can't dismiss the concern of the public regarding Sanford's behavior. Remember that this guy used public resources, especially public coffers to fund his trip. We will continue to quiz public officials about their actions as long as they desire to serve and take oath to preserve and protect our society constitution. I say his extramarital affair is relevant to his role as a public official. Republicans take pride in being ardent defenders of marraige. He should exemplify it as a member of the party.

    June 29, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Robert in CT

    Meghan McCain is factually wrong. It would be a private matter if his affair was purely in his private life – it would be hypocritical, but private. However, his affair resulted in an entire state left leaderless for much of a week, thousands of federal dollars spent on "trade mission" business that was actually part of his affair, and direct dishonesty with his constituents. Those are PUBLIC issues.

    I don't want my tax dollars spent on exotic trysts. It's not private if that is happening. I don't want mistresses getting in the way of the governing of a state. It's not private if that is happening.

    June 29, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Puff the Magic Dragon

    I llike Meghan McCain, but considering her Daddy is an adulterer, I expect a comment like this from her. Unfortunately though, I agree with her.

    June 29, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. robert j

    Hey Megan, Haley Barber and Newt G speakers of moral beliefs and action should be your Presidential and VP candidates. Two more fine upstanding hyprocrites cannot be found wearing Republican colors anywhere. Mitch McConnel could be SEC.State. Lindsey Graham could be Sec of War (Not Sec of Defense) Mark Sanford could be Sec of Foreign Relations. Dick Cheney could be Sec of Global Commerce. Condi Rice could be Sec of BS. G Bush could be the first Non Iraqi President of Iraq.G Bushs wife could be Sec of No Education. R.Gullaini could be Chair Joints Chiefs Of Nothing. and last but not least Boehner could be the Chief of No. Really a stellar group you Republicans have and growing every day.

    June 29, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Polly

    If our politicians had some moral concerns for society, maybe they wouldn't be killing our economy.

    June 29, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Brina

    Republicans NEVER talk like this when it's a Democrate caught up in a affiar situation...

    June 29, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Phyllis

    Like Bill Clinton's affair was a private matter?

    June 29, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. JA/TN

    it became criminal when he didn't notify staff of his where abouts furthmore, lied, the state business was at stake, do you want this type of person as executive of your state, we become soft on people according to their social-economic status

    June 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Nick the Photographer

    Dear BFF,

    oh, but see... it does. I know you might have been too young to know this, but the hypocrisy is his. See, he was one of the first in line to "Wag" his finger at Clinton for all the extramarital goings on. So it IS relevant to who he is a public official. Don't talk out of your butt when you don't know what your talking about Mehgan!

    Laters!

    June 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Leila, Houston, Texas

    That's because her father had an affair with her mother while he was married to his first wife. Hypocrisy indeed!

    June 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Steve

    "isn't relevant to his role as a public official".......when the CEO of a state leaves for 5 days without notifying his staff (or anyone for that matter) or establishing a transfer of power, I'd say that's pretty relevant to his role as a public official.

    June 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. MD

    The problem, Ms. McCain, is when you preach that moral superiority... I don't think its the public's place to judge someone who cheated on his wife (although it is wrong). However, Sanford made a big deal about Clinton's infidelity, thus he is held to a higher standard than the average person

    June 29, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Dave

    Her two cents are not worthy of CNN posting. Just unreal.

    June 29, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. People's Voice

    And, the reason Bill Clinton's affair was not a private matter is....?

    That's right, because he was not a holier than thou Republican hypocrite bible thumper and a real American.

    June 29, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. The Real "No Incumbents 2010"

    As always, Meghan McCain is right. Demogoging "family values" for partisan political purposes has no place in our democracy. Repugliklans can no longer claim they are morally superior.

    June 29, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Joe in CA

    Hey Meghan, Just like your Dad's was while he was screwing around with your mother while he still married!! Too bad this didn't happen today with your old man, or his carreer would be over. Oh wait a minute his carreer is already over just that you and he don't realize it.

    June 29, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Clint

    Doesn't she understand the hypocrisy of her own statements? First, it is not a "private matter" if you abandon for five days your job as the head of the executive branch of a state's government in order to hide out in a foreign country, on the public's dime.. More importantly, if you want the public to "stop requiring that our politicians live at such a high level of moral superiority", then your political party has to stop portraying itself as the party of superior values and behavior. And just as a throw in, since a Republican is suggesting that partisan hysterics are not helpful, an apology from Newt and his ilk to Bill Clinton and the American people for effectively shutting down our government for two years over a "private matter", for political purposes, would be a nice touch.

    June 29, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Jon

    We only require the politicians who claim to live at a high level of moral superiority to actually do so. People must be held accountable for their WORDS.

    June 29, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Joe in CA

    Meghan, we wouldn't hold the REPUBLICAN politicians so high a leavel of morality if they didn't sell themselves out to the religious right just for votes. Get a grip YOU HYPOCRITE.

    June 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Tomas E

    It isn't about the affair. That is not what bothers me. Why you all keep going on about this is beyond me.

    He walked off the job for several days! That is the sole issue that should be discussed here.

    For walking off the job, he should no longer have that job. He needs to go stand in the unemployment line like normal folks would have to do.

    June 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. honesty

    It is not about requiring politicians for "a high level of moral superiority," rather it is about requiring them and those who hold public office of honesty. Cheating and lying will always lead to corrupt activities. In particular, engaging in adulterous/cheating relationship will result in a disturbed and an unfocused mind, vulnerable to bribery as one will be more intent to hide the wrong relationship.

    June 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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