August 13th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Sanford defends use of state airplane in op-ed

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has penned an op-ed defending his use of state aircraft.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has penned an op-ed defending his use of state aircraft.

(CNN) – No one is ever going to accuse embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford of backing down.

In an op-ed piece that appeared in newspapers across South Carolina Thursday and was also provided to CNN, Sanford defends his use of a state-owned aircraft after a recent newspaper report took issue with some of his official travel.

"I messed up and deserve my licks for it – but this doesn't give some in the media license to write as they please," the Republican governor wrote. "Anyone with a busy and intertwined life can be made to look foolish if one ignores the larger context of travel within the state."

Citing a review of records earlier this week, The Associated Press reported that Sanford had used state aircraft for personal and political purposes, sometimes bringing his wife and children along with him. These uses violated South Carolina law, according to the AP.

In his response, Sanford wrote that he has flown far fewer hours on state-owned aircraft than previous South Carolina governors. "When measuring four year terms, Governor Campbell flew 451.6 hours, Governor Beasley flew 303.17 hours and Governor Hodges flew 310.06 hours, while I flew 228.95 hours," wrote Sanford. And the seven flight hours at issue represent "two percent of the total flight hours taken," the embattled governor wrote.

Sanford has been at the center of controversy after admitting to an extra-marital affair with an Argentine woman. The South Carolina Republican has weathered and resisted calls for him to resign and, instead, has tried to refocus attention on his gubernatorial duties. His wife, Jenny, recently moved out of the governor's mansion and Wednesday Sanford gave a radio interview where he said "the aftermath of any of these things is not going to be ideal."

"We take it a day at a time," Sanford also said of his situation.


Filed under: Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. notfooledtx

    I have no sympathy for this cheating liar. If he could lie to his wife and family, he'd have no problem lying to his constituents.

    August 13, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Marilyn

    Sanford has brought all of this on himself. I have NO sympathy for him! He should just slink off to Argentina and live with his mistress, and have the miserable life he deserves. Jenny and the kids should get on with their lives. They have done nothing to be ashamed of.

    August 13, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. The Party of NO stood calmly by for 8 year while the shrub raped and pillaged America, so, why would we listen to you now?

    So, using this moron's logic, if I am a mass murderer, but kill fewer people than other mass murderers and only get caught for killing 2% of my victims, it is ok???

    August 13, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. W. Art

    This man is pathetic. Yet he was one of the main ones on Pres. Obama's back. Now that he has literally got caught with his pants down, he have the audacity to try and defend his actions.

    I read where he stated that since his wife moved out, how lonely it was without Jenny. Paleeeeze, spare me. Where was all that sentiment for Jenny when you were with your mistress. You were the one writing love letters, saying something to the effect you found your soul mate.

    Just plain pathetic.

    August 13, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Gerry

    Let's see. That's like being a little bit pregnant. Either it is illegal or it isn't. And because somebody else did it worse doesn't mean you are free and clear. Just get out and move to be with your South American soulmate.

    August 13, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. the southern progressive

    you already quit your marriage when you chose adultery over protecting the sanctity of marriage with your wife.. so go ahead and quit your job already... you self-righteous sanctimonious cheater.. according to your side, your kind is not wanted in our country.

    but i guess your reasoning is stealing a little, is really not stealing, like cheating a little is not really adultery.

    thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife,,, guess it should have been more specific about women in another hemisphere

    August 13, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. pierce

    OK, Mark, just don't do it again.

    People, let's have some empathy for someone who spent "5 days crying in Argentina" at the expense of minimum-wage sad-sack residents of your state.

    August 13, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Florida Joe

    (CNN) – No one is ever going to accuse embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford of backing down.

    No one should accuse him of being smart either..................How does traveling less that someone else justify improper use??
    SO if you only break the law 2% of the time it's OK?

    What a hypocrite

    August 13, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. kenneth

    He didn't run for saint !

    August 13, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. illinoistom

    Why is Governor Sanford using the Blagojevich strategy of "run your mouth until we have to impeach you?" The good people of South Carolina deserve better. Step down now Mark, it will only get worse if you don't.

    August 13, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. Donna

    Please, Governor, resign and spare us any more embarrasment!

    August 13, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Ron In California

    Governor, you did mess up. This whole matter is a distraction in your state and to the National Republican effort to rebuild itself. It is time to do the right thing.

    August 13, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Ok... enough about this loser.... MOVE ON

    August 13, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Laughing at rationalization

    So, following the Governor's logic......If I only rob folks 2% of the time, and other folks did it more...it is really not breaking the law???

    August 13, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Poor guy. Misery needs company.

    August 13, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. ljmoon

    This guy takes the prize...does he ever admit to any wrong-doing, be it lying to his constituents or his wife, or is he just too caught up in 'its so hard to be me'.

    August 13, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. rostock

    why don't this schmele just go hid under a rock for the next ten years, until the apocolypse subsides...then he can take a job as cleaner of the Obama toilets.

    August 13, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. John

    So is that the rationale of this idiot, comparing his hours to previous? That sounds like something I heard in 1st grade...get this loser out of office....

    August 13, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. Wake Up

    sanford, go away. you are a fraud, and a disgrace to the repub. party. resign and go write a book or something, you are disgusting.

    August 13, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. naomi

    Using Governor Sanford's logic that his predecessors flew more personal hours than he did, would the Governor say that if his predecessors had three or more extramarital affairs that one such affair is modest by comparison?

    August 13, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. madison

    Oh, why can't he just go away???!!!!! He is the poster-child for ignorance in this country!

    August 13, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. Steve in Kentucky

    Well I personally think Mr. Sanford should stay on as governor so he, along with Sen. Ensign of Nevada, can remind us daily of the complete hypocrisy of the Repiglican party

    August 13, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. Harriett

    From the articles I've read, the number of hours doesn't seem to be the issue. It's that he flew 1st or business class when the state constitution mandates they he travel the cheapest way possible.

    He seems more than willing to spend taxpayer's money for his pleasure and convenience but doesn't think spending it on the state's miserable school system is warranted.

    If this is what fiscal conservatives are all about, I think, that we are all a lot better off without them in office.

    August 13, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Donna from SC

    Would y'all please lay off our Gov?
    The Yellow Dog Democrat in me is still hoping for a Sanford/ Palin ticket
    in 2012!
    Don't mess that up. hahaha

    August 13, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Ray

    Figures...republicans have trouble with the truth, and admitting they're WRONG! This is so typical...he's a LIAR, and nothing he says is believable! If he wants sympathy, he should go find it in his church where no doubtedly he'll find several of his own kind! HYPOCRITS!

    August 13, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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