(CNN) – Mark Sanford's bid for Congress in South Carolina was dealt a major blow Wednesday when national Republicans said they would no longer support him after learning his ex-wife accused him of illegally entering her home.
"Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections. At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged in this special election," Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.
The accusations of trespassing leveled at Mark Sanford, a former South Carolina governor, by his ex-wife Jenny Sanford arose after he visited his son to watch the Super Bowl.
"I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14 year old son because as a father I didn't think he should watch it alone," Mark Sanford wrote. "Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened."
The explanation came the day after news broke Sanford has been ordered to appear in court two days after the May election in which he's contending to become South Carolina's next congressman. On Wednesday, Sanford went up with his first general election ad criticizing Democratic rival Elizabeth Colbert Busch, and a national Democratic group said it was beginning a six-figure campaign against Sanford.
Jenny Sanford claims in court documents she saw her ex-husband leaving her Sullivan's Island home on Feb. 3, roughly three weeks after Mark Sanford announced his bid for Congress.
"It's an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court," Mark Sanford wrote in his statement. "I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14 year old son because as a father I didn't think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened."
Read more: First on CNN: Sanford warned about trespassing in 2011
The couple were divorced in 2010 after the then-governor admitted he was carrying on an extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. He finished out his gubernatorial term in 2011 and has since become engaged to the same woman.
On Tuesday, Jenny Sanford wrote in a message to CNN, "I understood [the documents] were to have remained part of the sealed divorce docs. This is a private matter and I have no further comment."
Sanford said in his statement he is "particularly curious how records that were sealed to avoid the boys dealing with embarrassment are now somehow exposed less than three weeks before this election."
He said he agreed with his ex-wife that the "media is no place to debate what is ultimately a family court matter."
Seeking political redemption, Sanford won the Republican primary this month in a race to fill the 1st District seat left vacant when Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Tim Scott to the Senate late last year.
It's the same district Sanford represented in Congress before becoming governor.
As he deals with the trespassing controversy, Sanford is also going on the attack against his Democratic opponent. In his first TV commercial since he became the GOP nominee, Sanford highlights Colbert Busch's union ties.
"Elizabeth Colbert Busch says she knows jobs and will be independent, but she's not telling you that she's supported by labor unions," says the female narrator in the 30-second spot. "Nearly $30,000 in checks from big labor, even from the union who tried to shut down Boeing and ship a thousand jobs out of South Carolina."
The Sanford campaign confirms to CNN that the ad will start running Wednesday through April 22, and that the campaign will spend nearly $100,000 to run the spot on broadcast and cable television in the Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia markets, which cover nearly all of South Carolina's 1st Congressional District. The campaign is also running the ad on radio in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.
National Journal first reported the new Sanford commercial.
Also Wednesday, a political action committee that backs Democratic House candidates, announced that it would begin a three-week, six-figure media campaign. As part of that push, House Majority PAC unveiled its first TV ad which attacks Sanford's image as a fiscal conservative.
"Mark Sanford may claim to be a fiscal conservative, but as governor he flew around the world in high style – even jetting to the dentist and a hair dresser – and stuck South Carolinians with the $400,000 bill," said House Majority PAC Communications Director Andy Stone, in announcing the new spot, titled "Air Sanford."
Sanford and Colbert Bush, sister of satirist and Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert, face off in a May 7 special election for the seat that Sanford held for three terms before being elected governor in 2002.
CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Peter Hamby, Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
Jenny you sitting yourself up for failure because your ex says he was watching the superbowl with his son not you, lady please get a life
Ah Lynn ... I think we have a new suspect in the Boston killings. Exactly where was a moron like you during that race?
Just askin – do you usually blame the rape victims as well for 'being where they were' when raped?
Thought so ... buffoon.
hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Why does anyone think this liar who abandoned his post would make a good Senator?
I was presently going to ask: where are all the [R]ightwing trolls who typically spew their nonsense as they play apologists for all sorts of [R] misbehavior?
But then I see: "Jenny you sitting yourself up for failure because your ex says he was watching the superbowl with his son not you, lady please get a life."
So a troll does lift its head out of the rightwing cesspool to spew its nonsense......but its just another typical [R] troll response.....'its the other guys fault'. These trolls have no honor and sense of self-worth as they endlessly and obediently apologize for their political lords.
He Broke THE LAW. Just like those Illegal Aliens ! No AMNESTY ! Forgive AS you wish to be forgiven.
That's, Doof, with a capital 'D'. Another politician who regrets being caught, yet can't understand that he brought this on all by himself. Come on, South Carolina. Prove to the rest of the country that you are not a backward as you appear. Boot this lame brain once again!
hell hath no dummy than a [R] politician.
Ask him what was the score or who played in the Super Bowl. Bet he don't remember or just don't know. Too bad his ex didn't have an assault rifle when he showed up.
Sure he was watching the Super Bowl with his son. And at half time he went out to get potato chips but had to use his cell phone light to see his way because his son forgot to turn on the outside lights! Pathetic loser!
I can forgive this creep for bailing out on his wife to be with his "girlfriend", because when it's over, it's over. But dumping his sons on Father's Day to boogie on down to Argentina to be with his 'squeeze?,' that I can't support.
Sandford has no reason to worry. In NC no abortion for victims of rape but if you commit adultery & lie dont worry the white christians will be sure to vote you in. Mr Sandford is headed to Washington because they dont really care about his character!!!!
How the people of South Carolina can vote for such a creature as Sanford is really beyond comprehension. He's shown himself to be a liar and cheat, and can't seem to abide by a court order regarding his children. And this is a person to represent the people of S Carolina? We already have enough sleazy people in congress – we don't need another one.
And the GOP continues to get worse and worse... how anyone could admit to being part of that party is beyond me... they need some sort of recovery system to get out... "Hi, I'm Joe and I'm a GOPer"... "HI Joe"
Is this self-centered bozo the best that South Carolina can do with their Good Ole Boy pool of candidates. It is time for a lady to hold the seat.
I have no idea why SC residents voted for this guy in the primary... if a guy can't keep a promise to his own wife, why should we trust him with the country? Having said that, if he's telling the truth here (and considering his past behavior, that's a pretty big 'if',) I can hardly blame him for watching a game with his son. It's his fault that he broke up his family in the first place, but I can't blame a guy for wanting to spend time with his children.
What a sleeze. Nobody should trust this guy.
I guess they have had several screenings of the Super Bowl this year.
"... they need some sort of recovery system to get out ..."
Sorry, wouldn't work. Recovery programs like AA are usually twelve step programs. Most Republican'ts couldn't even count to 12 let alone have the logical capacity to follow twelve steps. Now, if you could devise a ONE step program for them, you'd make a mint. ;-)
Sanfords ex has asked him repetedly not to come into her home, but he continues to do it! This is a matter of arrogance & not respecting boundaries or a persons wishes! I'm glad this came to light, because you can tell a lot by how a person conducts their private life! Sandford sounds like he has some ent.itlement issues!!
" I can hardly blame him for watching a game with his son. "
My son and I will be at your house for the next Superbowl. Since that's the issue for you rather than whether we're su[posed to be there or not, it should be no problem.
Jenny Sanford will make all women seem like they are out of touch.. He'll easily win the election because of her actions being perceived by the voting public that all women are B-iches... it's terrible, but that what the outcome will be.
This News Network has lost all its Credibility over Boston Bombimg Arrest Breaking News Just Like Sanford has its by Super Bowl defense.
Rules and court orders are for the little people, not important republican politicians llike Sanford. He sure hasn't waited long before jumping back into the poitical pool, I guess saying you are sorry and have seen the light of your past transgressions are good enough for the far conservative right in N.C. Jesus saves,you know. Yessir, nothing like a repentant sinner. I can only hope that there are enough sensible people in No Carolina that will dump him back into oblivion where he belongs. Bet if he loses his hotsy-totsy girlfriend stays in Argentina. .Hey, maybe thats the reason he is running so soon after the last disaster..she wants to be the wife of a Congressman, notice she hasn't married the "love of her life" yet..and she could have by now.
Mark Sanford will always be a lying, sleazy politician.
Sorry..but your personal actions are directly related as to how you wold do the job. If you are a lying weasel in your marriage, you'll be a lying weasel in yuor job. Mark Sanford lied and cheated before...he'll lie and cheat again. It's only a matter of time until it happens.