July 2nd, 2009
09:23 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenny Sanford speaks out

Jenny Sanford released a statement Thursday about her husband’s affair.
Jenny Sanford released a statement Thursday about her husband’s affair.

(CNN) - Jenny Sanford, wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, is speaking out in a new statement about her husband's affair.

"Mark showed a lack of judgment in his recent actions as governor. However, his far more egregious offenses were committed against God, the institutions of marriage and family, our boys and me," Mrs. Sanford said in a statement. "Mark has stated that his intent and determination is to save our marriage, and to make amends to the people of South Carolina. I hope he can make good on those intentions, and for the sake of our boys I leave the door open to it."

Full statement after the jump

Statement from First Lady Jenny Sanford

Columbia, S.C. – July 2, 2009- The last week has been very painful for me, my family and for the people of South Carolina. However, throughout this terrible ordeal, the incredible outpouring of kindness, support, and prayer I've received from countless friends and folks I have never even met has been truly uplifting. I appreciate that more than I can say. Please know that my sons and I are doing fine, given the circumstances. We are surrounded by friends and family, and we will make it through this. I believe it is how we respond to the challenges we face in life, and what we learn from them, that is most telling about who we truly are.

There is no question that Mark's behavior is inexcusable. Actions have consequences and he will be dealing with those consequences for a long while. Trust has been broken and will need to be rebuilt. Mark will need to earn back that trust, first and foremost with his family, and also with the people of South Carolina.

The real issue now is one of forgiveness. I am willing to forgive Mark for his actions. We have been deeply disappointed in and even angry at Mark. The Bible says, "In your anger do not sin." (Psalm 4:4) In this situation, this speaks to the essence of forgiveness and the critical need to channel one's energy into positive steps that uphold the dignity of marriage and the family, and lead to reconciliation over time. My forgiveness is essential for us both to move on with our lives, with peace, in whatever direction that may take us.

Desmond Tutu said "forgiveness is the grace by which you enable the other person to get up, and get up with dignity, to begin anew." Forgiveness opens the door for Mark to begin to work privately, humbly and respectfully toward reconciliation with me. However, to achieve true reconciliation will take time, involve repentance, and will not be easy.

Mark showed a lack of judgment in his recent actions as governor. However, his far more egregious offenses were committed against God, the institutions of marriage and family, our boys and me. Mark has stated that his intent and determination is to save our marriage, and to make amends to the people of South Carolina. I hope he can make good on those intentions, and for the sake of our boys I leave the door open to it. In that spirit of forgiveness, it is up to the people and elected officials of South Carolina to decide whether they will give Mark another chance as well.


Filed under: Extra • Mark Sanford
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Governor, you should consult your wife on how to sound reasonable. I think she has a handle on that, which you could call on... ya know... if you two are close enough for that.

    July 2, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. S M R

    Why? So he can do it again?

    July 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Tom Casey

    Hello, It doesn't surpise me that a conservative Bible state would ask for their governor to resign on moral grounds even though there is no evidence that he abused his office. It seems to me to be more of a show of strength from the "good" people of South Carolina. Gov. Sanford has no plans to resign, so I guess there will be torches and pitchforks in the streets of the South Carolina capital soon. Tom Casey Louisville,KY

    July 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. joco, NH

    Could she be more rehearsed?
    I am all for saving a marriage. However, the guy has completely lost his head in his dialogue regarding the "other" woman.
    Had Jenny Sanford made a simple response and then gone into seclusion to deal with her family's personal problems then I would have more respect for her reactions. Her quotations from the Bible and from Tutu demonstrate her desire to appeal to her higher calling – that being a politician's wife.
    Good luck to her and her family.

    July 2, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Brent

    I wonder who wrote this statement for her.

    July 2, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. IKE in Atlanta

    Who cares!? This is squarly family bussiness and should be left to Mr and Mrs Sanford. If the door is open or closed is their bussiness.
    However, b/c of abuse of office (AWOL), he needs to be impeached. Peroid.

    July 2, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. hhs

    Good grief. These people don't know when to stop. The people of SC do not need to forgive or forget and they don't need to enter into a 12-step program with their elected governor. They have no obligation to help Mark become a better person as he has said staying in office will do and they have no obligation to have any role whatsoever in mending this marriage. The perhaps necessary spirit of forgiveness that applies to HER does not apply to the state. The simply need a competent, grounded, stable, mature grown-up to run their economically stricken state. Resign, Mr. Sanford; it is the ONLY way you and your state get out of this mess.

    July 2, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Steve (Ann Arbor MI)

    Roasted.

    July 2, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. hhs

    Good grief. These people don't know when to stop. The people of SC do not need to forgive or forget and they don't need to enter into a 12-step program with their elected governor. They have no obligation to help Mark become a better person as he has said staying in office will do and they have no obligation to have any role whatsoever in mending this marriage. The perhaps necessary spirit of forgiveness that applies to HER does not apply to the state. The state simply needs a competent, grounded, stable, mature grown-up to run their economically stricken state. Resign, Mr. Sanford; it is the ONLY way you and your state get out of this mess.

    July 2, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. rachel

    hmm sounds like she is gonna stick with him. That is absoultely her choice, but now I hope the holier than thou peole who are using Jenny to go back to what they think Hillary should have done will shut up because the end result will be the same Jenny will probably stay in the marriage.

    July 2, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Independent_me

    Jenny – the man does not love you!
    He said that he wil "try to fall in love with you again..."

    He also said that Belen is his "soul mate"...

    Can you really live with that????
    So far you have shown a great deal of dignity.... now show some self-respect and walk away with your dignity intact.

    If not for you, for your boys' sake.

    July 2, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Larry

    I guess Jenny would no what's best ...

    But I'd throw the bum out ...

    Along with his ego ... and his self infactuation

    July 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Jenn, Philadelphia

    There is evidence he abused his office. He left the country without telling any one where he went and left no one in charge. His behavior over the last week suggests he might be suffering some mental break down as well. And if his wife can forgive him after he said the other woman was "his soulmate and I'll try to fall in love with my wife again", she's a better woman than me. He would start having to explain the black-eye.

    July 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. ThinkAboutIt

    Well, I think Jenny Sanford actually gets what it means to be Christian. She understands that professing that faith is not a pass to excuse behavior but instead, like all great religions and philosophies, involves accountability and truly making amends to those one has harmed – which takes genuine effort and humility and a lot time.

    Personally, I believe she – and the good people of South Carolina – could do a lot better than self-righteous, self-centered and arrogant Mark Sanford in their lives.

    July 2, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. PatriciaG

    I just want him to stop talking about. Usually when you cheat the last thing you want to do is to KEEP TALKING about it. Secondly starting a sentence with " shes my soulmate" and not youre not talking about your wife usually isnt the way to make good on the notion that you want to salvage your marrige.... Im just saying..

    July 2, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Tim

    Too bad she keeps bringing the kids into this. It is the worst thing anyone can do to their children.

    Too bad that this scumbag feels he is the center of the universe.

    God bless their children, they have irresponsible parents.

    July 2, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. The Other Michael in Houston

    Wow Ms. Sanford the next time your husband speechwriters write you a errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I mean the next time you write a statement, would it be asking too much for you not make yourself sound like an idiot. Thanks

    July 2, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. tiff of Lithia Springs

    He can probably focus on all those intentions once he leaves office!

    July 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Squigman

    I'd pay good money to watch this woman kick his teeth out, one at a time.

    July 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. wmmj

    What is wrong with this woman? Her husband has lied and cheated to her and her children and humiliated her before the whole world and stated that he must learn to love her again rather than his "soul mate". Where is her self esteem? Kick him to the curb.

    July 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. larry florida

    Why is it that these submissive Christian women always jump to forgive their men? He is a dirtbag and deserves nothing from the people of South Carolina. His wife needs to put him out with the trash.

    July 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Once You Vote Black

    Look people I hate Mark Sanford just as much as anyone else, but he does need to stay in office. He took on that job and stumbled. If he quits he would add quitter to that long list of names he can be called. Besides he makes the GOP look bad. Let them toss him out on his rump. Stepping down would be too easy. Now Jenny, she needs to fess up to why Mark looked else ware. It takes 2 to make a marriage work or not work. You know what I am saying?

    July 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. GOP = 21st century dodo

    The best part of this whole scandal is watching the GOP base's increasingly convoluted attempts at excusing Sanford's behavior.

    Seriously, you guys crack me up.

    July 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. sue dee

    WHOA!!! You said it ALL.

    July 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Bill Sampson

    Stop babbling about "God" and quoting from your Bible, you two phonies! Just shut up and try to maintain what dignity you have left. You both seem a little nuts, honestly.

    July 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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