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. Jason

    How nice for him. If I took a vacation from my job for a week without telling anyone, I wouldn't have a job left to come back to.

    June 24, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  2. James

    bye bye presidential chances. Of course, I'd have never voted for him in the first place, but hopefully others now see this guy is erratic and unstable. I think his posturing during the stimulus talk was also ridiculous, when his state was aching for increases in its school budgets, etc ... he rejected money from the feds. (or tried to at least) Everyone needs a vacation, but to miss telling your family and the state where you're going – that's unexcusable.

    June 24, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. Pam Eugene Oregon

    This is just the beginning of the story. This will be fun to watch it play out.

    June 24, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  4. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Say whaaaaat??? Argentina? Without inviting his wife along? Without informing his wife that hewas leaving the COUNTRY? This guy sounds like a total jerk. Meanwhile, his plane could've crashed, or any number of things could've rendered him missing and the State Troopers would've been beating the bushes searching for his irresponsible behind along some trail in the Appalachians!

    He can kiss running for Pressident goodbye. He is too arrogant and irresponsible. ARGENTINA???????!

    June 24, 2009 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  5. DJJ

    And this guy is considering running for POTUS? You gotta be kidding!
    The last trait I want in a president is one capable, by demonstration, of "blacking out" for days at a time with it appearing that not even his wife knowing where he's at, let alone his staff!
    So this morning we have yet another "version" of his whereabouts!
    The spin will be in high gear now!
    This is a "stable" president? Governor? Individual?
    Sir, seek some counseling, please.

    June 24, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. Gerry

    what a typical scumbag politician.
    we all know what he was doing there.
    didn't even want to be with the family.
    what a guy!

    June 24, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. Tom H

    During DC Mayor Marion Barry's fourth term, he used to disappear for several days on end - to relax etc. Turns out it was attempts at rehab.

    June 24, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. KGMom

    Sorry–I am not buying this story. Gov. Sanford could NOT just change his mind at the last minute.
    At the least, he would need a PASSPORT, and unless he carries it all the time, he needed to do some planning.
    Did no one from Homeland Security notices that the Governor's name was on the flight manifest?

    June 24, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. John

    The truth?, I think not. Doesn't he know that the truth WILL come out. Politicians are such habitual liars. I predict a sex scandal in a few days involving this person.

    June 24, 2009 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. mw

    Weird. who paid for the trip. did he pocket the money he refused to accept for the state. he has very understanding wife, doesn't he. or maybe he is a delight to be away from.

    June 24, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. ANNY

    Another scandle for the Republicans, what is all this secret stuff anyway......Palin does the same thing.........I guess they have to may skeletons in their closets and they have to be always on the sly.......

    June 24, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. John

    Then the aid knew where he was all the time...and lied about it.

    June 24, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    This guy is more than just a little peculiar.

    June 24, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  14. joe smith

    the media has done their job again..one thing sure, with all these negative comments, we certainly hope all of you recuse yourselves from any jury duty..

    June 24, 2009 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  15. Hope

    Family value, he was with his other kids on fathers day and the other wife knows that. Cut him some slack

    June 24, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  16. David

    This guys is toast. Mentally he is unstable. The world knows that he is unstable and should be watched. This explains his off he wall political stunts and view points. His wife is done with him, because she could care less what he does, where he is, or if he ever comes back.

    He lies to his staff, the people of SC and abandoned his job as governor of SC. And this is the whack job that the GOP want's to be president??

    June 24, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  17. scooter

    This is just your typical diversion story to get away from the real points out there. Iran is in kaos, north korea is showing there guns, they are spending trillions and want to spend more on healthcare, we have prisoners being taken in foreign countries and the best we can do is plan wheres waldo? no wonder this country is in the shape its in and its not a rep, dem thing its a media has forgotten there real job thing.

    June 24, 2009 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  18. Skyview

    Sandford is just another one of those Republicans who talk -the -talk but can't walk -the -walk. Like Ensign, he will finally confess to the truth of what he was doing, and then he will claim that someone was trying to blackmail him. These "conservatives1 make me sick! They are all about keeping the power and the riches of this country in the hands and control of a very few, while the rest of us scrape and suffer and then die broke. Shame on the Republicans!

    June 24, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  19. whatever

    Something stinks about this whole story. As a South Carolinian, I think he should have let those who pay his salary know he was on vacation. When one decides to run for a position such as governor, you don't get to clock out and go off not to be heard from. South Carolina has one of the highest unempoyment rates, is low on the list in terms of education and he decides to go off to lick his wounds. His term is almost up and can't come soon enough. Don't take the job if you can't handle the pressure.

    June 24, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  20. Robin

    Who really cares? I for one would like CNN to report on stories that matter. Such as North Korea and rising unemployment.

    June 24, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  21. Huh?

    Is this guy pulling a McGreevy?

    June 24, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  22. GA Man

    Palin-Sanford in2012! More Republican Wing Nuts! Don't forget to throw Newt in there and also: Obey Rush at any cost!
    What kind of guy doesn't even tell his wife where he's gone?

    June 24, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  23. rachel

    Not unusual for me to take such trips?

    So basically he's saying he's wandered off to find himself many times before without letting anyone know his where abouts even his family. What a responsible guy.

    June 24, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  24. landshark

    This wrong on so many levels! This man has serious psychological problems! He must be pressed to leave office!

    June 24, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  25. Wes

    I've deserted my family, my job, my office and my state....... I really don't undertand why this is getting any attention at all.

    What a Governor to be proud of.

    June 24, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
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