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. New Day

    Hey JT, there are other things to do in Argentina other than sleeping with women. Maybe he craved a soccer riot, or a theatrical show in a language he doesn't understand.

    June 24, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. Michael Newman

    Gov Sanford has just about the worst judgement of any elected official in the USA.... just amazing!.... And, what about his committment to "family values"; abandoning his wife and four young sons on Father's Day!

    June 24, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. Woeful

    ...and who did Governor Sanford rendevous with in Argentina? Hmmmm. This is very suspicious to say the least and I am sure is not going to be over anytime soon.

    June 24, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. Connor

    How irresponsible, and hugely self-centered. Another narcistic GOP wonder boy. He shouldn't be in office.

    June 24, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Proud Father

    Ok, so he left his family, forget about coworkers, but his family and kids on Father's Day and didn't tell them where he was....

    And he went to Argentina for 5 days???

    This gives new meaning to absentee father..

    June 24, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Hugo

    Good for you Governor! Where were all these CNN libs when Nancy Pelosi took her Italian vacation on the taxpayer dime? This guy is trying to do the fiscally responsible thing, not take tax dollars they don't need. If the posters on CNN had a clue they would understand the world of financial hurt coming due to the tsunami wave of wreckless spending by this Administration!

    June 24, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Good man, Gov. Mark Sanford everybody need a stress break. Like the govenor said" "I would get out of the bubble I am in. A Man need time to himself. It called me time, every man should do this

    June 24, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. NC=Blue in 2008

    What would he do when things got tough for him if her were President. He can kiss any potential presidential bid goodbye (and maybe his gubernatorial re-election as well)

    June 24, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. slkwly

    Wow...this just keeps getting better and better...is it a new reality show?

    No wonder why I left SC 20 years ago-if you stay too long you start exhibiting this type of wierd behavior–weird even by SC standards (which aren't that high to begin with)....

    June 24, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Steven in Charleston

    I don't care that he took a bit of time off - everyone needs it.

    And, I don't care that he didn't tell his wife, or deprived his kids of being with him (or even talking to him) on Father's Day - that's between him and them.

    But I ~do~ care that my Governor was unreachable by the government in the event of an emergency;

    And I ~do~ care that, as a public officlal, he put himself in harm's way by shrugging off his protection detail;

    And I ~do~ care that his staff lied about it. Don't want to tell us where he is or that you didn't know where he was? Fine. But don't say he was one place and then admit to being another only after a reporter spots your car at the airport.

    June 24, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. AG

    If this were a Democrat, the right-wing idiots like Limbaugh would be all over him, talking about "another liberal spending goverment money..." "another democrat acting strangely"...Let me get this straight, the GOVERNOR of a STATE goes missing, doesn't tell his security detail or his WIFE where he is, and comes back surprised that people are curious as to just where he's been? This guy should be impeached. Period. I guess if South Carolina had an emergency when he was gone, they could have reached him at,,,,, wait...no they couldn't. They didn't know where he was.

    June 24, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. Rodney

    Amazing how many of you liberial posters think he was with a woman, but then again it runs in your blood so it would not be unusal for your class of people. At least he wasn't off busy spending trillions of dollars that didn't belong to him and flying to NY while Rome collapses.

    June 24, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. Andrew

    Is this a big surprise... you know the Nazi's also took flight to Argentina. High coinsidence? No, high fact!!!

    June 24, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. LB

    And he was surprised that the story was drawing media attention. Lets see. Gov of a state gone, no one knows where he is, Lt. Gov doesn't know, wife and kids don't know, staff isn't talking. Naw, nothing suspicious. Who's running the store. No one knows. Why would this draw media attention. And this guy is considered a potential canidate for the 2012 presidential election. I can see it. North Korea starts acting up again and he decides to take off and not tell anybody. If he doesn't like being in the bubble now it would be 100 times worse in the white house.

    June 24, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. Patti Blago's replacement?

    Sanford just "tripped" himself out of the lineup of the GOP's possible presidential contenders.

    True, in the past the electorate did give a half-hearted okay to installing into the executive branch someone super-secretive = Cheney.

    But someone super-secretive AND ERRATIC,??? with 5 day getaways to parts unknown??? and then being surpised at others' concerns??? He's completely untrustworthy.

    Further, Sanford could never be trusted to be able to withstand the pressures of living in the much more intense "bubble" and spotlight that come with the chief White House jobs.

    Better that he start farming himself out now for jungle adventures on a reality show.

    June 24, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. Scott B

    Can we say wierd ? This is the southern veriion of the twilight zone. Thank god I am not from or living in South Carolina. I would impeach him for direct derelict of his duties. Sounds like the wanna be prez candidate snuck away for an affair. Come on we are not that ignorant. His family didn't know what he was doing ? Way too fishy i think.

    June 24, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. Charlie

    Perhaps he wanted to be left ALONE for a while. In other words a genuine vacation.

    June 24, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Artemisios

    Going off on a whim to a foreign country after a period of stress is actually quite typical of bipolar behavior. The changing stories and justifications simply serve to confirm that. He needs help, but we do not need him as a leader.

    June 24, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. Dawn in Pa

    Mmm, on his dime or the taxpayers dime, now that is what the South Carolinians should ask. Going Argentina, now what is in Argentina?

    If it was a Democratic Governor, the right wingnuts would be calling for an Impeachment. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
    If he is looking toward 2012, my advice would be grow-up, and smell the coffee... YOU ARE NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME....

    June 24, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  20. Sam

    As a Republican, I must say that Sanford has just taken himself out of contention for 2012. Not even telling your wife you're leaving the country for a hiatus? This guy is NOT presidential material. There's more to this story than just a governor's desire to escape from the bubble.

    June 24, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. MikeinNC

    Please stop turning this into a partisan issue. It is laughable to see pro-Democrats assail this guy and pro-Republicans try to make it out as no big deal – all of you are hypocrites because if he was a Democrat your reactions would complete reverse.

    I am not begrudging anyone (regardless of party affiliation) of the opportunity to get away and have some private time....but leaving the country without telling your family or someone on your staff where you are going? That is bizarre behavior. We definitely have not heard the end of this story. Stay tuned for more wacky tomfoolery and zany shenanigans from the office of the governor of SC.

    June 24, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. tm

    There is more to his story. He didn't just go on a "walk about". I would bet that his "walk about" has a name

    June 24, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. Bill

    It was stated in previous stories that his own funds were used, get your facts straight lefties.

    June 24, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. Mel of Alexandria

    May be he has something to hide, right wing-nut.

    June 24, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. Barry

    I would think he would have more explaining to do to his wife, than to the media.

    June 24, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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