June 29th, 2009
10:56 AM ET
13 years ago

Business as usual for embattled South Carolina governor

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/29/art.sanfordscrum0629.gi.jpg caption="South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has been at the middle of a media storm since disappearing for five days recently and then admitting to an extramarital affair."]
(CNN) - A new week brings the same big problem for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

Sanford's trying to hold onto his job following his admittance last week of an extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. The governor also acknowledged at a news conference on Wednesday, upon his return from Argentina, that he did not tell his staff he was out of the country during a five-day period when his location was not known.

Sanford is scheduled on Monday to chair a state budget board meeting, his second public meeting since his return. Sanford apologized to state officials on Friday at a cabinet meeting that was covered live by the national cable news networks, including CNN.

Asked about resigning during a meeting with reporters later on Friday, Sanford said, "You take everything a day at a time. I wouldn't say anything definitive at this point. I say my hunch at a variety of different levels would be to continue on."

The South Carolina governor told the Associated Press on Sunday that he thought about stepping down until close spiritual and political associates urged him to stay on finish out the remaining year and a half of his second and final term as governor. Sanford, who is serving his second term as the state's governor, cannot run for re-election in 2010 because of limits on terms.

"Resigning would be the easiest thing to do," Sanford said in the AP interview, which CNN confirmed with governor's office.

This week several Republican state lawmakers, who are Sanford opponents, could publicly call for the governor's resignation.

Since Sanford's tearful admission last week, two state newspapers have called for him to step down and two state lawmakers have demanded investigations into whether Sanford was derelict of duty by misleading his staff to his location and whether he misused state property or funds to pursue his extramarital affair.

If Sanford were to resign, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer would become governor. Bauer is a fellow Republican but not an ally of Sanford. Bauer is among a number of candidates hoping to succeed Sanford in next year's election.

The woman with whom Sanford had an affair broke her silence Sunday long enough to say she wouldn't discuss her relationship with the now-embattled

In a statement released to Argentina's C5N television network, Maria Belen Chapur said her private life "has already been made too public during these last days, bringing to me even more pain."

Jenny Sanford said Thursday that her husband's political career is "not a concern of mine" and that she'd be just fine - whether or not their marriage survived.

She would not speculate whether her husband would resign as South Carolina governor, saying "he's going to have to worry about that. I'm worried about my family and the character of my children."

–From CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Peter Hamby

Filed under: Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Obama Fan

    Good for Governor Sanford to not give in and resign. Normally I enjoy watching hypocrites dangle in the wind and tearfully resign their positions, but I guess we should stop thinking that anytime a politician sleeps around his marriage, that it does not mean he should quit. Affairs and their messy repercussions are only to be dealt with privately, not publically.

    What would happen if every politician who had an affair resigned? There wouldn't be much government left!

    June 29, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. hm,florida

    are you kidding me??? leaving the country, no explanations, lies & more lies.
    "Resigning would be the EASY thing to do."


    June 29, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Luke Brown

    Sanford is only listening to people whose advice affirms his own narcissism. Every poll shows that at least 65% of South Carolinians want him out.

    He is an arrogant jerk. BTW He has never said he ended his relationship with Maria.

    June 29, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Grahame

    He's going to lose anyway come election time. Another nail in the Republicans coffin. Hopefully we can put Palin in the coffin and bury her, since it's all her fault and her belief that the world is only four thousand years old.

    June 29, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Chuck

    Resign, Governor hypocrit.

    June 29, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Michael

    I really don't want him to resign. I think he should hang around until the next election for Democrats to keep voters reminded what he had done. Him resigning now, would make voters forget him by the time next election comes around. Resignation is not enough punishment for those elected officials who are hypocrats and have different rules for others.

    June 29, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I think he abused his power. Sounds a bit like Sarah Palin if you ask me. Unethical! Republican senators in his state are calling for his resignation. So don't make it seem like us on the left are asking for his resgination.

    June 29, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. A Kickin' Donkey

    Democrat has a session with a prostitute and he resigns.

    A Republican violates his wife's trust & his vows ... has an adulturous love affair with another women and he refuses to resign.

    Which offense is worse? Which man demonstrates more integrity? Which man proved to be more accountable for his actions?

    I don't have to "spin" this in anyway. These are all resonable questions / expectations for the public to have.

    June 29, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Joe

    Last week Sanford cited the story of David and Bathsheba as justification for his staying in office. Even by the standards of those who cherry pick scripture to justify their oppinions, this is a new low–using the Bible to justify adultery. What's next–the story of Lot and his daughters as justification for incest?

    June 29, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Melissa

    The problem isn't the affair (though thats personally despicable and disgusting), the problem is that he went AWOL and used his destitute states funds to do it. Fire him.

    June 29, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Clay

    Resigning would mean that he actually has a conscience, but like Madoff, he's only concerned with the fact that he was caught and damage control. Resigning would be the honorable thing to do, but I guess that's not one of his christian family values either.

    June 29, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Sherri

    The Governor leaving the state, heck country, without transfer of power; must violate the state constitution. Lets hope the assembly do the right thing. REMOVE THE GOVERNOR. Thanks for your time.

    June 29, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Governor Sanford, you stick to your immoral guns and stay in office so you can springboard in the national campaign in 2012. Matter of fact, tag team with Sarah Palin – you both have a lot in common. Like being unsuited to hold public office and being totally devoid of any of the high morals and family values your party stands for!!!

    Resigning would be the right thing to do, but you'd be breaking years of hypocritical history of the GOP if you did!!!

    June 29, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Dorothy Stickley

    I hope they tar and feather the hypocrite and run him out of the state. maybe he can run for office in Argentina.

    June 29, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Ed Tallahassee FL

    This is between the Sanford Family to handle, but I do believe that the people of South Carolina need to make sure their tax dollars were never used improperly.

    Then at election time the people of South Carolina can vote him back in or out.

    June 29, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Charles

    Resigning would be the Honorable thing to do.

    June 29, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. sms29s

    He should make it plain that remaining in office is a purely political decision. We have already been subjected enough to his spiritual angst.

    June 29, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. Anna, FL

    It should not be "business as usual" if you use taxpayer dollars to take a trip to South America to visit your mistress on Father's Day Weekend, when you have four boys and a wife at home. Throw the bum OUT–PERIOD.

    June 29, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. dan in Tucson AZ

    Amazing when Pres Clinton was caught with an act of infidelity, the holy'er than thou Republicans were ready for impeachment, including Sanford. What a bunch of hypocritical asses the Republicans are. At least Clinton didn't try to steal money by paying for his activities with government money. That is the real crime and why Sanford needs to go.

    June 29, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. bob

    well its a good thing he didn't have the sex attorney chasing him like clinton had– Kenny i love talking sex Starr. 60 million questions for sanford.

    June 29, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Tom

    I'm tiring rapidly of this guy playing the "Jesus card" on every tough question.

    June 29, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. j3@n

    I'm sure if I abandoned my job for 5 days I would not have a job right now.

    June 29, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. jwn in south carolina

    Resigning............Good idea.

    June 29, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Karl in Charleston,SC

    Mark, grow a pair! I've been through your situation (but I was the one cheated on) and you have to soldier on! South Carolina needs your leadership in these tough economic times. You and Jenny keep your private lives private. No more crying on national TV and GET BACK TO WORK!

    June 29, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Rob

    See, if only he would have bombed a baby formula factory instead of travelling to Argentina, he could have avoided this whole mess.

    If only Bill Clinton had been there to give him pointers on how to sneak around. To bad he's too busy chasing women....I mean spreading goodwill in Haiti.

    June 29, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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