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. georgie

    it,s funny to see all the news on your sight, yet nithing about obama' judge being overrulled? why?

    June 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Melissa

    You Republicans wanted to lynch Clinton, and now you want to let Sandford, and others, get away with it?

    Hypocritical children are you?

    The Republican part is imploding.

    The Democrats may be spending too much money, but the Republicans are behaving like nasty five year olds.

    June 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Bill

    It is amazing how Senator Grahm from this state stated on Meet the Press that Governor should not resign. Remember Governor Sandford and Senator Grahm were in the US House in 1999 and voted to impreach President Clinton for his affair. I guess if you are in the GOP that is good Family Values and if you are a Dem you should resign.

    Please am I the only one seeing a double standard here?

    June 29, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. johnrj08

    How can this guy govern effectively with this kind of stuff in the news about him every day? He needs to quit. For the sake of his state.

    June 29, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. rharris

    Don't continue to think about resigning. Just do it. No excuse for abandoning your position as governor for 5 days.

    June 29, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Charlie in Maine

    You sir are not fit to be Governor,

    1 You wanted to refuse the stimulus package for your people.

    2 You walked off the job without telling even your staff where you were. During hurricain season!!!

    3 That is it there is no three from this corner. Everything else is your personal business. Just as it was for Bill Clinton when you voted the articles of ompeachment you hypicritical SOB.

    June 29, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. Victim

    Let's see. What do Americans really need to see. Michael Jackson obits, Sanford obits or Tehran obitsWhile CNN and other MSM deluge the internet and TV with trollope, important news takes a backseat. How many went unemployed last month?
    What is the government doing to counter right wing hate crimes against Hispanics?
    What is the real cost of the current Environmental legislation?
    How many women and children were killed by our bombs today?
    CNN should drop the Rupert Murdock tabloid model of reporting and deal with the NEWS people need to hear. Put Jackson and Sanford/Jenny/Maria in the entertainment section where they belong and get back to business. Please.

    June 29, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Nat Turner

    I hope he does NOT resign. It will be interesting to hear what he says the NEXT time he is caught. Anybody this dumb, will do it again.

    June 29, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Kate in San Diego

    Why do republicans always use the excuse that "someone else was worse" when they are caught with their pants down? I wouldn't accept that sort of exzcuse from my child. Every republican commenting on here wants to excuse this sort of behavior by assertiong that Clinton or Spitzer was worse than this fellow. Since when does that justify anything? Again, if your kid broke a window, would you excuse that behavior because your kid was able to point out that someone else broke two windows? I fail to see the difference. Everyone is all over this story for one reason – the blatant hypocrisy of the republican party leaders. When you set yourself up as a paragon of proper values, you have to expect you will be held to that.

    June 29, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Lary Craig

    resign mark sanford.its not the cheating that we dont like,its the fact that you left your job for 5 days and flew on our taxdollars to argentina.

    right wingers are such hypocrites...at least when bill clinton cheated he never left the oval office.

    June 29, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Cromwell

    Sanford said that he wants to "earn back the trust of the people of South Carolina". That doesn't pass the giggle test.
    What is his real motive for digging in his heals?

    Everyday that Sanford remains in office, S.C. is without a effective Governor and his wife and children are constantly the focus of this public humiliation.
    Sanford is putting his selfish motives above his family and the best interest of his State.

    What a creep!

    June 29, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Winston Smith

    "Resigning would be the easiest thing to do,"

    It would also be the correct thing to do given his past outspoken opinions on other politicans that have violated their oath of marriage.
    But, it appears...Conservatives don't resign.
    They just get more religious – and think their sins are magically washed away because, some religious right wing priest or minister declares it eventually.
    He should resign NOW and save his sorry story for PEOPLE MAGAZINE
    He should take Vitter (who's even worse) and Ensign with him when he goes.

    June 29, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Paul I

    Democrats generally resign when their extramarital affairs are made public and Republicans generally stay in office. Consider it an ideological separation of "family values" and state.

    June 29, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Avi Shlomo

    Forget the hypocrisy, what he did is not a crime if you want him to resign then you better court-marshall Bush, Cheny etal. Those who lied about a war and trampled the constituation seems to be un-officially pardoned by the current administartion and more than 45 % of the population. If you can forgive for a crime then you better forgive for a sin.

    June 29, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Obama 2.0

    you are fired mark

    June 29, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. B.C.H

    Then why didn't you resign!?!

    June 29, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Sanford is a double talking, wife crossing, pillow talking fake!

    But the worst part is the fact he went AWOL, lied to his staff, and left SC vulnerable.

    Resign and do the right thing.

    June 29, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Erasmus

    Were Federal funds used by Sanford in his international tryst? Time to put a Special Prosecutor on this. Is Ken (the Hitman) Starr available?
    We have to deal with this moral outrage in a timely fashion or the very foundation of our republic will be shaken. What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to force a lying, cheating, irresponsible politician from office?

    June 29, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Jack in Florida

    Resigning is the correct thing to do.....it is not about easy or difficult....it is about what is right.

    June 29, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. Dan in Texas

    It astonishes me how quickly these self-righteous, pompus politicians are willing to throw the first stone.
    It gives me a certain satisfaction to see them finally have a stone thrown at them.

    June 29, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Sanford is a bad dude and should resign, but how come CNN does not go on and on with stories of democratic and liberal scandals. No word about the Rangel scandal and Pelosis investigation of it. No word about Pelosi calling the CIA liars. One story for a few hours about the drug addict son of Killer Teddy Kennedy. One story for a couple of hours about the Murtha investigation. Nothing about ACORN, nothing about the billions that George Soros is making off the recession. Two of three Palin stories a day. And CNN, which gets its marching orders during the daily confernece between Emmanuel, Carville and Begala tries to claim it is not biased.

    June 29, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. JT

    Did John Edwards resign?

    June 29, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Claudia in Houson

    Sanford is making the GOP look like fools. He'll continue his term, and when done he's free to continue his relationship with his mistress. It's obvious his wife and family don't fit into his plans because he would take time to repair the damage he's done to his wife and children. Sounds like his spiritual advisor already knows his plans or he needs a new one.

    June 29, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Once and for all people, it is not about the affair. It's about the fact tha the arrogant bastard took off for 5 days without notifying anyone, and without leaving a forwarding "address" in case of a state emergency.

    I could care less who he boinked!

    June 29, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Will 18E

    The issue is not Dem's going after Gov. Sanford, becuase of the Clinton thing. The questionis why won't the S.C. GOP, impeach their Gov?
    He lied about it to the public and his staff, and he used his office to cover the affair up. Furthermore the local press, The State, newspaper had the gov's . emails about his affair, as ealy as last December, and sat on them untill he came out . So much for the so called "liberal press" going affter the GOP.

    June 29, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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