July 19th, 2009
03:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Sanford, 'humbled and broken,' makes vow to state

Close to a month after holding a press conference and publicly admitting to having an extra-marital affair, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford penned an Op-ed published Sunday where he apologized again.
Close to a month after holding a press conference and publicly admitting to having an extra-marital affair, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford penned an Op-ed published Sunday where he apologized again.

(CNN) – Embattled South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford tried a new tack Sunday to win forgiveness after admitting to an affair and being incommunicado while he left the state for several days.

A self-described "more contrite" Sanford wrote an op-ed, published in newspapers around South Carolina, vowing to "begin the journey of trying to get things more right with you and others."

Sanford had previously tried a news conference and several interviews which stirred more controversy over his admitted extramarital relationship with an Argentinian woman whom he called his "soul mate."

"I realize this op-ed does not do justice to the process of saying I am sorry," the two-term Republican wrote. "A handwritten note or a phone call would ultimately be more appropriate."

Sanford again admitted, "I did wrong and failed at the largest of levels." He said "life is... about way more than public standing or political views, it is about recognizing that none of us of are the arbiters of truth, that there are moral absolutes and that there is a God to whom we will all report for our actions.

"My failure has been more glaring on this front, where no public apology can make wrong right."

But Sanford wrote that he has been "humbled and broken as never before," and has "given up areas of control."

"It is my belief this will make me a better father, husband, friend and advocate."

Sanford, a strong-willed political figure who often sparred with legislative leaders, said that he is "committing to you and to the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience to both trust God in his larger work of changing me, and from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader."

Trying to heal political wounds deepened by the scandal, Sanford said, "I think all that has transpired will be particularly relevant in the way I deal with the legislative body and other state leaders going forward… as I begin these steps into the last 18 months of this administration, it will be indeed with a more contrite and humble spirit."

Sanford has taken trips with his wife Jenny and children trying to heal the wounds at home, including one this weekend. His family was not specifically mentioned in the op-ed, except for the one reference to being a father and husband.

In an interview with the Associated Press at the end of June, Sanford said he had previously "crossed the lines" with other women, though not "the ultimate line."

Updated: 2:52 p.m.


Filed under: Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. annie s

    What vow to his state? To continue not to care if his constituents are unemployed and starving? South Carolina would be better off without this rich hypocrite, who fought against taking funding that will help teachers keep jobs and extend unemployment benefits for those struggling to find work. The Lord may well forgive him for his sexual transgressions, but his selfish attitude as a Governor hopefully will not earn him an ounce of forgiveness here on the Planet Earth.

    July 19, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. RCA44

    Enough already! How 'bout Sanford and Palin get a room together...somewhere in Siberia! She can see it from her porch.

    July 19, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. the Film Professor

    It would appear that the Governor would like for all of us to have more empathy for him than he has ever had for the schoolchildren in his state going to school in dilapidated buildings, the unemployed in his state struggling to find work and support their families in this record recession, and the public service employees like the police and firefighters who might be able to keep their jobs with the stimulous money.

    A pox on you, Governor Hypocrite. Please resign, and go away.

    July 19, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Saragh

    Sure, this guy can legally divorce his wife and get married as many times as he wants. But he will argue all day long about the "immorality" of gay marriage. Get a clue, Republicans...

    July 19, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Mr. Anderson from Colorado says...

    Way to go South Carolina! You voted this genius into office. You can keep his sorry butt!

    July 19, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Charles

    This guy needs to resign and go away. The rest of us have and seen and heard all we want to see and hear of him.

    July 19, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. TM

    Governor, you an NOT have your cake and eat it too. You had an affair, and on at least one occasion used taxpayer funds to pay for your travel to see your mistress, and you lied about where you were going and why. That's three Commandments, infidelity, theft, and lying broken. Three strikes. You're OUT.

    July 19, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Doug

    "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again".
    So says Matthews Gospel.in the 7th Chapter. Sanford judged Bill Clinton for his actions and then did even worse himself. He wanted Clinton to either step down or be impeached as did his cronies. Where are his fellow Republicans who screamed at the rooftops for Bill Clinton's head on a platter? The hypocricy of The Party of Family and Moral Values.

    July 19, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Brandon

    Need I remind all of you who keep using "republican", "hypocrite", "liar", and "disgusting" in the same sentence that the most famous case regarding cheating while in public office was...our democratic president of the United States of America...
    Odd how it was OK then...even women at the time could not stop lauding praises onto Clinton...mass denial on a scale not seen since.
    Now this rep from South Carolina cheats, and you all want to hang him.
    Who are the hypocrites, here, people...really?
    Lies are lies.
    All people tell them...not just one group of people.
    Wrong-doings should be equally punished across the board with no emotion...none of us should have sympathy for this guy...he broke a promise.

    July 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Lois Brady

    The State of Carolina is so steeped in being "good ol' boys" that the people that are responsible for getting him out of office have to stop hunting, come out of the woods and figure out how to do this.

    July 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Meriall

    We in SC really could care less about the affair. What happens in someones bedroom is between them and God.

    The issue here is, we have double digit unemployment. We are in dire straits. He wants to let teachers go and refuse stimulus money while gaining TONS of national media attention for being "noble" about letting us go down in flames.

    Then we find out that he canceled appointments with corporations who wanted to bring thousands of jobs to SC so that he could spend OUR money to jet across the planet to visit his mistress. ANY ONE OF YOU, take a week off of your job with no notice, not telling your boss or coworkers, then lie about where you have been and see if you come back to a job.
    He expects to come back with an apology.
    Then he takes of ANOTHER week to go on vacation to reconcile with his wife. Again, canceling appointments and walking off the job.

    THESE are the real issues here. Morality is a side issue for the republican party to deal with. SC wants him gone. He can keep his cheap words, broken promises and elitism to himself.

    July 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. db

    This guy is a joke! Sorry, just another politician

    July 19, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. ChrisP

    This is a sickening display of a guilty and amoral man continuing to humiliate his wife, family and colleagues with his continuing whining.

    A man of honor would have resigned weeks ago. This poor excuse for a man has no honor and is unfit to remain in office.

    Impeach him, and get him gone!

    July 19, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. catm

    I live 10 miles from the Appalachian Trail.... everyone around here now laughs knowingly when someone says they are "going for a hike on the AT"...... And as many others have already pointed out, if the any of the rest of us vanished from our jobs for 5 days, with no forwarding info, and then returned, admitting to being out of the country, aside from the part about having an extra marital affair, we would not have a job to return to. It is unconscionable that this guy thinks he is above the standards and expectations that all of the rest of the world lives by, daily, week in and week out, because we are freaking grateful TO HAVE A JOB in this economy. How dare he bring God into this. That is insulting and absurd, and takes attention off of his own responsibility.... the family is one thing, but his job as Governor of SC is huge. I have no idea why he is still in office.

    July 19, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Senior Lady in NC

    Governor Sanford is just another cheating huband that got caught!!

    July 19, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Rodney

    If your party stance is family values and your personal stance is self interest you can hardly be a member of that party without looking like a hypocrite.

    I keep hearing Republicans say US is envied by the rest of the world as a standard of truth, justice and an beacon of hope. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The world sees the US as a country that puts money over people and self interest before public interest. It's not because those are the values of the people but because those are the values of business leaders and politicians who are the US leaders.

    The amount of dishonesty and corruption is so high that things like this get brushed aside by most Americans. Statements like its his business and a family mater seem to make sense.

    Adultery in SC is ilegal and punishable by fines or jail time. I think it is time to make politation accountable for the same laws as everyone else.

    July 19, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. alvino

    It appears the boys at "C" Street thump more than their bibles.

    July 19, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. ol cranky

    Mr Sanford can become a "better father, husband, friend and advocate" as a private citizen. He was derelict in his duties as Governor and, for that, he needs to leave office. If he still wants to serve in government, he can run for office again *after he resigns his current position* so the people can make the decision whether he is worthy of office despite the actions that became public due to his current scandal. To remain in office now shows that he has nothing but contempt for the state and citizens of SC.

    July 19, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Luke Brown

    This man is one of the most craven in public life. However, I am still not sure what he is sorry about for except getting caught.

    People in South Carolina want him out. The Republican party wants him out. His 6.5 years in office have been a disaster. He has ruined the state and offered nothing in the way of real leadership on the issues that affect most South Carolinians.

    That's what he need to be apologizing for.

    July 19, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Valerie in Raleigh

    Governor Sanford left his state without telling anyone, his staff included, just where he was going. Had there been an emergency in South Carolina, there would have been nobody there to take charge. If I took off from my position without telling my manager, he would have immediately shown me the door and I would be looking for another job. This was total derelection of duty for which he should have been immediately discharged. As far as his "sole mate" in Argentina -- that is totally only his wife's business. Another perfect example of a Republican "family vvalues man." Uggggg

    July 19, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. Willis, Texas

    This man needs to go! He has spent taxpayers' money like there was no tomorrow - flying "first class and staying in the most expensive hotels" while advocating fiscal responsibility!

    The schools are falling down and he has the audacity to turn down stimulus money to repair schools - but he ALWAYS managed to spend money on himself - living large like Donal Trump!

    July 19, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Jamie Li

    A typical Republican to be so hypocritical. So it is ok for a Republican to cheat and lie and expects to be forgiven, but when a Democrat does it, all the Republicans pound him to the bone and expect impeachment.
    This country does NOT need anymore double standards from these typical Republicans who put us in the worse recession in history.

    July 19, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. Whatever

    PUL-EEEEEEZZZZZZEEE!!! Obviously all of you Democrats who somehow imply (or come right out and say) that his infidelity is somehow connected to his being a Republican political leader have quickly and conveniently forgotten (or is that a double-standard I smell???) Clinton getting BLOWN by Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office!!!! Get off your high horses and recognize that both sides of the aisle have had extramarital affairs, and being Republican has NOTHING to do with it!!!!!!!!!!!! O – M – G to those of you who actually think it does!!!!! PUL-EEEEEEZZZZZZEEE!!!

    July 19, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. agent

    what a douche he is only sorry because he got caught, why is he not stepping down as governor? He did in fact you tax payer money to travel to see his mistress that is illegal why is he getting a break, oh why because he is a republican so he gets a break, come on.

    July 19, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. John Black Hills/SD

    S. Carolina residents are the ones who look powerless to decide who should be working for them. Politics should exclude every candidate from speaking about their family values, and religious belief. Every politician lies...everyone lies. Right Sanford...ask his wife.

    July 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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