July 1st, 2009
12:02 PM ET
11 years ago

Resignation drumbeat grows louder in South Carolina

 A total of 14 GOP South Carolina state senators have called for Mark Sanford’s resignation.

A total of 14 GOP South Carolina state senators have called for Mark Sanford’s resignation.

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA (CNN) - The resignation drumbeat continued in South Carolina on Wednesday, where GOP state senators continued to call for Gov. Mark Sanford to step down.

CNN has learned GOP Senators Daniel Verdin, Shane Martin and Wes Hayes joined the anti-Sanford chorus on Wednesday morning, bringing the total number of Republican senators calling for the governor's resignation to 12. (Update: GOP state senator Ronnie Cromer and Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell also called for Sanford's resignation Wednesday afternoon, bringing the total to 14.) There are 27 Republicans in the state senate.

Sanford's support among legislators and grassroots leaders in the state eroded considerably on Tuesday after Sanford told the Associated Press he had met with his mistress more times than he had previously disclosed. He also admitted to dalliances with other women.

At least four county GOP chairman have also called for Sanford to go.

Glenn McCall, the York County Republican party chair who has been leading a grassroots effort against the governor, said Wednesday that he and other conservative activists are now postponing a planned rally at the State House next week because legislators are starting to come out strongly against Sanford.

The rally had been scheduled to pressure Senate and House leaders to call for Sanford's resignation and start an investigation into his activities. But now that officials are publicly coming out against the governor and Attorney General Henry McMaster has begun a probe into Sanford's travel records, McCall said the rally may not be necessary.

"We are hoping that legislators can quietly, in private talks with the governor, ask him if he would please step down," McCall said.

Late Tuesday, seven senators, including Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, jointly issued a letter demanding that the governor step down because he has lost the trust of South Carolinians.

"The bottom line is that the Governor's private matters should remain private, but his deception and negligence make it impossible for us to trust him, and for him to govern in the future," they wrote.

Peeler told CNN that Sanford "has lost his ability to lead and I'm afraid he has lost his ability to function as a man."

"He is sitting all alone in that big governor's mansion, totally alone," Peeler said. "It's about leadership and moving forward and it's time for him to resign."

Peeler issued the statement along with Leatherman, Paul Campbell, Thomas Alexander, Jake Knotts, Larry Martin and William O'Dell.

Earlier Tuesday, two of Sanford's top conservative allies in the senate - Larry Grooms and Kevin Bryant - also said Sanford must go.

The Greenville News, one of the largest papers in South Carolina, also issued a sharply-worded editorial Wednesday telling Sanford to go. They wrote that Sanford has "acted like a heart-sick school boy, and he's revealed facts that clearly demonstrate he is capable of exceptional deception, arrogance and narcissism."

UPDATE: South Carolina’s Democrats also called for Sanford’s resignation Wednesday. "While I believe an investigation should still be done to determine the full extent of Mark Sanford's abuse of power, (through) his long stream of confessions he has already revealed enough immoral and reprehensible behavior to justify asking him to step (down),” state Democratic Party chair Carol Fowler said in a statement. “State officials seem unable to do anything except worry and talk about Governor Sanford's extramarital affair, which we learn more about every few hours.

“... South Carolina can't afford to be at a standstill for the next 18 months with a governor who ignores his job responsibilities while pursuing personal interests. Any other worker in South Carolina would be fired for not showing up at work with no notice."

Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Matt

    I would like to thank Sanford and Ensign; not to mention, in no particular order, Gingrich, Craig, Foley, Haggart, Swaggart, and many more..With our wonderful Republican leaders advocating morals and family values, I can lead the most destructive, irresponsible, and hypocritical life without feeling the least bit remorseful.

    July 1, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. sam

    Adultry is illegal in SC......press charges

    July 1, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. Alfred E. Neumann

    Mark, you tell them that your personal mess is none of their business.

    As far as I know your a dirtbag but that's not against the law in South Carolina.

    July 1, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Ignore it all

    The Governor is in his last 18 months of his last term and he should ride it out and just close his ears to the drumbeat of political hacks. What are they going to do – impeach him for boinking a foreigner? Have the US Congress would have to resign in shame, along with 1 out of very 4 Presidents since Washington.

    July 1, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Luke Brown

    King David Sanford has made South Carolina a laughing stock. Why does he he stay on? To work on economic problems of the state? That is a joke as well.

    He has no plan for health care, even though his state has the highest rates of death due to preventable diseases.

    He has no plan for education, even though the schools in his state are among the worst in the country.

    He has no economic recovery plan, even though unemployment in his state is the second highest in the country.

    Oh, yeah, I forgot. The Luv Gov does have a plan... refuse to take $700 million in stimulus money because it will make South Carolina worse off.

    July 1, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Peter E

    If I were the media, I'd start looking into all these critics' own lives now. In the recent past the loudest critic always turned out to be the biggest moral hypocrite, with the next juicy scandal!

    July 1, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. johnnie

    he should crow with the rosters,and cluck with ducks, and moo with the cows,and yell like the republican party does all day long, he must go back to argentina and cry for himself. for real he should resign 2 day.

    July 1, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. P-51 Driver

    Sanford / Palin 2012.....What a team...

    July 1, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Reality Check

    I am a Dem – but come on people, look at how many people cheat, do you think they should resign because they did? School teachers, Principles, Preachers, CEOs, Doctors..come on – you all need to grow up – he is HUMAN and will make mistakes. I dont think him having a fling has anything to do with the state of SC – almost every state is having financial difficulty brought on by Wall Street.

    July 1, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Such is the republican party, looking for scapegoats even amongst themselves as an excuse to cover up their own failings. The GOP is full of moral hypocrites, which would be less important if at least they could govern or have any ideas of their own. But all they ever do is hypocritically grandstand, whine, repeat Rush Limbaugh's talking points, and at th end of the day slap together a 16 page outline with NO NUMBERS and call it an 'alternative' budget plan. Or a 3 page outline with no cost estimates, and 80% copied from the democrats, and call it a 'health care plan.' Do they still wonder why nobody listens to them? If they want to make a difference they'd better take their jobs more seriously than they are doing now!

    July 1, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Blow Hard wanting attention.

    Gov. Sanford.
    Give up and go back to your South American love. It is over for you and your S.C. family. You may try to regain your old affection you and your wife once had but, it will never work. She has hardened her self to you and who can blame her. So just do yourself a favor and IF your latin lady will have you, say goodbye to all of us who are tired of hearing you blabber about all this, and just go enjoy the rest of your life in where ever land...

    July 1, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Peter E

    If Sanford just admitted to the affair honestly from the beginning, this whole news would have gone away in days. It is, afterall, an issue for him and his family to resolve. It isn't anybody else's business. But he just keeps changing his story every day. Doesn't he remember Clinton, when the GOP, Sanford included, was calling on Clinton's resignation using the excuse of the president having lied about his personal life. Did Sanford think he'd be treated different? People will also use the excuse of the lies to crucify him! Aren't politicians supposed to know history? Especially history they lived through?

    July 1, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Janice in Mississippi

    Politicians are elected by the people; therefore, they work for the people. What they do in private affects what they do in their jobs as politicians. Any form of deception leads to other forms of deceptions.

    First, Sanford proved his deception by calling a press conference and "confessing" the truth about why he abandoned his family and his governorship leading up to and after the last Father's Day weekend.

    Second, he speaks at another press conference stating he has had several other indiscretions with women. More deception.

    Sanford needs to resign.

    July 1, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Bubba

    Callahan, pretty obviously he's "right with God." Look at him grinning away; he's found his "soul mate." What we'd all like to know is the identity of the "religious advisor" who went to NYC with him on his next-to-last date with Soul Woman. Will that person please step up and bear witness before God?

    Yeah, didn't think so.

    July 1, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. John M in NoHo CA

    People want blood for a personal sex life but not for outing an active covert CIA agent for partisan vengeance. Which one was abuse of the elected office? Let's keep our eyes on the ball, people.

    July 1, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Christie, MN

    If I had a dime for all the men who feel a "spark" and act on it, I would be rich.

    The same men go back to their grown children in 15 or 20 years and beg for their forgiveness. Someday Sanford is going to want to be there for his sons and grandchildren and hopefully his kids will know that the honorable parent was their mom, and not the father who abandoned them on Father's Day.

    July 1, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Nsikan Jacob

    Hey! Are you guys still questioning why Mr Sanford is comparing his actions to that of king David? He even went a step further than David – he was escorted by his spiritual adviser to commit adultery with his sold mate, a dear dear friend. This is what happens when you follow someone to church from birth and not find God for yourself. He cannot breakup with Maria. His wife and family lost him long time ago. He is bold and can find passages in the bible to support his actions. He is dead in sin. He will only repent when sin cost him all that he now has.

    July 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Obama 2.0

    You are sooooo Fired!

    July 1, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. John KM

    "I think what he did in this matter was reprehensible... I feel very comfortable with my vote." - Mark Sanford on his vote for impeaching Clinton

    July 1, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Nsikan Jacob

    Mr Sanford, you are closer to Sampson than David. You are not smart cheating on your wife! Resign, leave town now.

    July 1, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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