August 13th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
9 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. CS from VA

    Maybe he should instead have said "I am messed up..."

    August 13, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Earl

    This is all a media attack on a upstanding man and excellent governor. People don't know the governor, they don't know all the great things he's done. And Sanford is the only one who can stop obama from killing this country. AT LEAST SANFORD WAS BORN IN THE USA!

    August 13, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Mark Sanford can I forget Billy boy... Clinton!!!

    August 13, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. dennis Castanares, Los Angeles, CA

    Right. I teach adolescents, so I'm used to hearing this kind of self-excusing blather, only not from someone who's supposedly an adult:
    1. So I did it, but so did other people.
    2. So I did it, but just a little bit.
    I guess that sort of thinking forgives just about anything: you can always compare your own sin to Hitler's.
    This guy's in deep hole and he just keeps on digging.
    Ah, it's so good to know the GOP is the party of morality, dedicated to the sanctity of marriage.

    August 13, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. The Closet Republican

    He "messed up" only in the sense tthat he got caught in his reptilian (republican) eyes.
    This lying hypocrite was chosen (by Rush Limpbaugh) to run for the Presidency as the conservative's dream candidate for 2012.

    He (fake) advocated austerity such as state worker's using BOTH sides of post-it notes while he took state planes so that he could keep a haircut appointment on time. He was the perfect republican (mis)leader. But the liar got caught.

    August 13, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. jody in NY

    Enough of his boo hooing. Pay back the taxpayers what you took and maybe everyone will leave you alone.

    August 13, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Michael Newman

    Gov Sanford is a total nut cake who has consistantly lied to the people of South Carolina about being fiscally responsible. He lives in a $3.5M home on Sullivan's Island and has a huge plantation near Beaufort. His 4 boys attend a very expensive private school. He demands that all other state employees live just above the poverty level. He is against public education from K thru University, He is against funding juvinle justice programs or anything that benefits anyone other than himself. He should divorce his wife and move to Argentina with his girl friend.... He sure does love all the publicity that he is getting !

    August 13, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Jann in Denver

    This guy just needs to resign and get it over with. He's a liar and a cheat and has no place in our gov't.

    August 13, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Padraig

    People need to be realistic, this has been going on since we first became a government. Politicians whether they are the President down to mayors take there families with them on some of there trips. If you so it is wrong for one, then it is wrong for all. One agreed upon policy should be created.

    August 13, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Melissa

    I don't believe a word that comes out of this mans mouth.

    August 13, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. CS from VA

    Remember the 8-year-old at the President's first State of the Union? The one who went to school in a shoddy building that rumbled when a train went by? How pathetic that this so-called Governor effectively denies this kid and her classmates a quality education, and refuses stimulus money to boot, while at the same time justifies his tryst trips at taxpayer expense.

    South Carolinians – are you paying attention?

    August 13, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Dave

    Sanford is a flat-out liar. Just ask his wife. And his Family. And his staff. And the citizens of South Carolina. And the list goes on...

    August 13, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. SPQR753

    Are the rantings of a CLOWN really that relevant?

    August 13, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. coolchange

    This is why I knew they were lying when South Carolina officials came out and originally claimed Sanford hadn't used taxpayer money to go on his booty call.

    August 13, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. josh

    Who Cares
    I am tired of hearing about a man who evidently lacks morals. Once is a mistake, months is blatent disregard. This guy is currently getting more publicity than our men in uniform. If he didn't already step down, kick him out of office and shut up about it already.

    August 13, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. LMAO

    What's good for the goose......

    He voted to have Clinton Impeached for the same thing- typical bible banger.

    August 13, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Joe

    The rules in Obama's liberal society are that as long as you are a conservative or GOP, you should resign, and as long as you are a DAMs or liberal, you will have a nice pass. That is fair!

    August 13, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |

    Why do GOP MEMBERS always rationalize their behavior? Why is it they never accept the responsibility for their own behavior? They NEVER seem to look at themselves. They ALWAYS talk about what someone else has done so it is OK for them to do the same. I WAS ALWAYS TAUGHT TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT. This is no man he is a child he really needs to GO. What a sad example he sets for his children, his wife, and the US OF AMERICA. He is truly a very SAD man. I guess the "C ST" FAMILY is telling him what to do and say. He is accountable to them first, then himself, wife, then the people he was elected to serve. The C ST. group believes they were put in their positions by GOD so they are above the LAW, anyone or anythng.


    August 13, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Roger

    This guy remains very popular with most of the right wingers in SC...I know I live here....if it were a democrat in SC that had an affair while being married he would be rail roaded, if it were a democrat in SC that denied the people of SC the stimulius $$$ they would have been destroyed politically BUT with SC being a very "conservative" state they protect their own.....I'll bet most of these good ole boys in SC are blaming Jenny......

    August 13, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    His problem is that he got caught and even though he knew what he was doing (state plane that is) he also knew it violated the state law. Maybe if the state goes after the other govenors for repayment he wont feel so picked on? However, this whole mess would not have even come up if he hadn't got caught cheating on his wife.

    August 13, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Operation Crush Rush

    Sanford is worse than trying to get my cat off the sofa.He just keeps hanging on.haha.Remember kids keep the calls and emails going to uncle Rush,he loves to hear from everyone and doesnt mind the overload.

    August 13, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. McDonalds Night Manager

    South Carolina

    You are being made fools of.

    Fire this bum......his actions, these articles about his actions prove he is a bum.

    He is probably qualified to manage the night shift at a backwater fast food joint. Is that how YOU see the State of South Carolina?

    Fire the bum, you fools. Re-claim some state dignity.

    August 13, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. sammydawg

    Time for SC to invoke impeachment proceedings if Sanford won't volunteer to go. I'm glad I don't live in SC as I would be extremely embarrased to have him as my governor. Ever hear of being a role model? I would think "governor" would be at the top of the list, near "president". Clearly not interested in putting forth the state in front of his personal life.

    August 13, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. BDavis

    No, Governor, you messed up when you went against President Obama on the stimulus.

    August 13, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Walked right into that...

    The Republicans can have a club for the unfaithful at this point. The party of family values is alive and well I see.

    Hypocrites. Maybe one of them will get a clue and ease off the platform that are better then all of the dirty, icky, low-morals Liberals.

    I say now we probaly won't see a Republicanknucklehead in the Presidents chair for a very long time to come. The stakes are stacked against them.

    August 13, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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