August 26th, 2009
05:45 PM ET
5 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. Whatever!

    This is what South Carolina has to offer our country? what a shame...what the hell goes through republicans minds when they vote scares me!

    August 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    have some class and leave office, SCUMBAG

    August 26, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Beverly - NYC

    I guess the governor has decided he would rather be impeached rather than resign and save face. Let see if the South Carolina wing of the party of NO have what it takes to vote out one of their own.

    August 26, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Mike

    Hey.., when the train loses its brakes, get out of the way. There is going to be a wreak. Mike in Montana

    August 26, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Debby

    This man is pathetic just leave already Sanford.

    August 26, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. Walter

    I have no admiration at all for this liar. But he's supposed to step down because the selfish little snake in the Lt. Governor's office wants his job?

    I don't blame him for refusing.

    August 26, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. mabel floyd

    sanford has the typical c-street mentality. God elected him - to hell with the people. he is part of the sleeze that is infecting the politic system. this greed for power is lead by the religious right who think they have a right to power and anyone who does not follow their lead is a fallen soul. what a bunch of hypocrites. they are led by people like sanford who think they can run away from duty - tell no one where they are going–lie about where they have been–spend the the people's money to sneak off to a mistress–lie to their family–desert their children many times–the last time on father's day–but when the people ask him to leave as he is not morally or intellectually equipped to lead their state–he whines they they are trying to run him out of state. the man is so dense that he does not see that he did anything to be shamed and run off for-DISGUSTING!!!

    August 26, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Wendy

    He's an idiot. Living in the south has been the single worst experience of my life. The fact that there are people all around me who believe it's ok to look the other way so as not to "rock the boat" and who stand behind this MORON, disgusts me to no end. They're the same breed that think people like Sarah Palin are authentic. I'm sick, sick, sick over this.

    August 26, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Jim

    It wasn't the cheating on his spouse. Heaven knows, many ordinary folk are guilty of this, men and women alike.

    But just taking off and leaving your job for five days without telling anyone is certainly grounds for 'termination'.

    What job in this country can anyone disappear from for five days and not expect to get fired??

    August 26, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Carole

    I don't blame him!

    I find it disgusting how much of a hypocrite he is about the President Clinton scandal, but his Rethug croonies have NO room to talk!

    I hope he stays and don't go nowhere.

    August 26, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. Andrea

    This man is revealing himself to be a raging and delusional narcissist. Dude, step down for goodness sake, you are no longer viewed nor desired as a leader. People are going to start seeing that you are actually crazy if you don't bust a move in the right direction.

    August 26, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Roger

    When Sanford Lied to his Wife…………… We want to Remove him.

    When Bush Lied to the Whole Country……………. We didn't Remove him.

    August 26, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Deb

    All the fellow S Carolinians I talk to want Sanford out & say they'll vote out any Republicans who fail to oust him. It's only "politics" that's keeping him IN office b/c so many are worried who'll get a leg up on the Gov's race. Sanford, Graham & especially DeMint are neck deep in C-Street & affiliation w/Howard Rich who advocates destroying public education. We want our state run according to laws & democracy, not by a cult or out-of-state manipulator. Sanford's affair is the least of our concerns except that it shows his hypocrisy

    August 26, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. republicans hate america

    typical christian do as i say not as i do.

    August 26, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Irma in North Carolina

    I never cared for Mark by the way he didnt want to take the stiumlas money to help his people in his state. like the governer of alaska did. But you go to give him credit he doesnt want to be a quitter like Sarah was.

    August 26, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. I'll make 'em famous

    This has to be politics again : ADULTERY is when you mess with someone else's.............

    Remember King David himself had many wives but comitted adultery, (Books of Kings or Book of Psalms ), while Solomon had many wives but NEVER comitted adultery...!

    Again factcheck it, .....it's in your Bible!

    August 26, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. DD from SC

    The term stupid had seven definitions; it now has eight.

    STUPID
    –adjective
    1. lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind
    2. characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish; senseless:
    3. tediously dull, esp. due to lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless:
    4. annoying or irritating; troublesome
    5. in a state of stupor.
    6. Slang. excellent; terrific.
    –noun
    7. Informal. a stupid person.
    8. Mark Sanford, The Love Gov. of SC

    August 26, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Simply Unbeliveable

    Political arrogance knows no boundaries or party affiliation. What ever happened to character and honor? Using public funds for a dalliance is more than reprehensible. But, Bubba got away with it, and I suppose he feels entitled to his little lapse in judgment too.

    August 26, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Liberal4Obama

    Mark Sanford should stay he is the gift that keeps on giving, republicans had hoped this story would go away but if just keeps coming back. If Sanford is still in SC by the 2010 midterms republicans will loose tons of seats, all that "Moral Values" BS is being replaced by their hypocrisy in standing up for and defending a man that cant be defended.

    August 26, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Farrell in Houston

    This nut's actions ran his wife and family out of the Governor's mansion because he was chasing a skirt in Argentina and now he says he won't be ran out of office. It's all about Sanford and nobody else but Sanford, not his wife, not his children and certainly not about the people of S.C.

    August 26, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Dem For Life

    The injury we do and the one we suffer are not weighed in the same scales. ~Aesop, Fables

    August 26, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Dan in San Marcos

    I'm an independent, no political dogma behind my thoughts. If he was my governor, I'd want him GONE.

    August 26, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. CJ

    Yes, of course it is politics you dimwit Sanford. Does this response work for the Republican base as an explanation for your criminal activity? I wouldn't say that it is "pure" politics though. This is more the "impure" type of politics. Umm–since you are a politician of sorts isn't politics what you are supposed to deal in when you are actually in the country working in the statehouse?
    Why do republicans always dismiss comments by opponents when they are caught with their pants down as "politics"? Don't let them get away with it anymore!

    August 26, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Roger

    Why are we Punishing and Accusing Gov. Mark Sanford of "Serious Misconduct"

    When Mark Sanford Lied to his wife, No Body Died, Hurt or was Killed.

    When Bush Lied:

    1. 4300 US Troops Died.
    2 25000 US Troops Hurt.
    3. 100000 Iraqis Killed.

    We have Pardoned Bush.

    We should Pardon Sanford. :|

    August 26, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. L for Legend

    what a jerk!!!!

    August 26, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
1 2 3