June 30th, 2009
01:51 PM ET
11 years ago

Sanford should stay, two top South Carolina papers say

An influential South Carolina newspaper published an editorial Tuesday that said Gov. Mark Sanford should not step down.

An influential South Carolina newspaper published an editorial Tuesday that said Gov. Mark Sanford should not step down.

(CNN) - Two major South Carolina newspapers are calling on Gov. Mark Sanford to stay in office.

Last Wednesday, Sanford admitted to a year long extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. The governor also acknowledged he did not tell his staff that he was in Argentina during a five-day period when his location was not known.

Despite calls from some South Carolina lawmakers and politicians for the governor to resign, Sanford, meanwhile, appears to be standing firm. He wrote in a message to his political action committee e-mail list on Monday that while he considered resigning, "I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm."

The State, the Columbia newspaper that last week broke the story that Sanford was in Argentina, in an editorial Tuesday, says Sanford should stay in office to keep the playing field leveled for the 2010 gubernatorial contest. If Sanford resigns, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, a fellow Republican but no ally of Sanford, would become governor. Bauer is among a number of candidates who are interested in running for governor in 2010. Sanford is term limited and can't run for re-election next year.

"Reasonable people can disagree over whether it would be better to have Mr. Sanford or Mr. Bauer in the governor's office for the next 18 months. And if Mr. Bauer were not running for governor, this might be a more difficult call. But Mr. Bauer is running for governor, and it simply is not responsible to overlook the tremendous advantage he would have if he were able to use the bully pulpit of that office for the next year," says an op-ed in The State.

The State also raised serious questions about Bauer's preparedness to lead. "Although this could change in the coming year," they wrote, "to this point Mr. Bauer simply has not demonstrated that he has the vision to lead our state.

The editorial questioned Bauer's character and highlighted past run-ins with law enforcement, including the time he used a police radio to waive off state troopers after he was caught driving 101 MPH on a South Carolina highway in a state car.

The paper also questioned whether Bauer was sincere in his suggestion to CNN Monday that he would give up a 2010 gubernatorial bid in exchange for taking over the rest of Sanford's term.

They wrote that Bauer had made a similar pledge before, but failed to keep his promise.

"If we're looking to rid our state of embarrassment, it's hard to see how replacing Mr. Sanford with Mr. Bauer would accomplish that. And it's hard to overstate the potential long-term downside of such a move."

The Charleston Post and Courier also urges that Sanford stay in office.

"Gov. Mark Sanford ended any speculation about his plans to resign on Sunday when he declared, with finality, that he would remain for the rest of his term. That won't end demands by his legislative critics for his resignation in the wake of his extramarital affair. But it provides a measure of reality about their prospects. Like the governor, they should make the best of a difficult situation," says the newspaper in an editorial.

Last week, two smaller South Carolina newspapers, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and the Orangeburg Times and Democrat, called on Sanford to resign.

Filed under: Andre Bauer • Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. videodrome

    "I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm."
    So I guess God has been telling these Republican politicians to cheat on their spouses.
    But, hey, they are conservatives, so it okay for them to bend the Bible....

    June 30, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. forwardgal

    I am amazed that 2 good papers would support his staying. What are they thinking?! If Bauer is so bad, how did he get elected?! Oh yeah, it's South Carolina-the dummies of the universe! Look at how well they live, at how brilliant they are, how healthy, how progressive they are....need I say more? I feel for those with a brain who are stuck there tolerating this crap. But, hey, who says they have to stay? LEAVE THE GODFORSAKEN STATE! Oh yeah, they have a beach..whoopie

    June 30, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    These two newspapers also puiblished the picture of McCain's Family in 2000 and pointed out that John McCain "fathered" a Black child. Guess how that played in the state of tolerance that SC is?

    Therse are real newspapers of integrity, aren't they?!

    June 30, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Eric

    Isn't "The State" the paper that withheld the Sanford emails since last year? Yeah, they aren't in the tank for this guy.

    June 30, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Nat Turner

    PLEASE stay in office!! Sanford represents true Republican "values."

    June 30, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. James

    Newspapers sometime claim to know what is good for the society. Journalists are not people's representatives, and therefore should've no business prescribing to the public on who is a good or bad leader. Sanford should resign. People can no longer can trust him.

    June 30, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Greg in AR

    Everyone saying "IT'S NOT THE AFFAIR THAT MATTERS" is a fool.

    "THE AFFAIR " shows he is not capable of the good judgement it takes to run a state not to mention the rest of the lack of good judgment he has shown....you know the rest of the story.....

    HE NEEDS TO GO................

    June 30, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Nan

    This man is in charge of a state. I'm in middle management and I would be fired if I took off for days, left everyone wondering then returned to say only...oh I had an affair. Seriously?

    June 30, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Once You Vote Black: PUMA where are you?

    Keep him in so that we can remember how backwards SC is. You guys make Georgia look like NY. Sherman was going to burn SC but when he got their he thought the rebs must have beat him to it.

    June 30, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Mike

    His professional life and personal life should be treated seperately. His only problem is that under the same circumstances her called for Presidnet Clinton to be impeached. Doulbe standards do not make for sound principles. Maybe he should apologize to Clinton? Nah. Do as I say, not as I do,.

    June 30, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. denverite

    It always amazes me that when one of these "holier than thou" republicans get caught with their hand in the cookie jar they evoke God's name in order to continue with their lives, but John Edwards was ridiculed and bad-mouthed for having an affair! Maybe if he would have used God's name he would have been better off!

    I can not believe how these people talk out of both sides of their mouth. The problem with the republicans is NOT the affair per se (although it is morally reprehensible) it is their "Do as I say not as I do" attitude when they try to regulate morality–hypocritical at best,

    June 30, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Limbaugh is a liberal

    This is a distraction, nothing else. The GOP is in trouble not because of its moral hypocrisy, but because they are lazy whiners with no ideas of their own. Their 'alternate' budget proposal was a 16 page outline with no numbers. NO NUMBERS! In a BUDGET proposal? Their 'alternate' health care 'plan' was no better. It was a 3 page outline, with no cost estimates, and 80% of it was just taken near-verbatim from the Obama health care plan. Maybe if the GOP spent a little more time thinking, instead of taking vacations with their mistresses, and parroting Rush Limbaugh talking points unquestioningly, they might actually be contenders. Until then, they don't deserve to be listened to.

    June 30, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Adultery is illegal in SC

    To those who say that Sanford's infidelity is "none of our business", you're wrong. Phony moral scolds of the GOP like Sanford made it OUR business when they supported laws that make it illegal.

    June 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. John

    When Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Bill Clinton and John Edwards, LIED to their Wives.
    When Bush and Cheney Lied about WMDs of Iraq.
    …………… 4,300 US TROOPS DIED
    .……………… 45,000 US TROOPS INJURED
    ..………………… 100,000 IRAQIS DIED.

    We must Forgive Mark Sanford, if we have Forgiven Bush and Cheney.

    June 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Right Leaning Independent

    All you libs want us to shut up and not say anything about the Irananian elections because it is not our business and should be left up to the people in Iran to make a change. Well unless you live in SC, why don't you stop posting your thoughts here and let the citizens of SC decide what happens to THEIR governor?

    June 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. LiveFreeorDie

    Oh how the hypocrites circle their wagons when one of their own is exposed for the rotten fraud that they are.

    This country needs more men of true character like Ron Paul in our government.

    June 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Harry

    As a democrat, I want Sanford to stay in office.

    I LOVE the idea of "the party of family values" sticking with a deserter who cheated his wife and lied to the whole world.

    He left the country without transferring power. That should be a felony.

    But the more outrageous his actions, the more obvious it is that the GOP doesn't really stand by its values.

    If they truly believed that cheating and lying is bad, they'd impeach him, just like they did with Clinton.

    Sanford's action speak about his character. His Party's response, speaks about their lack of character.

    Thank you GOP. Keep up the double standard.

    June 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Not Batting an Eye

    South Carolina is a very religious state so it only stands to reason that hypocrisy should be rampant.

    June 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Franky goes to Hollywood--Relax!

    Dick (Cheney) said this morning that the neocon bench is very strong. I guess is because no one is sitting on it! Yeah, the neocon darlings, Ensign and Sanford, are the best the neocons have. Love it!

    June 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Oldphart

    I am confident that the gubernatorial "staff" was fully aware of exactly where the governor was and am sure his "staff" stood proud for him throughout his trip to Argentina.

    June 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Carl Justus

    I would in most cases say the governor should resign, but since the Lt. Governor is nothing more than an undiscipline boy, it would not be in the best interests of the state.

    I am no Sanford fan either, but he is much better than the Lt. governor, who brags that he is a fast driver and the state highway patrol in SC will has not and will not enforce the speed limit when it comes to Bauer, but let a real teenager go 10 miles over the limit, especially a poor one and you can bet all you have they will throw the book at him.

    Then people and the law of course wonder why they are not respected. With the person who is in charge of the state highway patrol in SC should lose his or her job and if I was governor or had the authority he would certainly be gone before the day was out.

    June 30, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    @ ch, who said "It’s not the adultery it’s the HYPOCRICY stupid! "

    It's neither. If we got rid of all adulterers from the pool of condidates considered viable and competent for office, we'd disqualify half the country. If we crossed all the hypocrites off the list, nobody'd be running the ship.

    June 30, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Scott, Tucson

    I'm sure that many here were not crying to the heavens for Bill Clinton to do the right thing and resigned after his little Monica affair came to light.

    June 30, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. ace

    That's it Sanford, invoke the name of God over and over again. Keep those biblical quotes coming and South Carolinians will melt like butter. They will become dribbling, malleable and hypnotic non-thinkers that you can mold and manipulate to your liking. Forget about the adulterous affair, AWOL disappearance, GRAND SCALE HYPOCRISY and focus on opportunistic doors that God will open to you in the future. It's ALL about you after all. One more little bit of advice – deflect your recent problems with infidelity by focusing more clearly on the Republican party platform of cultural wars, gay marriage and end of life decisions. Do that and you will come out smelling like roses.

    June 30, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. Dennis

    And she isn't even particularly attractive, have you seen that unibrow? Apparently Sanford's machine used the same tactics as Bush's, make sure that if he goes down the next person in line is even worse. The only reason Bush didn't get impeached was the alternative, Cheney!

    June 30, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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