June 24th, 2009
08:35 AM ET
13 years ago

Sanford says he was in Argentina, not on Appalachian Trail

(CNN) - Gov. Mark Sanford did not spend the last five days hiking the Appalachian Trail - as his staff had indicated - but was instead in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the South Carolina Republican told The State newspaper Wednesday.

Spotted returning from the trip in the Atlanta airport Wednesday morning, Sanford said he had considered hiking the Appalachian Trail after his state's busy legislative season came to end but instead decided on a more "exotic" trip.

"I wanted to do something exotic. It's a great city," said Sanford of his five-day getaway that appeared to leave his entire staff and family in the dark about his whereabouts. Sanford also said no one else accompanied him on the trip.

Sanford wouldn't tell the newspaper exactly what he did in the South American country, besides take a drive along the coastline.

The South Carolina governor also said he hadn't planned to return until Thursday, but came back earlier after his chief of staff contacted him to say the story of his whereabouts was drawing widespread media attention.

Sanford expressed surprise the story was attracting such attention, saying it's not unusual for him to take such trips.

"I would get out of the bubble I am in," he said.

In a short interview with CNN Tuesday, Sanford's wife Jenny said she still has not talked to her husband since he left last Thursday and did not know where he went.

Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Ben in NM

    He is supposed to be from the party that supports FAMILY VALUES???

    June 24, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. dee

    maybe he had to go to Argentina to have a great smoke out with the good ole stuff from South AMerica, If so, he did not need his security detail to know this................or his office, nor his wife. C'mon people of SC how stupid are we!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 24, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. TS in IL

    sounds like someone hit up rehab outside the country.

    June 24, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. Whitney

    i live here in columbia, sc and i am MORE than ashamed of the fact he is our Gov. He has been so irresponsible and uncaring of the people of SC i would not be hurt if he decided to quit right now.

    How do you leave your job, you family, and the citizens of your state to go run off somewhere? He was not just going to clear his head, there is so much more to this story that we dont know, im almost afraid to see what all actually comes out....

    June 24, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Honestly!!!!!!

    Help me grow....WHY is this news?????

    June 24, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I smell a scandal.

    June 24, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. Fed Up

    I hope someone truly investigates this story. This is a big lie and anyone with any sense knows that. Please give him a drug test...............this is a crack head move!

    June 24, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. david

    disappearing on the public, understandable. disappearing on his wife and family, not understandable. the man is hiding something and probably another woman most likely. no man disappears unless they have something to hide. disappears, meaning absolutely no one knows where one has gone. anyone, with half a brain, knows to always leave a trail, memo of destination in the event one disappears without a trace. an elected politician should know to do that more than an average citizen. the man is hiding something. his wife and family mean nothing to this man. some republican!

    June 24, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Kate in ATL

    My guess is that he had a taste for some "exotic" women or maybe even men...who knows?

    June 24, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Mary

    Guess he can do what he wants in his personal life as long as he and his wife agree, but if I had four children, I as a wife would not ever stand for this. Further, the poor citizens of SC are being very poorly treated. He sounds unstable to me...so much for 2012.

    June 24, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. Lee from Maine

    Can you say "impeachment?"

    June 24, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. johnny b.

    this guy is a throwback to the flower children of the sixties, not that there is anything wrong with that. Next stop San Francisco with flowers in his hair....he definetly rocks......

    June 24, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. Raymond Burgoon-Clark

    And this dude wants to run for POTUS??!!

    I don't THINK so!

    He's an unstable FLAKE!

    June 24, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Mike

    Why would anyone sneek out without telling his wife and go to one of the world's most romantic citiesalone?

    We haven't heard the whole story yet!!!

    June 24, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Henry Miller

    Cool. Everyone needs to break out of their bubble every once in a while.

    The truly sad thing is the reaction of all you stick-in-the-mud drones who think Governor Sanford has, somehow, done something wrong. I guess it's one of those depressing human-nature things wherein people condemn any activity of others even slightly out of the most boring of ordinary.

    Get over it, sheeple! Grow a spine. See if you can find some faint, flickering, traces of imagination and initiative in your pointless lives. And if you can't, then just shut up about people who have more going for them than you do, something that's obviously not hard to achieve.

    June 24, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |

    How do you take a trip to a foreign country, on Father's Day, and not tell your wife ???? Anyone who is married knows that you can't do that. Could you imagine if the President took a "vacation" without telling the First Lady, VP Biden, or the Joint Chief of Staff. Something fishy is going on with this guy. Dig deep CNN. Let the truth be told.

    June 24, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Gravitas

    hmmm, its just a matter of time before the real deal surfaces. I am willing to bet this story gets more interesting. Go republicans. I knew there was more this story.
    Party of family values, you are really leading by example. you are in a different country. your own wife doesn't know where you are. you are absent on father's day.
    Does any one know what young boys are going for these days in Argentina?

    June 24, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. Marsha in Greenville, SC

    What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty" in the country??!!! As Mrs. Sanford said yesterday "Leave us to our privacy". The governor has been working triple time doing what HE FEELS is best for our great State. Not everyone agrees with him (personally, I do agree with him), but he has done his very best to present his case, and we can't fault him for that. Please do not crucify this man until we know the whole story. His staff may have lied about his whereabouts but perhaps there is something deeper here that we do not know about. Let's give him a chance to come clean before we convict him as a villian.

    June 24, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. Diana

    How soon can he be impeached?!?!?!?! I know that South Carolina can do better.

    June 24, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. Nathan,

    He didn't want to take any stimulus here so he went to Argentina to get some stimulus. What a creep.

    GOP ticket in 2012: Sanford/Ensign

    PS: Where was Palin???????? The old one.

    June 24, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Fed up in SC

    One more thing it really makes me wonder if President Obama even cares what it going on here in SC with this kind of foolishness. It took a little girl to open up Pandora's box before anything would be done about our school system. This man has been the governor for the past 7 years and has done nothing but run our state in the ground. We were in a recession down here long before the rest of the country was. Mr. President what do you have to say about this. This is the man that will be running against you in 2012.

    CNN I hope you post this!!!!!

    June 24, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. CM

    If this guy has to "get away for a bit" after "fighting" with the South Carolina legislative assembly, what will he do as POTUS after really fighting with the big dogs in Congress??

    This shows he is too pansy to be president.

    June 24, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. sifto77

    give it a rest, libs–you only know the story the media is telling..talk about repubs jumping to conclusions–you libs take the cake for hateful remarks. What did you all need him for, anyway?

    June 24, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. erika

    This man is s GOVERNOR of a STATE and left the COUNTRY without telling anyone, not even his wife. If I left work a half day early without telling anyone that's a reason to be fired... South Carolinians need to handle there business and say, YOU ARE FIRED. HE is a perfect example of ab idiot.

    June 24, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. Matt Easton

    This guy is interesting. On one hand he quotes the bible, talks about a need for higher morals and ethics in the GOP party, and less government spending. On the other hand, one has to ask the question: who were you with in Buenos Aires, what naughty things were you up to, and who did you or the S.C. taxpayers pay for your "break?"

    Another politician following the motto "do as I say, not as I do".

    June 24, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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