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. Kevin from Columbia, SC

    It's not enough the Democrats have called for it, it's not enough that the people of South Carolina have asked for it, but now Gov. Sanford's own political party is asking for his resignation. He can resign with some shred of dignity in light of his recent actions, or come under fire through a long and drawn out impeachment process. Let's "cut the pork," Governor, and skip the wasteful spending and man-hours on the investigations and hearings that will take place to impeach you. It's a no-win situation so please do yourself and the people of South Carolina the favor and resign.

    September 9, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Lilarose

    Sanford isn't going to step down. And by the time he is impeached, it will cost the state zillions of dollars. He knows this. Besides, he won't be in office that much longer.

    What took the SC legislators so dang long?

    September 9, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. George Arlington, TX.

    Just leave this guy alone. None of your business.

    September 9, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. rhoward

    After having dealt with him for the past 6 years, you chumps in the legislature already know Sanford ain't gonna go quietly just because you said "purty please". If you were serious about getting him out you'd just go ahead and call his bluff and impeach him. What a bunch of cowards!

    September 9, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. victim of republican greed

    Finally the S.C. GOP is standing up to laughingstock of modern day governors. He is worse than Blago, and should join him in prison. Blago tried to sell a seat, and Sanford spent taxpayer money for sex.

    September 9, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Vic of New York

    What is so laughable now is how quickly Republicans are now beginning "cleaning up" their acts in advance of the coming 2010 races.

    Guess what. After 16 years of brain-dead shenanigans going back to the Clinton Administration, there is nothing left in this carcass of a political party to clean up!

    Like the living dead looking to feed off the rest of society, these right-wing zombies just continue to pile it on.

    You go Mark Sanford! Why, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and the rest of that sick pack would do nothing less.

    September 9, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Rob Johnson

    What will it take for Sanford to get the message?

    Maybe it has been a longtime dream of his to be impeached and forcibly removed from office, kicking and screaming.

    In that case, dreams really do come true! If you wish upon a star....

    September 9, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. victim of republican greed

    As a "C" Streeter, he does not answer to mere people.

    September 9, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Marc

    For the good of the Republican Party, resign or be imbepeached!!!
    And I am a guy with liberal tendencies...

    September 9, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Rick in OP

    CNN's non-stop coverage of Mark Sanford and Sarah Palin is amazing.
    Did the White House tell CNN that they could not do stories about Charlie Rangel, Van Jones and ACORN? I suggest that CNN call the White House and see if they will be allowed to do real news stories like a real news network.

    September 9, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. JP

    This man is too arrogant to get the memo, give it up Sanford, you are a loser!

    September 9, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Scott

    Don't listen to them Sanford! Stay there, stay in the spotlight! Do more interviews, more stories, take more trips. Keep your name in the public eye.

    September 9, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Sick of Blanche

    Poor Christian Governor. Sad that these people can't see you are doing God's will, philadering like that on the taxpayer's dime.

    September 9, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. ~~ July ~~ ( Working HARD to make TX Blue )

    Oh come on!! Sanford ... do it for the people of SC .... at least give them something to be happy about ... after you pretty much made them a laughing stock! Quit for your 'love of Alaska' .. oops I mean ' Love for Argentina woman ' darn it .. I mean because you suck!

    September 9, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. nola

    Yes, as one of the "C Street members", he only answers to God – not mere humans.

    September 9, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    CNN provides great coverage of Sanford and Palin. How come they don't provide coverage of the Charlie Rangel scandal? Hit to close to the liberal heart that runs CNN?

    September 9, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Luke Brown

    Sanford should be impeached for ruining state government in South Carolina. You can't even get people on the phone anymore to take care of normal business. Roads need $2 billion in repairs, unemployment is higher than almost every other state, schools are the worst in the nation and the only thing Sanford favors is cutting taxes on the rich.

    BTW ... has he ever said that he has given up his girlfriend south of the border? Amazing. The news media let's this guy get away with anything he wants.

    September 9, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Tom St. Paul

    What does Charles Rangel have to do with anything??? Perhaps he should resign too, but the topic at hand here is Gov. Sanford.

    September 9, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Roger

    Resign? Why? All the guy did was slip off to Argentina to see his soulmate. Whats the big deal? Sheesh... give him a break. Everybody knows all work & no play makes a governor a boring boy.

    September 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Gary

    Quit screwing around you bunch of idiots. Impeach him now, He isn't going to resign.
    Yesterday he was talking about his 16 month plan to turn the state around.
    He needs to go NOW. Redneck fools.

    September 9, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Big Ed

    It's pretty clear that his tenure in office has come to a close. At some point, he will need to do the honorable thing for the sake of his family and his consitutents and resign. All he is doing by staying in office is ripping the scabs off the wounds he inflicted on his wife and sons. Resign, take care of the boys. Even if you and your wife do not continue the marriage, think of your sons and not yourself.

    September 9, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Ain't life strange?

    Some guys just don't get it....

    September 9, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. JonDie

    Pathetic, 12 Republicans actually back Sanford.

    September 9, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Vets4Obama

    Didn't the RNC just make a commercial/Ad about how Democrats can't agree?

    Talk about hypocrisy. The republican retards don't just disagree with each other; they are trying to kick each other out of office. I’ll take productive debate over complete hatred of each other ANY DAY of the YEAR!

    September 9, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. R in Maine

    It is hard to find anyone who does not think he should resign. SC is getting what it deserves. Can't the party just pay him off in exchange for his resignation?

    September 9, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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