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. paula

    resign already!

    June 29, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Stuffit

    FORMER republican, NEVER again! June 29th, 2009 9:59 am ET

    The republicans, ESPECIALLY sanford went after Clinton to be impeached for lying, exactly what sanford did yet why won't sanford resign?? Hypocrisy at its best!

    So, to keep it fair, he should suffer the same fate as Clinton? Go through a bunch of political theatre, but stay in office?

    June 29, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. G NO P

    Sanford on Bill Clinton:

    "I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign)." In explaining why he voted to impeach the president, he said, "I think what he did in this matter was reprehensible... I feel very comfortable with my vote." He added that Clinton lacked "moral legitimacy" after his affair."

    I guess what is good for the goose isn't good for the gander?

    June 29, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Ken

    Karl in Charleston,SC: actually, you have NOT been through Sanford's situation. But, as you are one of the rightwing neo-morons that actually votes for and then supports this [R] failure, I can certainly see why your significant other looked for greener pastures.

    June 29, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Michael

    "Resigning would be the easiest thing to do..."?
    It would certainly be the RIGHT thing to do.
    How noble of the guv to do the wrong thing, even if it is hard. Must take character.

    June 29, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. Tom

    He sure did sing a different tune when Bill Clinton was the sinner and he was the righteous one. At the time, he said that the honorable thing to do would be to resign. Now, he says that resigning would be the "easy way out". Come on governor. Stop being a hypocrite.

    What goes around comes around.

    June 29, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Lou

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. It's not like Sanford did anything wrong. He's just like King David from the Bible. He is a man of god, and he made a mistake, like all of us make from time to time. All of you who are so eager to lynch him, remember this: let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    This situation is totally different from, say, Elliot Spitzer. Now that guy was crooked, trying to take on AIG while he's visiting hookers. He got what he deserved. And if he hadn't resigned, the Honorable Joe Bruno was all set to impeach him!

    Now leave Mark Sanford alone! Let's get back to the real issues: Obama's fascist-socialism that has wrecked our economy!

    June 29, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. the old sage

    go back to what he has said in the past, how he was righteous in his behavior, how the right wing nuts need to "drive" this country to where it needs to be. have him now join drug addict spokesman for this party of shame–rush limpbaughs in telling us Christians how we are to vote. someone please write an article how we wanted freedom from the church of england and all their sins-I love the Lord and know that our trust in people in anti Bible-it says put your trust in God man will forsake you every time as this party has done.

    June 29, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Ken

    It's not about the affair. It is about the irresponsibility Gov. Sanford demonstrated when he went to Argentina without telling his staff or transferring power to his Lt. Gov. It is about the impropriety of taking a "trade trip" on taxpayer funds to Argentina to see his mistress.

    As a Democrat, I hope he drags this thing out, so people can see the continous hypocrisy that is the Republican Party.

    June 29, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. david, CA

    if he had thought about resigning as much as he thought about lying we might have something.

    June 29, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Florida Joe

    Republican values....Do as I tell you, not as I do.....
    What a joke!!

    June 29, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. girlymen love the GOP

    He can always get a job as CEO at one of the scab hiring foreign car companies in his state.

    June 29, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. willowood

    No, Marco, resigning would be the correct thing to do. Most people who can quote the bible are good at memorization, but have no critical thinking skills to apply the lessons. When You destroy the public trust and the trust of your family you make reparations OUTSIDE the public domain. Simple resign.
    Your sons deserve a father with character, but are getting a father smitten with himself and no real desire to show them how a real man stands up to disgrace. How sad.

    June 29, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Educate yourselves before you open your mouth and just let the words fall out

    @ RR June 29th, 2009 10:14 am ET
    if Clinton didn't have to resign, why should Sanfird?

    (heavy sign) I can not believe you need to have this explained to you again, but evidentially you do, so here goes: Bill Clinton did not dissapear for 5 days, going out of the country, without letting anyone know where he was so that he could see his mistress on the taxpayers' of SC's dime. Sanford DID!

    Bill Clinton did not, and so far as I know has not, proclaimed himself to be morally superior to anyone. Sanfor HAS!

    That's the short answer to your question, RR. Do you get it yet????

    June 29, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. renea

    LacrosseMom, you are right if you walk off a job any time and try to come back the NEXT DAY in most cases they assume that you quit so you would be terminated, if you dont call your job the NEXT DAY or dont show up they call this a no call, no show you would be written-up or fired so if that happens to ordinary people whats makes a Governor any better. So their is no question Governor Sanford should be punished for his actions.

    June 29, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. CkRooDo

    I agree with LacrosseMom this guy should be fired.

    June 29, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Lee in TN

    Mark Sanford has an autoritarian personality like most of the neo-cons who have taken over the republican party. These folks possess an ego yhat will not permit morals and ethics to get in the way of their political objectives, personal agendas and pocket lining.

    June 29, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. JDQ

    Yes, resign. Goodbye and good riddance.

    June 29, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Jim, Burlington NC

    He should resign for lying about where he was, and being derilect of his job for 5 days. Like him or not Clinton never left the country for 5 days without telling anybody where he went or how to get ahold of him.

    Sex isn't the issue, being gone from his job and lying about it to everybody is the issue.

    Not to mention how low do you have to be to leave the country and lie about it when you have 5 kids and it's Fathers Day weekend. I guess being a Dad means about as much as being the governer of SC does to him.

    June 29, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. CHUCK

    I'm certain that other women have fallen prey to this monster. A man lusting for a piece of meat will take whatever comes along. No wonder S/Carolina is in such a mess. Strong sex takes a toll on you mentally and I'm afraid it's wearing Gov. Sandford down. Resign my friend and then you could paint the town red everynight.

    June 29, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    It is not that he had an affair per se. It is that he is a hypocrite and that he went missing from his job for 5 days. That is irresponsible.

    June 29, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. sam, GA

    how come this guy is trying to hold on to his job. does anyone recall his statements regarding eliot spitzer and bill clinton. talk about double standard. i think it is a great time to be a republican that is synonymous to hypocrisy. go GOP....

    June 29, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. AJP

    The man needs to resign.

    I don't care if he is a Republican or Democrat. He is a discrace to the office of Governor and if he really cares he will step down.

    If he can't be trusted in his family affairs he surely can not be trusted in the affairs of state.

    Plain and simple he is white trash.

    June 29, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. WhoCares?

    After what he said during Clinton...how can he no resign?

    The Republican party is simply the party of hypocrites.

    June 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Frank, Las Vegas

    This man is a hypocrite, just like the rest of the do as I say, not as I do GOP.

    June 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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