July 2nd, 2009
02:56 PM ET
14 years ago

Bennett: Sanford needs to stop 'embarrassing himself'

(CNN) - Mark Sanford is "embarrassing himself" and needs to resign as governor of South Carolina, conservative talk radio host and CNN contributor Bill Bennett said Thursday on CNN's American Morning.

Bennett, the latest high profile conservative to call for Sanford's ouster, said it's time for the onetime Republican rising star to ditch politics and focus solely on getting his life back in order.

"I know Mark Sanford. I know him quite well," Bennett said. "He needs to get his life back in order, his marriage back in order. He is embarrassing himself."

"There is the old notion of indecent exposure, usually that refers to somebody showing some skin, and there's another form of indecent exposure. He is telling us way too much," Bennett continued. "We're not interested. He needs to stop and take care of his life."

Bennett also suggested the GOP can easily fill the gap Sanford would leave.

"We have other people," he said. "We have other people who are not only fiscally interesting and sound but also can keep their lives together. "

Bennett's comments come as more than half of the Republicans in the state senate have now called for Sanford to step down, as well as a host of other GOP leaders in the state. Sanford has indicated he does not intend to resign.

"The whole thing is pretty ugly. It needs to stop," Bennett also said.

Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. karina

    You know it's time to leave when not only fellow party members but friends insist that you step down. I think some are trying to compare his indiscretion with Clinton. But there is a vast difference. Clinton did not leave the country and not only forsake his job but family. Bill Clinton was and probably still is a scoundrel, but he was and is able to take care of business.
    People try to connect politics with morality all the time but do not see the irony in it. As a politicain you are showered with money and power. And to alot the temptation to do something you normally woudn't do working a minimum wage 9 to 5.
    Sanford has so little respect left because of this episode and is only dragging it out in public by not resigning. He talks about God but I think God would probably prefer him to step down than to further disgrace his wife and children. Haven't they been through enough?

    July 2, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This is one thing I can agree with Bennett on.

    July 2, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |

    top republican?

    when was the last time he (Bennett) held office?

    fiscally interesting? as opposed to telling the tax payers the truth as Sanford did?

    here in NY we have a bunch of children in Albany- i would love to have people who actually tell me the truth about our finacial problems.

    July 2, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Hopeful Optimist

    I was absent the day Bennett was appointed Moral Czar of America. I guess I'd better read up on things. He's probably one of those people who does things in his closet until he can hardly stand it anymore and has to come out to show the world.

    July 2, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Jackalope

    I suppose what Bennett says about Sanford is essentially correct, but he ignores the hypocrisy factor. Sanford, like Bennett, has built his career, in part, by passing moral judgment on the behavior of others, all the while ignoring the motes in their own eyes. They should both go away.

    July 2, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Nothing on 600,000 job losses reported.
    Nothing on unemployment now at 9.5%.
    Nothing on a U.S. solder captured in Afghanistan.
    Nothing on DPRK firing off 2 missiles.

    THANK GOD there's a Sanford story...

    July 2, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Mike

    If anyone would know something about embarrassing yourself it's Bill Bennett.

    July 2, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Sniffit

    embarassment = free publicity = more book sales

    no fame is bad fame

    what Bennett REALLY means is "stop embarassing the GOP"

    July 2, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Mike Dallas

    This tree hugging, lib hopes this heel, stays in power.

    I can just hear the DNC ads in 2010/2012, first one will start out with Sanford, Gingrich and Ensign condemning dems for having feet of clay, then it will fade to the sobbing apologies, maybe even work in a Jimmy Swaggart/Ted Hagee moment for extra credit, and end with the silent print of "WWJD"?

    It certainly will stop all that sanctimonious, self-righteous, holier-than-thou blather from the neo-con "christian" right-wing bible thumpers!

    July 2, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. MD

    I can hardly believe I'm saying this but I agree with Bill Bennett. However, my reason for thinking Sanford should resign are different. Derelection of duties is the real reason he should go. Everyone knows that a 5 day unexplained absence from work is grounds for automatic termination. HE SHOULD LEAVE OR BE REMOVED. Just like the rest of us.

    July 2, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. James, Brooklyn NY

    I wonder what all these republicans who are call for the gov to resign are hiding. I think they are afraid that if the investigation continues other might get caught.

    July 2, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. Sister Marie

    The pot is calling the kettle black.

    July 2, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. Adam from Ohio

    And after making his statement, Bill Bennett returned to his gambling addiction.

    Ugh. Please, Repubs, get some new faces.

    July 2, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. white female

    Please don't step down Mr. Sanford, the GOP Party need you.

    July 2, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. ran

    If anyone knows about embarrassing themselves it would be Bennett.

    July 2, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Rob

    Dear CNN:

    Stop with the sensationalism. Bill Bennett is not a "top republican", like your front page says. You just like to say that it is because he contributes on some of your shows. He's not.

    I can't take CNN's sensationalist spin on literally everything anymore. Time to go to a less crappy news source.

    July 2, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. Donkey Party

    Let him stay in office to be the poster boy for hypocrisy, deception, dereliction of duties, adultery, and taxpayer fraud. He's doing just fine on those fronts...

    July 2, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. kgeukes

    Considering that most of the Republican party has a knack for embarrassing themselves and their party maybe they should all resign and let the Dems just rule the world!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!

    July 2, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. lema

    Be careful, 2moro might be your turn.Remember how loud sanford,Ensign and co were during Clintons affair.They never knew they will one day get busted.So Mr.,keep quiet and let him embarrass himself.hypocrite

    July 2, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. CK

    Missing for a week??? Uhhh, please step down...

    July 2, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. Geri

    There's not doubt in my mind that Sanford is a mirror of the people
    in SC who voted for him. Water does seek its own level.

    July 2, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. Kwesoe

    As I contemplated why Stanford is over exposing himself, I surmised that he is doing so to antigonize his wife and frustrate her enough to divorce him. That will give him the excuse to elope with his soulmate while portraying his wife as an unforgiving person. His dilemma, however, is that she is not taking the bait. Woe to you, Mark!

    July 2, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    We must admit... Sanford is a real joke but then so are the Republicans as a whole. Most of them are self righteous hypocrites, liars and thieves.

    The real problem before us is if the Democrats do not take care of business, "we the people," who seem to have such a problem with remembering what the last 8 years brought us will bring the party of Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich back to power.

    Talk about a real tragedy.

    July 2, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. christine

    Oh please we are tired of the republican party lying to this country just that they stay in office they took us to a war that was not suppose to be, they have destroyed this country now we are in a big mess with the economy they can win election but they cant govern so BENNETT and his republican party need to go away for a while and let the democrats do a better job we didnt have this problem when bill clinton was president i dont think for now we need this shameful people

    July 2, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. Gary

    I'm a big fan of yours as a conservative but this is demoralizing to the point where an arguement can be made that Bill Clinton could of been the moral majority of the republican party. At least it was done in the oval office and another country wasn't involved . There has to be a mental breakdown of some sort for him to not resign.
    The republicans will get passed it because of how pathetic the democrats are.If the shoe was on the other foot Hannity and Limbaugh would of been on Fox 24-7 demoralizing the moral fiber in which our elected leaders conduct there personal lives. This whole country is a joke through out the world. It's an ambarrassment to say in NY you are an elected official in Albany and the Feds are spending our grandchildrens future away like drunken sailors in port. my hatches are tied down and don't believe a word out of any of them period. But Bill your OK in my book. Someone I enjoy listening to.

    July 2, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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