June 30th, 2009
01:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Sanford should stay, two top South Carolina papers say

An influential South Carolina newspaper published an editorial Tuesday that said Gov. Mark Sanford should not step down.
An influential South Carolina newspaper published an editorial Tuesday that said Gov. Mark Sanford should not step down.

(CNN) - Two major South Carolina newspapers are calling on Gov. Mark Sanford to stay in office.

Last Wednesday, Sanford admitted to a year long extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. The governor also acknowledged he did not tell his staff that he was in Argentina during a five-day period when his location was not known.

Despite calls from some South Carolina lawmakers and politicians for the governor to resign, Sanford, meanwhile, appears to be standing firm. He wrote in a message to his political action committee e-mail list on Monday that while he considered resigning, "I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm."

The State, the Columbia newspaper that last week broke the story that Sanford was in Argentina, in an editorial Tuesday, says Sanford should stay in office to keep the playing field leveled for the 2010 gubernatorial contest. If Sanford resigns, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, a fellow Republican but no ally of Sanford, would become governor. Bauer is among a number of candidates who are interested in running for governor in 2010. Sanford is term limited and can't run for re-election next year.

"Reasonable people can disagree over whether it would be better to have Mr. Sanford or Mr. Bauer in the governor's office for the next 18 months. And if Mr. Bauer were not running for governor, this might be a more difficult call. But Mr. Bauer is running for governor, and it simply is not responsible to overlook the tremendous advantage he would have if he were able to use the bully pulpit of that office for the next year," says an op-ed in The State.

The State also raised serious questions about Bauer's preparedness to lead. "Although this could change in the coming year," they wrote, "to this point Mr. Bauer simply has not demonstrated that he has the vision to lead our state.

The editorial questioned Bauer's character and highlighted past run-ins with law enforcement, including the time he used a police radio to waive off state troopers after he was caught driving 101 MPH on a South Carolina highway in a state car.

The paper also questioned whether Bauer was sincere in his suggestion to CNN Monday that he would give up a 2010 gubernatorial bid in exchange for taking over the rest of Sanford's term.

They wrote that Bauer had made a similar pledge before, but failed to keep his promise.

"If we're looking to rid our state of embarrassment, it's hard to see how replacing Mr. Sanford with Mr. Bauer would accomplish that. And it's hard to overstate the potential long-term downside of such a move."

The Charleston Post and Courier also urges that Sanford stay in office.

"Gov. Mark Sanford ended any speculation about his plans to resign on Sunday when he declared, with finality, that he would remain for the rest of his term. That won't end demands by his legislative critics for his resignation in the wake of his extramarital affair. But it provides a measure of reality about their prospects. Like the governor, they should make the best of a difficult situation," says the newspaper in an editorial.

Last week, two smaller South Carolina newspapers, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and the Orangeburg Times and Democrat, called on Sanford to resign.


Filed under: Andre Bauer • Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Jason

    and if he were a Democratic Governor (as if one would ever be elected in SC), they'd be chasing him out of town in the blink of an eye. Talk about a compromise on moral positions! They question Bauer's readiness to lead but have no problem leaving a guy in charge who went AWOL on the state to go hook up with his South American girlfriend? Unreal!

    June 30, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    "The State, the Columbia newspaper that last week broke the story that Sanford was in Argentina, in an editorial Tuesday, says Sanford should stay in office to keep the playing field leveled for the 2010 gubernatorial contest."

    You know, I ain't gonna read it, cause that turned me off. Next time, tell em to give me at least some #'s, or what he did to his state, instead of satisfying your own personal needs, O.K? Thank you.

    June 30, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. CSM

    Let me get this straight. The State is suggesting that the problem with Sanford stepping down is that it would give Bauer a year or more as governor, thus granting him the incumbent advantage.

    This is an excellent indicator that the two party political system is broken. Whether it states it directly or indirectly, the assumption is that it is almost impossible to unseat an incumbent.

    At least there are term limits in South Carolina. Perhaps this should be considered for Congress.

    June 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. history repeats

    its so funny that everytime these politicians get caught with their foot in their mouths they talk about GODS plan for them. like that just changes eeeevrything. the sad thing is it really does work for a certain percentage of the population. if he was a democrat and said it then it wouldnt work. BORN AGAINS do not believe democrats are god fearing so they do not rally behind them like they do republicans. its literally the only way someone like bush could could have ever come close to being elected ESPECIALLY TWICE!!!!

    June 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. I laugh at comrade Limbaugh daily

    Yeeehaaaaaaaaa,well geegolly,they love their rednecks.Hows that tourism business doing,pretty good for golf maybe but the rest of the State can kiss it goodbye.

    June 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Once You Vote Black: PUMA where are you?

    What a backwards state. Why in the world would they want him to stay: in order to keep the state the same, which is not working out well for many in the place. SC will always be Bug Tussel Backwards.

    June 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Mark

    Sounds like politics as usual. Sanford has disgraced his office, the state and his family. A distracted man is no good to anyone. Get out!

    June 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. JonDie

    "I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm."

    I don't have anything better to do so I'm keeping my job and my paycheck until God slams the door in my face.

    June 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Zora La Rousse, Lugano CH

    Sanford should be reprimanded for taking unannounced leave as a publicly elected official. However, he should not be reprimanded for having an affair. That is no one else’s business than his own. Why do Americans love to pry into the salacious details of someone else's life? Yes, I know that he gave the fire and brimstone speech against President Clinton on 'morality'...and now he's paying for it. So let that be it. Let the guy keep his job if the voters of S.C. want him to stay.

    June 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Melissa

    No, he shouldn't. Its not the affair thats the problem and I wish people would quit trying to claim that it is. The affair is personal and doesn't matter one bit.

    The problem is that he went AWOL for five days, used his destitute states funds to do it, then lied to cover it up and got caught, and has shown himself to be a massive hypocrite when he was the main person calling for the impeachment of Clinton over doing exactly the same thing.

    He needs to be fired.

    June 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. Independent in TX

    I guess it is fair for Dems to say he has to go, but that doesn't mean he should go. The same logic would be applied to Clinton.

    June 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Matt

    If this guy was a democrat they would be giving him a promotion.

    June 30, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. jaye

    Mark Sinford is a horrible governor (and was even before his adultery and mistress came into the picture).
    Why, other than political reasons, would anyone back him????
    The republicans are slimy and dirty....they do not practice what they preach.

    June 30, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. russell

    He should absolutely be terminated , not because he had an affair , but he abandoned his office and, used taxpayer funds , it's just that simple , and people are just too stupid or ignorant to want to keep another republican crook in office . wake up Americans what happen to morals and honesty ....................

    June 30, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. LacrosseMom

    This is not about forgiveness, not simply about adultery! WHO would have a job after being AWOL from their job for 5 days?????

    WHO would still have a job after using company money to visit their mistress????

    A regular person would have been FIRED, why is the Legislature of South Carolina not impeaching a man who was AWOL from work for 5 days?

    IF he were a Democrat, the far-right would have been shouting for his impeachment! Hypocrites, as usual.

    June 30, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Towanda 54

    More proof of the liberal MSM, right? You've got to be kidding me. The State keeps the emails they had regarding his affair secret for six months and now throws their support to the man who abandoned his state for 5 days. Fair and balanced, right? Good Grief!

    June 30, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. the southern progressive

    glad i dont live in south carolina.

    June 30, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. dominican mama 4 Obama

    It appears that they are concerned that having Bauer step in as Gov. should Sanford rsign would give Bauer an "unfair advantage" over the rest of the 2010 gubernatorial candidates.

    So here's my question: what if Sanford dropped dead of a heart attack? Would'nt Bauer as Lt. Gov in that instance then become governor? It seems to me that claiming "unfair advantage" as a reason to keep Sanford, is really...unfair.

    June 30, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. steve

    For 8 years of Bush presidency, we never saw any hit / smear piece written on Laura Bush, but it is very disturbing to see some right wing media outlets (politico) ,etc to constantly bash the first lady.
    What change.Oh, she is the first African-American first lady.
    Keep it classy the republican party.

    June 30, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. John from SC

    The Problem is not that this man cheated on his wife, nor is the problem that he abandoned his children on Father's day to sleep with a woman who was not their mother. That is his life, that is his issue and his family's issue, not ours.

    The Problem is that he left the state with no one in charge, lied to the people of the state of south carolina, lied to his staff, flew out on tax payer's money (on previous trips, this one is not been proven to be our money), turned off his cell (leaving no way for us to contact him in the event that we needed to) and generally vacated his position.

    That is why I think he should leave. If he cheated, he cheated and he is a lousy husband/father. That alone does not make him a lousy governor. That is not the point. The point that makes him a lousy governor (among many, many other things) is that he left the country knowing that there was no way to contact him, knowing that no one knew where he was going (what if the plane wrecked? We would have search parties seven days after that combing Appalachia, and would be sorry for the losses in that plane wreck).

    June 30, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Fed up with low morals in SC

    He said he was not going to run if her were to fill the governors seat until his term expired. that is waht I saw ihn the news yesterday. Is he rotten too as to telling lies before he even gets in office? I hope we get a moral and responsible person the next go around if there is such an animal out there that has morals.

    June 30, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. girlymen love the GOP

    But if he were a gay airport toewrestler they would throw him under the bus.The nerve of the republicans.Dont tell me all those Nascar fumes dont destroy brain cells.Would you buy a used car from this guy?His State just did.hahaha

    June 30, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Donna

    Such is the problem with living in S.C. We have a Governor who may be a dope but we can't get rid of him because look who's next in line! However, never over-estimate the S.C. voter. They very well could elect Bauer and then re-elect him - just like Sanford. Apparently we love it when someone dumps on us again and again!

    June 30, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. Eric

    I am a progressive democrat and I see no reason for him to quit if he wants to stay – this particular personal mess does not disqualify him from office in my opinion. However, because he wants to stay in office, he should immediately and fully apologize for his vote to impeach President Clinton. Otherwise he shows that he someone who will say one thing but do another, hence untrustworthy, and therefore he SHOULD resign.

    June 30, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Anonymous

    only in south carolina...

    June 30, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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