June 22nd, 2009
09:25 PM ET
10 years ago

South Carolina governor goes missing

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/11/art.sanfordpt0311.gi.jpg caption="South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has mysteriously stepped out of the public eye."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - After a bruising session with the state legislature, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has mysteriously stepped out of the public eye.

Even his wife, Jenny, said Monday that she didn’t know where the governor was, according to the Associated Press. But Sanford's office expressed no concern Monday afternoon about his absence.

Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said Sanford “put in a lot of time during this last legislative session, and after the session winds down it's not uncommon for him to go out of pocket for a few days at a time to clear his head.”

However, Sawyer added in a statement sent to CNN: “Obviously, that's going to be somewhat out of the question this time given the attention this particular absence has gotten. Before leaving last week, he let staff know his whereabouts and that he'd be difficult to reach. Should any emergencies arise between the times in which he checks in, our staff would obviously be in contact with other state officials as the situation warrants before making any decisions.”

Earlier in the day, Sawyer said Sanford had simply taken some time away from work to “recharge after the stimulus battle.” Sawyer did not address Jenny Sanford’s comments to the AP in either statement.

State Sen. Jake Knotts, a fellow Republican and opponent of Sanford, told CNN that South Carolina law enforcement officials informed him Saturday that the governor had taken a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division vehicle on Thursday and had not yet returned.

"I found out that he was taking frequent trips at odd times of the night in a SLED car with no security," Knotts said. "He would be driving. I got wind that he had taken another one of these types of capers last Thursday, and that nobody knew who he was with.

Knotts added: "On Saturday, I still was getting wind that he had not shown back up and nobody knew where he was."

Knotts said a SLED official told him on Monday that Sanford still had not returned.

"He needs to transfer the power and let the lieutenant governor, which the constitution requires, let him be the person that makes the decisions." Knotts said. "My concern was 'Who would be in charge should an emergency arrive for the safety of the people and citizens of the state?'"

State Senate Minority Leader John Land, a Democrat, accused Sanford of engaging in "erratic" behavior.

"We've been concerned by the governor's erratic behavior for some time," Land said in a prepared statement. "We're praying for him and his family. I hope he is safe and that he contacts the First Lady and his family soon."

Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Eric of Reseda

    WOW! And this guy wants to be President of the United States?!?

    June 22, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  2. Charlie in Maine

    He has gone to Dick Cheney's un-disclosed location. Come on CNN, all that's goin on in the world and this is on your blog?

    June 22, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. 2pacolypse Now

    Maybe the school kids Sanford publicly refused to help with the stimulus money car jacked him and his SUV.

    June 22, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. NUTTER!!!

    @BO can not be trusted June 22nd, 2009 5:59 pm ET .....Nor can Your Disappointed Mom you are an accident ......Now shut you sour Pie Hole

    June 22, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. sissycitrus

    as a south carolinian living in dc, i'd like to ask: missing? in office? is there really a difference?

    June 22, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  6. al

    Maybe he is meeting with the CFR or Bilderburg Group.

    June 22, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  7. Republican's are such hypocrites

    Another conservative Republican in the closet about to get busted.

    June 22, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. Joe Terrogano

    He has been abducted by aliens, illegal aliens at that. They were really looking for Lou Dobbs, but took this guy instead. He will return as Speedy Limburger, cousin of Rush Limbaugh. He will have an obnoxious radio show and spew dogma and catma, enough to fill a celestial litter box. :}

    June 22, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  9. Carl from MI

    Another Republican head case... there's no cause for alarm. This sort of thing is becoming an everyday event in the Republican Party.

    Maybe he's still unhappy about being forced to take all that money for THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM FOR THE CHILDREN OF S.C.!!!!!!!

    It's the Republican way NOT to keep spending money on the education of our nation's youth. Keeping the stoopid makes it easier to keep them voting Republican!!! PARTY FIRST!!!!!!

    June 22, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  10. Good Luck to Them

    These post are hilarious and show the hypocrisy on both sides. The hate coming from the left is astounding concerning this. And they are the "tolerant" ones? I see many posts from the left about how this was "paid" for and I wonder if they asked the same questions concerning Mr. Obama's jaunts to New York? Those on the right try to play down the governor's actions but they would not be doing so if it were a democrat governor.

    I also love those on the "left" posting about the "fringe right". Guess what, you are the "fringe left", so one negates the other. Take a look in the mirror.

    I don't condone the governor's action but I still support him until proof comes to light about any improper activity.

    June 22, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. Amy

    Once more the GOP way – when things don't go your way, throw a hissy fit. If the courts don't go your way – run away. Yep. The GOP sure is showing their backbone... I'm sorry, extreme lack of backbone. It's all about greed and power and not caring about anyone but themselves for them. Seriously? Not even telling your wife or kids? A wonderful display of those good ol' family values they try to shove on the rest of us but don't actually practice themselves.

    June 22, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  12. Gonzo in Houston

    Assuming he eventually turns up ok, the comics will have a ball with this one. Odds are he's off meeting someone to cut a political deal to benefit his presidential dreams, and someone else found out and called the media. Dumb politicians should not watch old spy movies.

    June 22, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  13. Tempered

    "I heard the Obama thugs & czars were coercing Sanford into taking Fed money. Maybe the SC legislature should contact the Obama administration to track him down."

    As a South Carolinian, I can tell you proudly that it was our OWN legislature and supreme court that forced Sanford to take the stimulus $$ that our state desperately needs. If you lived here, you would know that our high unemployment, real estate crash, dilapidated schools, laid-off teachers, etc, have left this state hurting. Bad. While I hope Sanford is safe and returns soon, I have no sympathy for the "bruising" fight he had over the stimulus $$.

    June 22, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  14. Proud American

    DJ June 22nd, 2009 5:58 pm ET

    I heard Larry Craig was spotted in South Carolina this weekend….
    Good one, lololololololol

    June 22, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  15. Ted

    Our former Democratic governor here in NC could never disappear, he took state aircraft, cars, full security details wherever he or his wife traveled. That's how the Democrats like to do it – be high profile as if they were really important. The former Dem Speaker of the House here also disappeared – to prison.

    Now let's think about the last governor who got in trouble away from his wife. Oh yes, that would be Democrat Elliot Spitzer.

    June 22, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  16. virginia for obama

    Hope he's all right doh!!! If you are "Please call your family and let them know that you're OK".

    June 22, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  17. Andrew

    LOL, what's wrong with all you people. Get a life. from the right to the left your just the same hate filled individuals that continue to divide this nation.
    Get offline and go do something in the real world.. it called reality. Maybe you could come outside where things actually matter. Cyber space is just a false social reality, where everyone is a just a fool.

    June 22, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  18. Curtis in WI

    Can this man sabotage his re-election chances any more than he has the pas couple of months? First playing political games with stimulus money to the detriment of his state and now just disappearing – again to the detriment of his state.

    At least we can be assured now that he stands no chance to be president. Who wants a president who puts himself above the needs of the populace?

    June 22, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  19. Mary in Wisconsin

    I hope the man's okay. I hope he's gone fishing!

    I hope all the people using this article to slam Obama on Iraq and every other unrelated thing can get hold of their psyches. Maybe THEY should go fishing.

    June 22, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  20. John

    I'm not sure why most of you people are even alive with those type of comments. Seriously, you need to think about why you are living and taking up space.

    Everyone needs a break, no matter if they are good or bad. Allow this man to take a break and leave him be. He doesn't need to tell people where he is 24/7.

    June 22, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Greg

    The Communist News Network needs to have more accurate headlines. What else do you expect though from part of America's state-run media?

    June 22, 2009 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  22. Squirrel

    Maybe he's walking Obama's dog . . . hmm . . .

    June 22, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  23. joe803

    Please! Don't look for Mark Sanford. For the benefit of the people of South Carolina, let him stay lost

    June 22, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  24. Pel

    I hope the gov is ok and if he is having problems I trust he will get the help he needs. My prayers go out to him and his family.

    I still think he is a right wing repug.

    June 22, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  25. SouthCarolinaRed

    Dude, Where's My Governor?

    June 22, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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