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. Peter

    Just like John Edwards, Mark Sanford is a hypocrite. Both men are opposed to gay marriage because they see it as an attack on the institution of marriage. Sanford is even opposed to letting lesbian and gay couples adopt children. But, like most of those who use this empty rhetoric, they don't practice what they preach. In fact, it's people such as Edwards and Sanford who threaten the sanctity of marriage.

    July 2, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Ashley Va

    At least someone from the GOP is listening.

    July 2, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Brina

    I want Sanford to STAY....is the perfect example of what it really means to be a republican.

    July 2, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. Maria Sanchez

    I agree with Bennett. As a life-long conservative, we can do better. He should go and save what little dignity he has left. We definately don't want to appear like liberals.

    July 2, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Andrea

    I agree. He needs to resign. He turns my stomach, not because of what he did, but because he was so morally self righteous and sanctimonious through it all. He is a blazing hypocrite and more of an idiot than Clinton ever was. He is most definitely embarrassing himself, as well as making a mockery of US Government.

    July 2, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Politically Speaking

    Bill Bennett = Top Republican?

    Seriously CNN. This with your breaking news that flight whatever it was didn't break up in the air but crashed vertically. How is that "breaking news"? The tragic loss of lives over a month ago was, but a vertical descent is not.

    July 2, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. D. Tree

    "Fiscally interesting," that's strange thing to be looking for.

    July 2, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Chris

    the republican party itself needs to stop embarassing itself. go back to your roots of fiscal conservatism and leave matters of the bedroom and religion out of government. don't blame sanford for your hypocrisy-the party is too busy casting stones to come up with solutions or to clean up its own closet.

    July 2, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    The GOP strategy involves clingling to power under any circumstance. Nevermind the will of the American people, or what's good for us, it's all about maintaining a boot on the neck of progress, while keeping their own pockets lined with kickbacks from the health and energy special interest groups. No RepubliCON representative is fit to serve in office. The state of Arizona, a GOP stronhold, is going so far as to change their state constitution to ban a public health option. Their lack of respect for health care equality is sickening. I only hope the voters in AZ are smart enough to know a sham when they see one. If the private sector can't compete with a public plan, then it's obvious that the private sector is guilty of what most of us already know, that they've been bilking us out of billions for years, and their money wagon is in jeopardy of losing it's wheels to a more streamlined, honest competitor.

    July 2, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Mr. Bennett, Governor Sanford had an affair, and you're insisting that he must resign his office because of a morals indiscretion. Yet, where were you for the last 8 years while the Bush Administration was up to their "indiscretions" that cost many people their lives and helped us lose our standing in the world community?!?!


    July 2, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. gary

    Now this is funny. If anyone should stop embarrassing themselfs its this tub of lard.This idiot had McCain winning the election well into the evening on election night. Just another FAT CAT old white guy wishing Bush was still in charge, he has no credability at all.

    July 2, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. BW

    Mr Bennett you hit the nail on the head. Anyone who is so self absorbed that he cannot see what he is doing to those 4 boys and his hopefully ex-wife that he continues to make an ass of himself in the public. Mrs Sanford please don't stand by this man. Stand up for yourself and women in the world by telling us you will not forgive and dam sure will not forget

    July 2, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. RRR

    Wow, never thought I would agree with Bill Bennett! Finally the GOP critizes one of their own? Meanwhile.....

    The Dems are busy trying to pass bills to help the country...these bills may not be perfect, but the party is certainly trying, and with no help from the GOP for sure.
    The GOP just complains about the Dems plans...and at the same time, the GOP is collapsing from within due to scandal after scandal after scandal......
    The GOP needs to understand that voters like ME will never allow them credibility, when they loudly proclaim themselves the moral party who has the interest of the country at heart...while in a lot of their own homes......evidently a different story is happening.

    July 2, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Michigan

    He's right!

    July 2, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Geekman

    This from the guy with the gambling addiction? The GOP has become the party of self-righteous, judgmental buffoons who can't seem to control themselves when the camera's off (or on, it would seem). The true comedy is that they think we're still supposed to take them seriously.

    July 2, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. ThinkAboutIt

    Gee, I never thought I'd agree with Bill Bennett on anything, but here I am!

    Yes, Sanford should go – the sooner the better.

    July 2, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. Jimbo

    Well, then it's official. The "moral conscience" and noted inveterate high stakes Vegas gambler of the Repuglican Party has spoken. Given its utter lack of moral "leaders," the GOP would do well to stop casting stones.

    July 2, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Hannah Stevens

    I am wondering if these episodes of infidelity aren't a means of self destruction, sending a message that these men are over their heads and they want out of the political merry-go-round, and they are not able to face it and admit it. They have to know that it is political suicide to cheat on their wives and have mistresses and illicit sex, but they do it anyway. With Clinton though, I think he was driven when it came to women and he couldn't say no. and these men are faced with the temptation probably every day. And they are human. I am not excusing it however, as they are not thinking of their families and their duty to their job.

    July 2, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. Ken

    Bennett said we aren't interested! Oh hell yes we are, just like he and the conservatives were interested in Bill Clinton. I want to read every sordid detail! America needs to know the freak quotient of it's politicians. So far we have discovered two in the Down Low (DL) Craig and McGreevy, several Johns, including the Spitzer and that dude from Louisiana, and Clinton and Sanford are just plain hoes.

    Can't wait to see what is going to come out of Cantor, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Jindell, Palin, and Bachmann's closets, watching with baited breath!

    July 2, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. Will 18E

    The GOP has already set the standard on issue like this. When you have a consensual adulterous affair, and use you office to cover it up, and lie to your staff and public, you get impeached
    What is the GOP waiting for? This is there way, so why is the GOP sitting on their hands here?

    July 2, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. Terry from West Texas

    Well I for one am enjoying it. The Republican Party is like the clown car at the circus. Just when you think there cannot possibly be another one, another one comes out.

    "Don't cry for me, Argentina."

    July 2, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. rainbowgirl

    My opinion is that Gov. Sanford is either mentally unstable, or he is entirely aware that his behavior is making it an ultimate certainty that he will either have to resign or be impeached, thereby allowing him to be out of public service and be able to leave his wife and four boys for someone else, which will probably last about five minutes once they are together.

    I think it's most likely the first, that he is mentally unstable. I don't a person can do what he has done, keep talking about it as if it's a socially accepted behavior, so completely devastate his wife, and especially his sons, and not be mentally unstable.

    He needs to resign or be impeached. He can no longer do his job, and he can't be quiet.

    July 2, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. just my opinion

    It was a huge deal when Clinton did it. The GOP seems to like the media spotlight on sex scandals sometimes.... Perhaps if they weren't so hypocritical it wouldn't stay in the news cycle so long. Great piece on Colbert Report last night about the string of GOP critics of Clinton who have been brought down by their own sexcapades... I love it.

    July 2, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  24. travis_bdboy

    Say it isn't so Bill......I just bought another case of popcorn

    July 2, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Big Ed

    I hate to admit it, but Mr. Bennett is right: Mr. Sandford is embarassing himself AND his family, he needs to het his personal life in order, otherwise it would be very difficult for him to do his job properly and most of all, this nonsense needs to stop! If nothing else, do it for Mrs. Sandford and your sons!

    July 2, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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