July 2nd, 2009
02:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Bennett: Sanford needs to stop 'embarrassing himself'

(CNN) – Mark Sanford is "embarrassing himself" and needs to resign as governor of South Carolina, conservative talk radio host and CNN contributor Bill Bennett said Thursday on CNN's American Morning.

Bennett, the latest high profile conservative to call for Sanford's ouster, said it's time for the onetime Republican rising star to ditch politics and focus solely on getting his life back in order.

"I know Mark Sanford. I know him quite well," Bennett said. "He needs to get his life back in order, his marriage back in order. He is embarrassing himself."

"There is the old notion of indecent exposure, usually that refers to somebody showing some skin, and there's another form of indecent exposure. He is telling us way too much," Bennett continued. "We're not interested. He needs to stop and take care of his life."

Bennett also suggested the GOP can easily fill the gap Sanford would leave.

"We have other people," he said. "We have other people who are not only fiscally interesting and sound but also can keep their lives together. "

Bennett's comments come as more than half of the Republicans in the state senate have now called for Sanford to step down, as well as a host of other GOP leaders in the state. Sanford has indicated he does not intend to resign.

"The whole thing is pretty ugly. It needs to stop," Bennett also said.


Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Robin

    I agree with Dr. Bennett. Mark Sanford was a man about it and owned up to it, but it needs to stop.

    July 2, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  2. lovable liberal

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    July 2, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  3. Politicians cheat

    No kidding! We don't need or want to hear every detail of this mans affairs. Sounds like he is trying to justify his actions. His wife can't be serious about giving him another chance.

    July 2, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Andrew Samtoy

    Is this the same Bill Bennett who said that if all black babies were aborted, crime would go down? If so, I'm not sure how much I care what he says about anything.

    July 2, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  5. sifto77

    I agree–we do not need to hear anymore about his personal weakness–he was never a Pres contender in my eyes–always seemed not strong enough–lots of others–Palin, Romney, Jindal, Pawlenty and probably others are very qualified to run and win.

    July 2, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. T the B

    I really could care less about his personal life. How's his performance in office been?

    July 2, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. Jerry

    Bennett should know about embarrassing himself – he was outed several years back for having a gambling addiction. Republicans are such family value / moral hypocrites. They're a joke of a party.

    July 2, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  8. That Other Jerry

    Bill Bennett is practically the only person left in the GOP who possesses articulation, common sense, pragmatism, and moral integrity all in one package. Unfortunately cloning hasn't progressed far enough to create a younger version of him, or else the Republicans might have a chance. The Dems figured out that they needed a new voice and a fresh face, even though they almost blew it with their choice of VP. (They've since been smart enough to keep Joe Biden bound and gagged since the election.) Figure it out, GOP: yes, there are still a lot of us Americans who share most if not all your values and ideology. We're just sick of the same old crowd of hypocrites and insiders leading the party. And until you throw them ALL out and start over, we're going to look elsewhere for leadership.

    July 2, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. SAGG

    If an ex-gambler's telling Gov. Sanford to go, then the governor SHOULD go. NOW.

    July 2, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. Island girl

    I believe something good will come of this. South Carolina which has been economically and educationally suppressed will rise from the ashes once Lucifer and other fallen angels are rooted out.

    On an amicable parting note to his apologists/defenders: Mr. Conservative has been carrying on with his affair and other philandering escapades for eight years it is said. Had it not been for his wife 'picking up a scent' a few months ago.... had he not been captured on Hartsdale Airport's security camera pulling his Samsonite with a zip in in step ...had his staff not botched the alibi as to his whereabouts – it would still be business as usual with him.

    Don't forget from the very first chapter of this story that he had a cavalier attitude when first confronted by the media etc., ("why the fuss?"). Simply put – he is now spilling his guts because his back is against the wall. He needs to step aside and sort out his personal life and get a medical evaluation from head to toe.

    July 2, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. carolyn

    I think he is trying to justify his actions. As so many have said, too much information. It is not only making himself look foolish, but it is shooting all credibility he might have salvaged right out the door.

    He is a grown man, an elected official .....not a puppy love sick teenager for goodness sakes. I am surprised if either woman would want him now.

    July 2, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. Grog in Ohio

    This from the guy that wrote a book of "values", accused America of sliding toward Gomorrah while gambling away millions in Las Vegas. I've a theory that conservatives are genetically incapable of recognizing the irony of their own words.

    July 2, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Deborah/Kansas City

    Governor "I don't want to be right" Sanford, should go to Argentina. He is obviously very much in love and heartbroken. I think he wants his wife to leave him and to be fired from his position. Why else would he continue, to tell everyone, the depth of his love and attachment to his mistress?

    July 2, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Tommy

    No, as a Democrat, I think Mark Sanford really needs to keep talking. Maybe talking about how he is such a hypocrit. Maybe talking about having other affairs as he was leading the charge to impeach President Clinton. Just get it all out there...

    Aim high!

    July 2, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Mamanomia

    Top Republican???? Now that's sad!

    July 2, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. GI Joe

    I usually don't agree with this guy, but he is right about the Gov embarrassing himself (and us).

    I do NOT, however, think there is anyone on the horizon in the Republican Party that "has it together". Unless the fakes are counted. Geeesssh. What a bunch of hypocrits in the GOP.

    July 2, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. A tribute to the Fallen Heroes and their Families

    This 4th of July weekend, let's not forget the 5,000 United States servicemen and civilians who gave their lives in Iraq in order to protect freedom and democracy in the country of Israel.

    July 2, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Scott, Tucson

    After four years of Obamanomics, just about anyone can run against the big O and beat him, even Larry, Moe or Curly.

    July 2, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Tim

    Doesn't this guy seem a little like Roger Allam as Lewis Prothero in V for Vendetta? :)

    July 2, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Dan, TX

    Gee Bill, I was going to say the same thing about you....

    July 2, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  21. Pel

    It appears the good governor of SC want to make piece with his wife and family, but he doesn't want to give up his lady friend from Argentina

    The governor has a problem. I REALLY THINK HE IS IN LOVE WITH THE LADY FROM ARGENTINA AND HE IS NOT GOING TO GIVE HER UP.

    July 2, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. Thomas, Baton Rouge, LA

    Bennet should know about embarassing himself. Stanford is just another example of GOP cluelessness.

    July 2, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. Dave

    Giving the benefit of the doubt to Gov Mark Sanford and his staff, if you are talking into a cell phone in the crowded Atlanta airport, saying "I'm going to hit a little of the Appalachian Trail" and saying "I'm gonna get a little Argentinian tail" COULD be honestly misconstrued....

    July 2, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Kent

    Follow your heart. This is the final call for the next flight to Argentina.

    July 2, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. karina

    You know it's time to leave when not only fellow party members but friends insist that you step down. I think some are trying to compare his indiscretion with Clinton. But there is a vast difference. Clinton did not leave the country and not only forsake his job but family. Bill Clinton was and probably still is a scoundrel, but he was and is able to take care of business.
    People try to connect politics with morality all the time but do not see the irony in it. As a politicain you are showered with money and power. And to alot the temptation to do something you normally woudn't do working a minimum wage 9 to 5.
    Sanford has so little respect left because of this episode and is only dragging it out in public by not resigning. He talks about God but I think God would probably prefer him to step down than to further disgrace his wife and children. Haven't they been through enough?

    July 2, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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