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. Randolph Carter, the wacky liberal moonbat

    That's it. I've had it with this guy. Send his career to the death panel! Have a nice day!

    August 13, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. PLEASE, no more republicans ever!

    Of course it's okay, he's a republican. They literally get away with murder (i.e. bush & cheyney)

    August 13, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. In the West

    Typical right-winger. For these people morality is relative (although they profess otherwise). Practice adultery (inclu. same-sex adultery), alcoholism, drug use..... then make "sincere" apologies so you can be forgiven to repeat your stupidity. How many republicans will have to be outed for bad behavior before the country gets the message that the venomous right-wing radicals are not only NOT the guardians of American morals, but in fact are a far greater threat to our nation than any liberal?

    August 13, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Roger

    Sounds like the ol' Tomcat is saying "uncle". He just doesn't want to give up.

    August 13, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Frank, Las Vegas

    He needs to shed more tears. The GOP loves tears, the more the better. The GOP will forgive anyone (as long as they are in the GOP) who cries great big tears. HYPOCRITES!

    August 13, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Alex

    Look Mark, the Republican Party has enough problems and your situation is unhelpful to say the least. You WERE supposed to be a bright spot for the future and turned out to be an unfaithful cheat who had it all and flushed it over another woman. Resign man! Suddenly the future of the Republican Party looks dimmer as the days go by and your miserable conduct and excuses don't cut it anymore. Go away!

    August 13, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Linda

    The problem is not so much that you messed up, but that you tried to ruin others people's careers who had the same faults. We don't like what we see in you at these news conferences ...the lies, the whining and the arrognance. We have lost faith in you so step aside.

    August 13, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. WhoCares?

    One of the most pathetic displays of humanity ever shown.

    By he has God's backing right?

    August 13, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. phyllis

    I think his wife has aready left him, and taken the children with her. If he would step down as governor, things might get better for him, and his family, he is keeping things in the spotlight by not leaving office. I would think, that getting his family back would be more important, than staying in office. I think when he term is over, he will return to his girlfriend, this is what all of this is leading up too. He can say what he wants to, but I think his wife has already cut the cord, and is moving on with her children, unlike him, she is putting the children first, as she should. He is only making things worse, by not leaving office. His family should be first in this saga. But we all need to realize, that he is only human, we all make mistake, but he is making another one, by staying in office. Thank you.

    August 13, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. JP

    Why doesn't this news item just go away; it keeps popping up every other day. Who cares what he thinks.


    August 13, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. SHIRLEY "61"

    Sanford is a hypocritical joke, and he should do the RIGHT THING and resign.

    August 13, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Republicans are evil!

    He had no problem denying citizens stimulus money but used gov money to see his mistress...of course republicans see nothing wrong with this.

    August 13, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Unemployed for too long

    Another example of the morally bankrupt seeking compassion where little is ever offered.
    Take it like a man, big shot,, ya play, ya pay!

    August 13, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Butch Dillon

    He's wrong, the media, and the public, have every right to criticize Sanford as harshly as they please. He's the one who placed himself on a moral plane above everyone else and had the hypocrisy to claim the high ground for frugality as well. While the rest of the state struggles, the governor has been living a high flying, deceitful life at public expense. In all ways, Sanford and his hypocrisy need to be slapped down lest he forgets what a viper he is.

    August 13, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Kevin from Columbia, SC

    The problem with Governor Sanford is that he apparently believes he is above the law. He feels that giving an excuse and apologizing AFTER THE FACT is enough to make up for his wrong-doings. I, as a South Carolinian, think he is very much so mistaken and should do what is right and resign. Since his affair, has he even done any work as our governor.. or is he too busy sending out these Op-Ed's every few days? Do our state justice, and walk away. We don't need a lying hypocrite running our state!

    August 13, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Mike in SA

    Consumer spending plummets...foreclosures spike to an all time high...unemployment filings spike a week after the White House decries the "good news" of falling unemplyment...and CNN is all Sanford, all the time. Great journalism, guys!

    August 13, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. WhoCares?

    "At least, I respect Governor Sanford for being an honest man."

    You are aware that he was UNFAITHFUL to his wife and marriage correct? Ah..yes..cheating has always been the bastion of HONESTY.

    My god...How can any sane person defend his piece of trash.

    August 13, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Moonbeam

    Enough already! Is there anything else of importance to put first thing on political ticker?!

    August 13, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Travis In Colorado

    I'm a republican in Colorado, Red till I'm dead, and Governor Sanford should not only repay for the state for his private use of the aircraft, he should also step down as governor. All of this is taking away from his duties and responsibilites as governor, and Sanford has clearly shown that he cannot be trusted to do his job right now. He should concentrate on his wife and kids, dealing with his mistress, and getting on with life. He has his priorities mixed up. He is morally corrupt, and maybe financially and politcally corrupt as well. He should resign or be impeached.

    August 13, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. Grog in Ohio

    Wow... what an embarrassment to the people of South Carolina. And Republicans listed this chump as presidential material for 2012? Oh wait... they're still touting Palin too. Okay... never mind.

    August 13, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. sms29s

    So if only 2% of the flights were illegal, then they don't count?

    August 13, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. sam

    Sanford used public funds and assets for his own personal gain.

    That give the media and his constituents EVERY RIGHT to talk about it.

    What kind of vacuum it this man living in?

    August 13, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Melissa

    For gods sakes. When Clinton did it, he did it inside the white house. When sanford did it, he left the country on the publics dime without telling anyone where he is. The issue is not the cheating, its the theft of the publics money, the going awol, and the hypocritical bull thats come out of his mouth thats the problem.

    August 13, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |

    What about his Soul mate? Now hes lonely without Jenny maybe Jenny was Lonely when he was with his Soulmate PATHETIC PIECE OF --!

    August 13, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. mcgee1228

    All of these comments saying he is a cheat, a liar, has no place in government... he lives in a multi million dollar house, he took his family with him on trips – well, do you really believe that this only happens within the GOP? It happens with the majority in politics. Obama lives in a multi million dollar house. Look at the Clintons – oops, did I dare mention Bill Clinton and what he did in the Oval Office? A place my tax dollars pay for? And you want to criticize this man for doing something outside? Come on.. a lot of Presidents cheated, lied and used State planes, vehicles for personal use.. what does Obama go out in to get a hamburger?? But, of course, DEMs think they are always right and never do any wrong, and anything the GOP does causes total hysteria!

    August 13, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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