September 9th, 2009
02:37 PM ET
5 years ago

S.C. House Republicans tell Sanford to resign

Mark Sanford called the letter 'unpersuasive and unsurprising.'
Mark Sanford called the letter 'unpersuasive and unsurprising.'

(CNN) – An overwhelming majority of Republicans in the South Carolina House of Representatives called on Gov. Mark Sanford to resign Wednesday, saying in a letter hand-delivered to his office that the governor's actions "have been destructive to our state's image on a worldwide stage."

Sixty of 72 Republicans endorsed the letter that was signed by House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham on behalf of House GOP leadership.

The letter has been in the works ever since House Republicans met in Myrtle Beach last month during their annual retreat. At that meeting, not a single member of the GOP caucus spoke in support of Sanford and at least one legislator provided an outline of possible impeachment charges against the governor.

"The general sense of the Caucus is that the people of South Carolina have suffered enough as a result of your recent actions and the current allegations against you," the members wrote to the governor, referring to his disappearance from the state in June and subsequent investigations into his travel expenses.

The 60 members calling for the governor's resignation include a coalition of Sanford critics and allies, along with several legislators who would play key roles in the impeachment process if the House decides to try to remove the governor when the legislative session begins in January.

The letter was delivered one day after House Speaker Bobby Harrell broke his months-long silence and publicly called on the governor to step aside, making him the second-highest ranking elected official in the South Carolina to do so.

Despite the growing resignation drumbeat, it's unlikely that the letter from House members will do much to change Sanford's mind.

"The reality is King Herod's heart is hardened and Mark Sanford is not going to change his mind," one well-connected South Carolina GOP strategist said of Sanford's thinking.

The governor's office called Wednesday's letter "both unpersuasive and unsurprising" and pointed out that many of his longtime critics signed onto the letter, even though several allies - including Rep. Nathan Ballentine - added their names to the note.

"What this letter does provide is further evidence of a disconnect between the people of this state who want to move forward and many politicians in Columbia who see the current situation as a way to achieve political payback," Sanford's spokesman Ben Fox said in a statement.

Among the GOP House members not signing onto the letter: state Rep. Nikki Haley, an ideological ally of Sanford's who is running for governor in 2010.

Haley said in a statement that she decided not to support the letter because the governor has already made clear he will not step aside and any efforts to encourage him to do so amount to little more than political posturing.


Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Leonard

    2 MONTHS AFTER THE SCANDALOUS AFFAIR. Good leadership Republican . Let that had been a democrat. Alll hell would have broke loose. Once a gain Hypocrites. LOL. Keep this up and you will never see the White House again.

    September 9, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. DSH

    oh...she's an expert? spare me.

    September 9, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Ashamed in SC

    Rep. Haley, one of the few deniers, is facing an extremely daunting campaign based on her refusal to face facts and make decisions based on what is best for SC and not for her aspirations.

    September 9, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. j

    He`s like a cancer and should resign for the good of the party.---------But, God it`s hard to give up all that power and money.

    September 9, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Just Me

    Ha Ha Ha..God luck SC GOP. Sanford aint going no where. You are going to have to impeach him. Meanwhile, he is laughing at you all the way to Argentina.

    September 9, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Steph

    Nah, nah, nah, nah, hay, hay, hay, good bye! Sing it with me now...Nah, nah, nah, nah, hay, hay, hay, good bye!

    September 9, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. SC Girlie

    Only 60 of the 72 have called on Sanford to resign. Who are the 12 who didn't call for his resignation? Those 12 need to go down with Sanford! They are clearly not thinking about moving SC forward in a positive light!

    September 9, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Susan

    Sanford's sense of importance and entitlement ranks right up there with Palin's. I wager he won't resign.

    September 9, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Denis

    It is about time!!! and good riddance

    September 9, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. sammieb51

    It is about time SC.

    September 9, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. 60 members calling for the governor's resignation

    Sanford says: "its a conspiracy, they are all against me"

    I think you are correct this time sir, they are all against you

    September 9, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. cat

    RESIGN you need to be with your SOULMATE not in the governors seat. I am so tire of immorals holding high offices in our country. Get rid of him, so a good man or woman can lift the state back up on moral ground

    September 9, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. single mom

    I don't understand why Sanford keeps hanging around. What is he waiting for? Something else to come up to provide a distraction? We had the health care bill fiasco all summer and remember him. Does he want an engraved invitation? From what I've read, that's the only thing missing!

    September 9, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Junius

    Who are they kidding??!!! South Carolina doesnt have a world wide image!! This is only a story in America.

    September 9, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. Beverly - NYC

    state Rep. Nikki Haley said she decided not to support the letter because the governor has already made clear he will not step aside .

    At least one person is listening, just impeach the guy already or shut up and let him serve out his term. LT Gov. Bauer must be really bad if SC is willing to put up with Sanford who has become nothing more than a placeholding figurehead.

    September 9, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. C Tyler

    Now that the shoe is on the other foot. Let's see if the Governor practices what he preaches. I doubt it, it should interesting to watch the implosion!

    September 9, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Fan of Common Sense

    This guy has not done anything that probably 50% of the governors across the country have done. The media is all over him because he is a high profile republican, and his fellow republicans are trying to sacrifice him to appease the media. Back off and let him finish out his term!

    September 9, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Post always rejected by CNN

    I hope he doesn't....it will show the country the class and character of republicans. It will show that they are quick to jump in and try to flame a democrat for some of the same things they are doing, and even worst.

    September 9, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Joseph B

    The people of South Carolina do want to move forward – they want to move forward without Sanford.

    September 9, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. David S. Robins

    Let's hope the South Carolina legislature does follow through and impeach Sanford. He's a jerk who has no business in public office.

    September 9, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. S Callahan

    Haley is correct in her assessment of this......It take courage to hang in there the way Sanford is. And you don't think that is gumption? And I mean that in a positive way.

    September 9, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. Island girl

    "S.C. House Republicans tell Sanford to resign". In other words the black sheep of the family needs to leave the fold.
    So many have been singing the same song but this governor is not taking them on. Perhaps they better start giving their marching orders in Spanish and he will understand. Uno, dos, tres, vamoose!

    September 9, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. idaho beef

    this man was immoral in political office, immoral to his family. all people like this think they're right, but even his own party is telling him to get out. please, sanford, go repent for your sins somewhere else.

    September 9, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. stormerF

    Where is the Outcry for Charles Rangel to resign,He has proven more than once he is Corrput and inept at his job?Why is it that we are held to a higher standard than a congressman,when it comes to paying Taxes?

    September 9, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Wow! It sounds like this guy isn't going to be able to get anything done even it came straight from heaven and everybody wanted it. This guy missed the time to get out with some friends intact. He has lost it.

    September 9, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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