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. jellymon

    Dude–Just quit. Just quit like you did to your state when you had to go get laid.

    July 19, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Renee

    Humbles and broken my foot. Sanford is as arrogant as ever or he would step down and give 200% to his wife and sons, but instead he comes up using God, like they all do when they get caught, and he is still a disgusting self-righteous hypocrite.

    July 19, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Jane

    Governor: For someone so well educated and someone who has risen so far in politics, I can't believe the insensitivity of your public comments. Especially the statement about your mistress being your "soul mate" and that you were trying to fall back in love with your wife. Not only were they not smart, they were insulting and demeaning to your wife. Even if you aren't in love with her anymore, she certainly deserves more respect from you.

    July 19, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. sk

    So...if his wife has no self respect by staying with him, what do we say about Mrs. Clinton? Isn't this all a bit hypocritical do say that he should step down and say that he's just another dirty Republican? Have we forgotten our former President's scandal? Someone please show me the difference in the two aside from the fact that one admitted his mistake and the other lied about it.

    July 19, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. Joanne

    oh pluezzz! What a wuz!

    July 19, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Larry from RI

    Humbled enough to resign?
    Probably not!

    Humbled enough to keep ole' willy in your pants?
    Probably not!

    July 19, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Debbie

    When will this man learn to shut up about it? This sounds so desperate, and ultimately, insincere. His "soul mate" is the woman in Argetina. His wife makes embarrassing statements sounding like an angry mother to a an errant child who will punish him. Why is it so hard for these two to learn to shut up and deal privately with a personal matter?

    He apologizes, but does not say what he will do. Make things "more" right? That's a strange statement. It's right, or not — and really what's right for them is a private matter.

    From the looks of it, the best thing they could do is divorce, this is no marriage. Divorce, let him duck out to Argentina and live there, or bring his soul mate here. But for God's sake, shut up and move on!

    July 19, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Hal

    "It is my belief this will make me a better father, husband, friend and advocate."
    The govenor forgot to mention "lover."

    July 19, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Carole

    People of South Carolina, this guy did not want to take stimulus monies to help the struggling constituents he is responsible for in a quest to further his political career. Selfish act.

    People of South Carolina this guy did not fulfill his obligation to serve the people of your state nor his family 24/7 and went MIA for lust in Buenos Aires. Selfish act.

    Governor Sanford asked President Clinton to step down who managed to cheat and still do his job 24/7. Maybe he needs to get away from the C STREET GANG. CSTREET GANG feels this powerful White males are entiled while the little peons and serfs suffer.

    RESIGN like Palin governor.

    July 19, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. my god is great, your god needs work

    the utter shamelessness of christian politicians makes me laugh. "ok, so i lied about my fidelity to my family and my values. i lied about where i went off to for five days, and i lied about saving the state money on airfare, but it's all ok, you know why? god is making me into a better governor! i couldn't be like king david if i didn't have a few rough patches. if you oppose me or call for my resignation, you're actually trying to thwart the will of god!" it's only a small step from there to "i rule by divine right." don't any of the other christians ever get embarrassed by this, or are none of them capable of shame, and christianity is just a giant, self-serving racket?

    July 19, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. A little sad

    How can the people ever trust this hypocrit and liar?

    July 19, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. John Q

    Mike, how about we stay on topic instead. Bringing up other stuff (especially 20+ years old) that's completely irrelevant to this discussion is inexcusably partisan. You should be jumping on the bandwagon, not supporting the guy by trying to redirect to the problems of other politicians.

    July 19, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Tammy

    After what he did, he cannot be a better father or husband. No matter what the remorse. No way.

    July 19, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Pat in IL

    He has the morals of a man who thinks he's entitled to whatever he wants whenever he wants. He has the judgement of an idiot and should not be in public service. If he lived these lies, then he's certainly capable of lying or bending the rules on many other things....proof of that is that he thought it was okay to leave the state unattended (there goes the entitlement and poor judgement again).
    Wait until more comes out about both Sarah and Todd Palin's affairs – now that one will be even more "fun" because of the hypocrisy.

    July 19, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. kevin yoder

    so what? I don't care what his sex life is like. Jeez folks get a clue, this isn't news, it's gossip. Does his sex life make any difference to his job performance?

    Americans need to start being realistic about their politicians private life -it makes no difference!

    July 19, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Dan

    So cheating on your wife and family makes you a better person.

    Interesting...

    July 19, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. Notfooled

    Give it up Gov. you are another Republican fraud that has been exposed by GOD!

    You are a Fraud and a hypocritical Republican. PERIOD!!!

    July 19, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. John Q

    Chrissy, what we do in our private lives is private. But when you are part of a party that blames moral corruption on gays, and claims the moral high ground on everything, this is a pretty big problem.

    July 19, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. David Bushnell

    Eeeeewwwww....... glad I hadn´t just eaten before I read this article.

    July 19, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Karen

    I'm a loyal Republican who can't wait to see the back of this guy's head. What's taking so long?

    July 19, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. MacGregor

    Where was his God when he was sleeping around and stealing state funds? Looks like his religion did he a lot of good-now he begs for forgiveness! This clown make me sick!!!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Larry - Hazleton, pa

    Does anybody remember what this man and his buddy from the "C" Street group tried to do to a sitting President for less than what they have now admitted to? They insisted that the only proper course of action for President Clinton was to resign – what fools these guys are and to think that they still help to run parts of our govdernment – GET OUT Sanford, Ensign and Vitter – none of you desevre any respect at all – If the voters of your states believe that you still belong then they are sicker than you are.

    July 19, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Pixie Stone

    What don't you understand about "hypocracy" Mr. Sanford? Your motor mouth does nothing for you except further advertise your "hypocracy." Do you think that living in a cult on "C" Street somehow validates your actions? You have a beautiful family of which you once said you were raising your sons with Christian values!! Oh, really? You have dishonored, and continue to dishonor every value set forth by our Founding Fathers. Religion and politics aside, you are scum, but... oh, that's right, you're a Republican... silly me, expecting you would practice what your preach. Step aside, we've heard enough.

    July 19, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Nathan,

    He should be forgiven and then fired by the state and his wife. I think he should be fired for claiming to be an advocate for fiscal responsibility and refusing to accept the stimulas money to help the people inhis state while at the same time running up huge expenditures for overseas trips. This guy is a hypocrite on so many levels. How his wife could stay with knowing that some other woman is his soulmate and not her who bore him 3 sons is beyond me.

    July 19, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Ancientrivr

    The problem isn't the infidelity. The problem is a Governor whose emotions and judgement are so unstable and poor that he is incommunicado AND leaves the country without properly handing off his responsibilities. In any other job, including those with significantly less responsibility, he's be fired, and rightfully so. He IS a hypocrit for not resigning when he demanded the same from others who had also been unfaithful. Infidelity is a personal matter, but when it has come to others, Sanford has not thought so in the past. Let him live by his own creed.

    July 19, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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