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. Don

    Being from SC all I can say is Mrs. Sanford this man is making a fool of you...dump him. And Mark...please step down and let someone do the states business.

    July 2, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Melissa

    Never EVER use "we're doing it for the children" as an excuse. You'd be better off divorcing than "staying together for the children". Trust me, I know from personal experience. My sister and I both wish my mother had left my father years before she did. Things were so much better when they split up.

    July 2, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Michael Sutherland

    Uh, Tom, Mark did kind of abuse his office. He left the country without notifying anyone–kind of important when you're the chief executive and in the event of an emergency, SC would've wasted a lot of valuable time trying to find him to direct the response. That's known as dereliction of duty.

    July 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Bob Dog

    It appears as if Mrs. Sanford (Jenny), like all great mothers, is putting her own needs second to those of her children. Her children are too young to handle this situation without her support, so she is willing to live with the indignity of accepting this "Cornball" (Mr. Sanford) back into her life for their sake.

    Its extraordinary really, and she should be commended.

    Since "The Cornball" continues to put his needs first, in front of everything else by not resigning, its clear he hasn't changed at all. She will probably tolerate him until the kids are old enough to understand and cope on their own, and then she will kick him out like so much rubbish.

    Its a shame, first for the kids, and (tied for) second is Mrs. Sanford, the people of South Carolina, and Republicans everywhere. How do bums like this earn trust in the first place? I guess Jenny will be asking herself this question for a long time.

    July 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Typical Republican

    He only totally screwed over the one he made the most sacred vow to put above all others and remain true to...for better or for worse. No WAY would he do the same to the people he made a lesser vow to serve! No Way! This is totally family business. Just because he lied doesn't mean he won't keep his word to his consituents. Just because he TRASHED his vows doesn't mean he would trash his oath.

    No way. It's only a family matter. Governor Sanford is so very noble and upstanding of a man. He keeps his word on everything..and stands by his words...always.

    July 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Steph

    Why can't people mixed up in these scandals just stay out of the public eye?!?! She had everyone's sympathy. All she had to do was focus on her family and not be the sad little wifey standing by her cheatin' man. Please, for everyone's sake, stay away from the media Jenny!

    July 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Ruth

    I'd tell him to go to his soul mate and free me up to find mine. It obviously isn't him.

    July 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. CKS

    Since the Republicans have their very own Bill Clinton (Lewinsky scandal) in Gov Sanford, I wonder what the Green Party will do.

    July 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Mrs. Sanford I'm so sorry for your pain, I will keep a devotion for you and yours. Hold onto that courage of yours the path may seem dark now, but you can get past this, keep listening for the will.

    July 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. deb

    It never ceases to amaze me me how the people who seem to "sin" (cheat) the most are the religious right. They seem to think it's okay to do anything they want as long as somewhere along the line they "ask for God's forgiveness". Give me a break! Having said that, this woman needs to quit opening her mouth. Between her and her husband they can't seem to find a hole to crawl back into and work on their personal lives. No one cares about their relationship. Shut up already!

    July 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. tiff of Lithia Springs

    UHHH! Tim,

    Children are a package deal when in comes to marriage. And most folk want to know how the kids are doing? The governor left the door wide open for his kids to be exposed to the ugliness of our world when he step out of the marriage and broke his vows.

    Let us think of some other possibles uglies of the world that could have effected the kids. He could have caught a disease and the kids would eventually have no parents. He could have gotten the lady pregnant exposing the whole family to that humiliation not to mention the path of an unborn child. The lady could have black mailed him which would open up a whole other can of worms.

    PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE THERE VOWS SERIOUSLY. GOD KNOWS BETTER THAN MAN.

    July 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Brina

    She was doing so good....oh well, now it's back to business as usual.

    July 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Allen Glover

    It is bad enough when the Dems screw up like Sanford, but to have the holier than thou attitude that Repubs have makes this twice as bad.

    At least the Dems didn't claim that higher moral ground as we have seen with all the Repubs falling off the moral bandwagon.

    I'm glad I'm a political hybrid.

    July 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Rich

    Why doesn't South Carolina just elect God as its next governor directly, instead of relying on people like Mark Sanford and his wife Jenny who claim to be so close to God? It's funny how Mark Sanford is so close to God but never once did God tell him, "Hey Mark, how about you don't cheat on your wife? Or at least don't make a total fool of yourself in public, you idiot." It seems like the more a politician talks about God, family values, and morality, the more he cheats on his wife. If the people of South Carolina really want God's leadership, they should elect Him as governor and then see what happens... I can guarantee you that anybody who ran against God in that state would lose the election.

    July 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. K F

    Why is she airing her laundry in public? I'll tell you why: it's an excuse to take the moral high ground in order to grind him even lower into the road gravel. It's an old moral superiority trick and she seems to have mastered the art. He asked for it and he's getting it.

    July 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Wow!

    Mrs Sanford,

    You are an incredibly elegant lady.

    Bill Graham

    July 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Melissa

    Oh come on, yes he abused his office. Anyone with a brain can see that. If you actually believe that, I have some nice swampland in Florida to sell you. It will make you rich. I promise.

    July 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. lynn in NM

    Sounds like she's trying to save his political hide. Your children have just been given a morals lesson. You want them to see more????

    July 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Robin

    The whole situation is fodder for a bad "Lifetime" movie...

    July 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Linda

    I for one am really sick of the religious references and right-wing Republicans in general. It's supposed to be separation of Church and State! Stop beating us all over the head with your foolish superstitions! No one cares. Your husband and you both need to stop talking to the press and get out of the public eye. Sanford was a big critic of Clinton and pressed for his impeachment. What a self-righteous hypocrit!

    July 2, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Sick -n- Tired

    Yeah! Thats a good idea. Keep him around so he can teach the boy's the fine art of how to grow up to become a corrupt, skirt chasing, money stealing, lying, GOP posterboy hypocrit, who hides behind God to validate his NUMEROUS, shortcomings! STUPID WOMAN!

    July 2, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Shirley In California Now On The Fence Re Obama

    JENNY SANFORD HAS NO CLASS. Anyone with any class at all would not be speaking with reporters.

    July 2, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. rainbowgirl

    To "Tim;"

    SHE didn't bring the kids into this. HE brought the kids into it when he betrayed them and her. It's nonsense that this is strictly between him and her. They together brought four children into the world and he betrayed them as much as he betrayed her. She is at least showing some determination to make him atone to BOTH herself and the boys, which he should definitely do. It's called "family."

    And to "Once You Vote Black" Where do you get the idea that Mrs. Sanford is not sleeping with her husband? Were you there, or are you just trying to rile up the readers of this comment board? If she NEVER slept with him, he still has no right to do what he did. GET A DIVORCE first, then I don't care if you hang from the chandeliers with a girl from every country if you want to, as long as you are not married.

    July 2, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. JR

    Jenny, Isn't that the same thing he said in January, you know, before he lied to you again and saw her two more times?

    Plus, how do you keep the creep after he has cried to the world that the home-wrecker is "the love of his life", "his soul mate", don't you have any self respect?

    July 2, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. david

    jenny is the typical female that stands by her man if only figuratively speaking. she should file for divorce. mark is in love with maria and will be thinking of her when he is hiding the sausage with jenny. physically mark might be with jenny but every thing that is mark sanford will forever be with maria. why jenny wants to hold onto mark who wants someone else can only mean that jenny wants to win. win, the game.

    July 2, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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