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

Business as usual for embattled South Carolina governor

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.

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
governor.

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. Bill

    "Resigning would be the easy thing to do."? Are you kidding me? I guess this guy fancies himself indispensable. Narcissistic hypocrite. He needs to spend less time making a show of speaking with his "spiritual advisors" (is he getting his palms read?) and maybe think of penning an apology to Bill Clinton, of whom he demanded resignation after a less serious marital failing about 10 years ago.

    June 29, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. The black spider

    Why do democrats always resign from office after admiting extramarital affairs but republicans the party of "strong moral and family values" always reluctant in doing so?

    June 29, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Frank Lee

    Stick around, Mark. Don't let them bully you into leaving office.

    That way we'll always have a perfect example like yourself to remind us of the hypocricy you and your party have displayed over and over again.

    June 29, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. James M. Holmes

    Just another "holier than thou" Republican hypocrite who is now abusing scripture to try and justify the fact that he has NO shame!

    Thsi man is a disgrace and should do the honorable thing and resign... but he wont. NeoCons have no pride!

    June 29, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. Cheryl

    Since he apparently disregarded US policy to arrange and cover-up a meeting with his mistress, along with using taxpayer dollars and lying about it all, he really needs to resign. He disregarded the best interests of his state and country.

    June 29, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Laurie in Spokane

    What a hypocrite the man is. He was all over Bill Clinton to resign the Presidency after the Lewinsky affair, and is supposedly a conservative "Christian". I don't know what he actually is, but a "Christian" is not one of them.

    June 29, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Felly

    Sanford and the GOP hypocrites, there goes your family values! Enjoy it.

    June 29, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. BK in MA

    Ed in Tallahassee,

    Going on AWOL is definitely a official state matter.

    Also, there is no dispute that the tax dollars were used to allow him to see his mistress. He is going to reimburse the expenses to the state of SC.
    As it is stated clearly in the article the second term Governor Sanford cannot run for another term, thus voters cannot vote him out in the next election cycle.

    June 29, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. tim

    I guess if he is King David that makes Eliot Spitzer Moses.
    bluecub

    June 29, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Clint

    Think again about resigning, only this time use the correct body part to do the thinking.

    June 29, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Paul

    Since he threw the first rock at President Clinton he should resign. This would show he's not one of these do as I say but not as I do. He was not without sin after throwing that rock. Anyway he will reap what he has sown. Good Luck Gov. Sanford you sure as hell are going to need it when the Misses takes you to court and cleans your clock and out your bank account. I wouldn't even let this bum be dog catcher.

    June 29, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Lisa Loo

    He is such a loser. He is no better than the rest of these idiotic men who think with the OTHER head. Never mind what this would do to his kids-he is selfish and weak. I wouldnt want him in political office. he should stand alone-no wife-no family for awhile.

    His mistress is nothing more than a homewrecking hooker with NO morals equal to the lack of morality on his part.

    I hope he and she felt it was worth a few romps in the hay. Both her and his children will grow up to learn that they both were cheating adults who ruined their family's lives. Congrats on joining the likes of other policians who think they are really something and at the end of the day are really..NOTHING

    June 29, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Glad to know CNN is on the job, reporting on this rather than all of the other problems in the world. Go Libs.

    June 29, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. Karen

    Actually, resigning would be the hardest thing to do because then he’d have to deal with a betrayed wife on a full-time basis while pining away for his girlfriend. I lost all respect for this man when I heard he continued his affair after his wife found out. He wanted his cake and eat it too, and now he’s choking on it. Good.

    June 29, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Diane Panama City Fl

    Ed in Tallahassee: Term limits in SC preclude Sanford from running again for Governor.

    That being said, if Sanford has the gonads to try to govern after this, and in view of his self-professed "high moral and family values", then so be it. But, if I were in the SC legislature, I would have already introduced Articles of Impeachment against this neocon, racist hypocrite. He violated SC law by committting adultry (a law still in their statutes but not enforced), and dereliction of duty by not notifying his security detail of his whereabouts for the six days he disappeared. What if a major catastrophe had hit his state while he was dallying with his little Argentinian Tart?

    June 29, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. CHUCK

    Gov. Sandford should be moved from the Governor's house to the OUT-HOUSE where he and his Republicans mates belong.

    June 29, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. Angie in PA

    HYPOCRISY! At its best!

    June 29, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Ashley VA

    The GOP once again is turning its head to something they know is wrong! How can they say they are about Christian values, yet everytime someone does something illegal, they remain in their position.. I mean this is funny! People ripped Edwards and his wife for that affair and all Dems could do is sit and watch.. this fool left the state for 5 days to mess w/ a woman! I mean really can he be trusted with anything else? I wouldn't want someone that is so immoral being the head of my state but Republicans will go for anything.. and then say God told them to do it to justify their means. What fools!

    June 29, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Peter

    Dear Mark Santimonious Sanford:

    Please keep citing Scriptures and other religious dictums so that I can learn from your failings and wisdom. You can preface your comments with "Been there, done that, listen up."

    Your unthinking lemming-like servant,
    Brainless Twit

    June 29, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. jk

    Wow this guy has really become a deceiver and slickster... "I thought about resigning" Not gonna work sir... Sorry. Calculated comments like this to try to quell the calls for him to resign. "resigning would be the easiest thing to do"... if you didn't have such a desire to hold on to power and your politcal career. Easy? Really? Ok then show us how easy it is to resign and go home to your wife and children & rebuild your family relations w no political incentive. Let's see how easy and if it's for real. I'm not gonna be fooled.

    June 29, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Grahame June 29th, 2009 10:49 am ET

    He's going to lose anyway come election time. Another nail in the Republicans coffin.
    ==================================

    Sorry to bust your bubble, even the short story above states that:

    "Sanford, who is serving his second term as the state's governor, cannot run for re-election in 2010 because of limits on terms."

    If you would have read the WHOLE article, you would have known that. Thus, rendering your comment moot, except for the gratuitous unrelated slam on Sarah Palin.

    Are you a member of Congress?

    June 29, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Candy Wilson

    I must admit I felt sorry for him when I watched him on TV.. For A MINUTE....then I realized how awful this is...He definitely must resign.. He has defamed his family. those beautiful children where is Our moral ethics in this country? More importantly though he broke the law. He was AWOL which I find to be the worst of it all and then he used public funds for his enjoyment.. He may be a very religous man and I believe this to be so but he has sinned which he is repenting.. God Bless him..I heard Bill O'Reilly ask if people felt the Left wing media is having a field day with this.. Who is the left wing media? I have watched CNN and ABC and they have all been decent about it? Does he mean National Inquirer ?Who cares what they say??? Maybe at the very least there should be a hearing of some type.. Thankyou.

    June 29, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. Puff the Magic Dragon

    I dont think he should resign. His marital issues are between him and his wife and they have to work that out. However, those 5 days taken where "nobody could get ahold of him" and state monies spent in that regard, if any, are an issue for censure by the state legislature.

    But I honestly dont believe he couldnt be contacted if absolutely and positively necessary. EVERYONE can be found if need be.

    June 29, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Stuffit

    Grahame June 29th, 2009 10:49 am ET

    He's going to lose anyway come election time. Another nail in the Republicans coffin.
    ==================================

    Sorry to bust your bubble, even the short story above states that:

    "Sanford, who is serving his second term as the state's governor, cannot run for re-election in 2010 because of limits on terms."

    If you would have read the WHOLE article, you would have known that. Thus, rendering your comment moot, except for the gratuitous unrelated slam on Sarah Palin.

    Are you a member of Congress?

    June 29, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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