August 26th, 2009
05:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Sanford fights back against call for resignation

(CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford forcefully rejected his lieutenant governor's request that he resign for the good of the state, telling reporters Wednesday: "I am not going to be railroaded out of this office by political opponents or folks that were never fans of mine in the first place."

Sanford called a press conference to respond to Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who said earlier in the day "that the best interests of the people of South Carolina can no longer be served by the current administration." Bauer also promised voters that if Sanford resigns and he assumes the governorship, he will not go through with his long-held plans to enter the 2010 governor's race.

But Sanford dismissed Bauer's offer - which was made formally in a letter sent to Sanford's office - and accused Bauer and other critics of cynically trying to exploit his weakened political position in the wake of recent investigations into his travel expenses.

"A lot of what's going on is pure politics, plain and simple," he said.

Bauer and Sanford were elected separately to their offices, and they are not politically or personally close.

Sanford sarcastically said that while "it would represent heaven on earth" to take Bauer up on his offer, he'd rather focus on solving the state's problems for the remainder of his term.

The governor, whose office sits just feet from Bauer's in the state House, responded to his number two with his own sharply-worded letter. "I most humbly decline your offer," Sanford wrote, "but thank you for it nonetheless."

The embattled governor claimed that most South Carolinians have moved on from his admission in June that he had an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman, a disclosure that sparked investigations into his use of state resources. But Sanford said political rivals continue to stir up controversy for "payback" and that the media keeps covering the story "because it helps sell papers."

Sanford continued to defend his administration's "incredible record" of using taxpayer money wisely for international and domestic travel.

House Republicans are meeting this weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for their annual retreat, and the topic of impeachment is likely to dominate the agenda, according to those planning to attend. Members of the House Judiciary Committee have told CNN there are enough votes on the committee to send an impeachment motion to the floor of the House.

The power of impeachment in South Carolina, according to the state constitution, is reserved for "cases of serious crimes or serious misconduct in office."

Filed under: Andre Bauer • Extra • Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Tex

    Nah, Sanford. You screwed up; you should resign.

    August 26, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. WhoCares?

    Wow..Sanford is one sad pathetic human being.

    He still quotes the Bible? Enjoy your lake of fire Gov!

    August 26, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Nathan,


    A lot of whats going on is your inablity to do right. You have some nerve blameing your troubles on your enemies. They weren't the ones who whisked you away to Argentina to go back on the promise you made to your wife when you said I do. THey weren't the ones who played holier than thou with the state stimulus money only to find out that you're the biggest abuser of the state budget in the state. Perhaps they're just tired of the hypocrite you are and want s different hypocrite in there.

    August 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. j in wy

    politics, plain and simple?!

    no, governor, you're just a scumbag.

    August 26, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Terry from West Texas

    The fine folks of South Carolina have given the nation months of amusement. Those folks are Conservative to the core, and they elected a governor to show the nation what Conservatism is all about.

    I say, let the will of the people stand! Don't let a bunch of politicians in Columbia thwart the expressed will of the voters.

    We need to keep Gov. Sanford there until the next Republican gets caught with his zipper down and his hand in the till.

    Furthermore, Jesus has forgiven Sanford, he (Sanford) assures us. Can we condemn a man whom Jesus has forgiven?

    August 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Randolph Carter

    Sure, democrats do it too. But it's way funnier when members of the holier-than-thou crowd do it. Oh the hypocracy. Have a nice day!

    August 26, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Moderate Democrat

    "A lot of what's going on is pure politics, plain and simple," he said.

    So, hey dude...when you were in Argentina, and nobody knew where you were (Dude, where's my Governor?), which is fine...except that the bill was being footed by the "I can't find a job in this state because it's education is horrible and my kids are coming home starved to death from school, I would seek medical attention but this state health care is among the worst in the entire country" constituents...well, we have a problem there.

    So, What were you doing there anyways? Politics, plain and simple? Or was it more of being a fraud and cheater..both on your family and state?

    You don't have to answer that...we already know!

    August 26, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Chris - Seattle

    Hey Sanford I wonder what your wife & kids think you should do? Give us a flippin break and resign and save your state some money from attempting to impeach you and definitely don't listen to your dimwitted constituents that don't think you did anything wrong or illegal!

    August 26, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. Donkey Party

    Sanford's C-Street minders will not permit their minions from relinquishing power, no matter what. According to his C-street cult, members can commit any crime necessary (including raping and killing children) to stay in, or further their political power. Senators Coburn and Ensign are proud members as well. They worship infamous leaders like Edi Amin, Pol Pot, and Hitler. Just whose interests are they all serving anyhow?

    August 26, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Ken from missouri

    Good job gov the people elected you and not anybody else so hang in there and keep on doing your job the voters will decide!!

    August 26, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. carlos, that one

    this guy sanford, does he live in S.C. or Mars????? most of the people in south carolina don't want him any longer representing them......or he is going to be impeached.....where did I hear that word..REPREHENSIBLE?

    August 26, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Capt Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I think he should stay he is a great poster boy for the GOP. As long as he is in we can all be reminded that the GOP likes to play with everyones emotions including people close to them.

    August 26, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. YouMustThinkWe'reStupid

    This proud example of South Carolina's conservative roots should be allowed to serve out his term. A sell-out on stimulus money for his state, and health-care for his citizens. Yes, South Carolina has provided us with fine examples of governance....Strom Thurmond, Jim DeMint included. They get what they deserve.

    August 26, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Post always rejected by CNN

    Well well well. HE says he is not going to be railroaded out of office huh??? When he led the charge against President Clinton to be investigated because it was suspected....just suspected he had an affair....Not like him who really did have one.

    Now Sanford trashed Clinton long before the republicans hounded him into a trial and he told his lie about Monica. So he should shut his mouth and thank goodness he is not being prosecuted for spending state funds for personal use. That is what should get him in to trouble.

    August 26, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Mr. Sanford you are the perfect example of BAD politics. Do good by the good people if S.C. and resign. They have been embarrassed enough by your poor judgements.

    August 26, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Suzan

    This man is a lame duck.......he won't win if he runs again in the next election and he won't be able to do anything productive during the rest of his term so why don't these losers just give it up and go home.......he thinks the people are going to forget his transgressions and give him a little slap on the hand and that will be it.........the people of SC are smarter than that........I hope if he is stuborn enough to stay in office that his fellow republicans will dog him all the way to the end of his term.....

    August 26, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Free and Thinking in Las Vegas

    You know. I do understand that some Democrats have been caught too... however, those guys did the nasty with women. Except for Sanford and Ensign, the republican cheaters did it with little boys.


    August 26, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    Not coming to work for 3 days is at worst poor judgement, but not what you could reasonably call a serious crime or serious misconduct unless it was habitual.

    For serious misconduct, you need to look at someone like Blagodevich. Selling political favors for personal gain is more an affront on the people who elected you than having some latin honey on the side.

    August 26, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Joyce in South Carolina

    Governor Sanford..................Why don't you let the voters of our state give an opinion on whether you should resign or not. My bet is that the answer would be an overwhelming YES!!!!! Please don't put our state through an impeachment.

    August 26, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. San Francisco

    An unprincipled coward, an unabashed liar, and a hypocrite. He's perfectly qualified to be South Carolina's governor.

    August 26, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. LacrosseMom

    Sanford is the only person in our country who goes AWOL from his job, and demands that he keep his job? Most of us would have been fired, instantly.

    He did not break the law, he failed to do his job.

    August 26, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. wandevx

    Moderate Democrat should learn to write properly before he/she attacks the issue of poor education.

    August 26, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Suzan

    Just like Palin they don't know when to give up, to go home, to shut up, he lost it when his girlfriend became more important to him than his family and his STATE......Palin lost it when she gave up because the going got tough and made up all kinds of stupid excuses as to why she was this the elite of the GOP? Is this all you got.......then we will be under Demorcratic leadership for 8 years until you people can find some quailified people in your party to run........and Huckabee won't be it because this country doesn't want a preacher running our country.......

    August 26, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. jackson

    What it is exactly that Sanford thinks he's hanging on to. He's politically dead when his term ends. He's certainly right as to the motives of Bauer and his other opponents who are urging him to step down, but other than the satisfaction of thwarting them for a few more months, what can he possibly hope to achieve for the state or for himself?

    August 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Allison

    What aan ego this loser has!! He's a royal Republican mess!

    August 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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