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. Kevin

    ARGENTINA- Oh man ...this guy needs to go back to work.....SC is in very bad shape and he can take a $40,000 vacation

    June 24, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. sky

    My gawd people....can't the guy take a vacation without you all tracking down his car and his whereabouts.....that is EXACTLY why he has to keep it a secret....so he can have a bit of peace and quiet......you guys are ridiculous.

    June 24, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Ted

    OK, this is a little strange but some of you people are way over the top on this. A right wing nut job? What does that have to do with this? Something somehow related with the so-called "religious right"? Come on people, get a grip.

    However, I will say this effectively ends his political career.

    June 24, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Jon

    Oh, yeah. This is completely normal behavior.


    And he refused stimulus money, too.

    Perfect. What does he care about the people in his state when he can just fly off to Argentina, without his wife?

    A week without another nutcase Republican antic is like a day without sunshine.

    June 24, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. ronvan

    Maybe he just had to "get away", relax & do some "attitude adjustment". But to do this & not tell anyone smells of something else!

    June 24, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Linda in Maryland

    Too bizarre! By law, isn't he supposed to tell the lieutenant governor? Not to mention his family? Can't he be impeached for this action? But wait–it's South Carolina!!

    June 24, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Jason

    His wife didn't even know where he went. Niiiice. I have to say for a person in his position that jetting to Argentina without telling anybody is pretty irresponsible. Ranks pretty high on the idiot scale. I hope they remove him from office. He can join the ranks of his state's unemployed because he obviously does not care enough about his job.

    June 24, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Joel

    I am quite frigthened about this unfolding drama. The Chief of Staff obviously knew where he was and decided to lie to the people of the State. He should be repreminded for this. Secondly, his wife appeared not to know his whereabout. This is surprising. Even if he wanted to get away from the bubble of office was he also trying to get away from the bubble of his marriage? Something tells me his marriage is heading for the burst

    June 24, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. jwn in south carolina

    What a duffus!

    June 24, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. Jerry

    Another Republican odd ball. What a whacked out party....

    June 24, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. Andrew

    It's not "unusual" for him to take off for Argentina without telling his wife? That's interesting.

    June 24, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. Laura

    This would be irresponsible behavior for any governor. But when most of your state wishes harm on you, it becomes even more irresponsible.

    June 24, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. ueheinz

    For his next excursion, I'm willing to buy Sanford a one-way ticket to Alaska!

    June 24, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. Peter

    Too bad he wasn't hiking – on a one way hike across the Bridge to Nowhere. This guy is a nutcase.

    June 24, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  15. Jason

    Maybe he went to Argentina to meet Nazis!!! Scandal!!!

    June 24, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. Randolph Carter

    He "wanted to do something exotic." I hope she was worth it. What a dork. Have a nice day!

    June 24, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Sue Woo

    OK, As an SC citizen, I can tell you that not only does our Governor live in a nice mansion, he owns one on the oceanfront at Sullivan's Island and has some farm somewhere. He didn't need to go to ANOTHER HEMISPHERE to get away from his kids on Father's Day. Stick a big ole fork in him.....

    June 24, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    This guy was going to be who the Republican Party might run for president?? It only makes sense!! Another incompetent person in Washington, making decisions for all of us. Of course! Lets see, we can run Sarah P. as his V.P. What a great combo!

    June 24, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  19. Molly

    The wife needs to go to the media to know where her husband is?
    What a ridiculous situation.
    I don't care about their marriage problems...
    The guy took a vacation, went to Buenos Aires to eat some real beaf so What?..Don't cry for me Argentina...

    June 24, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. lia

    Who cares!?!? This is for SC to take care of.

    9.4% Unemployment! FOCUS!

    June 24, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. Gordon

    Now the Republicans can say that the Dems had him kidnapped; it
    would certainly typify their brand of truth.

    June 24, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  22. jim from S.C.

    Sanford needs to resign, he's done a horrible job in this state and he's not mentally stable to handle pressure especially losing a court battle from a 12 year old of the stimulus money that needs to fix the education system and build jobs. man what a pathetic sore loser Sanford is. make matters worse he left the country during the most precious time to be with his kids during Fathers Day. just pathetic!!

    June 24, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. Jim M

    Sanford did not have to run for public office. When you choose to do so, you lose a little bit of your freedom. However, it was his choice to become Governor. With power comes responsibility. I think his mental stability and credibility has to be questioned. Plus, what Dad flees to Argentina over Father's Day without the family? This stinks really bad.

    Needless to say, I think you can cross this fool off the list in 2012.

    June 24, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. Ohio Man

    hmmm as the repubs would say about Obama.. was this exotic getaway on TAX payers money or did you take ur money right of the top of the stimulus money to take such a trip ??????

    June 24, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. Classy 57

    I don't think that as a non-resident of South Carolina it's any of my business where he went. And I think it's obscene of his wife to make any comments whatsoever to CNN or any one else! if the voters of South Carolina are unhappy with their governor, let them make that clear at the next gubernatorial election.

    June 24, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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