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. Seattle Sue

    This Stanford mess must be a huge weight on Mr. Bennett, who has all those Family Values and holier than Thou attitudes than every one else. What a two faced man. Why is he not slamming Stanford really hard? Is it because Stanford is a Republican and not a Democrat? I think so.

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

    people should just worry about their own personal lives and stay out of others!

    July 2, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Once You Vote Black

    I am sure Sanford knows the role Jenny played in killing the love in their marrage and feels why should he give up the Gov post just because she stopped giving herself to him and he found another. Stay Sanford. Everyone always the blames the one who cheated instead of the one who coped out of the marrage: the wife. I am sure she drove him to it.

    July 2, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. Mike in Montana

    If he can 'hide and lie' to his wife, family, friends and staff.., he certainly can 'lie' to his constituents. Governor Mark Sanford why not come over to the Democratic Party and have some fun. At least the Democratic Party is forgiving within its ranks. Mike in Montana

    July 2, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. D.Tin

    I am sorry that Sanford is putting his family thru this, but as a political family it comes with the turf. Yes he need to shut up, the more he speaks he is showing himself as a "wacko" in his personal life and not only with his political views.

    July 2, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. pumas

    I am from S.C. & yes he needs to resign, but Bill Bennett is 1 to call someone's actions embarrasing, Want to bet on it?

    July 2, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. LacrosseMom

    Yes, Mr. Bennett. Sanford has given us too much information. And his continuing to talk about this affair and others, just confirm that he is a egomaniac!

    I ask again...... WHY has Sanford not been fired??? Or impeached?

    Anyone who is AWOL from their job for 5 days would have been fired!

    July 2, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. TJ

    Bennett needs to go "muscle" Sanford in person. The guy is not leaving on his own. He believes he is "above" all. All of the Repubs need to muscle him like they did to Clinton. I should think they could impeach since he abandoned his position for 5 days and used public money. Doesn't matter that he is going to pay the money back. He would not have paid it back if he had not been caught. He is unstable.

    July 2, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Chris - Denver

    Bill Bennett sure knows all about embarrassing oneself.

    July 2, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Hans Brecker RI

    He doesn't need to quit ,just get his story straight and then SHUT-UP.
    The Dems are so much better than the republicans at this game. Learn from them and move on!!

    July 2, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Larry

    Hypocrisy is the epitomy of arrogance. To espose family value as a public official and to be having an affair is the height of hypocrisy. Sanford should resign immediately and hang his head in shame for as long as he lives for betraying his family, the people of South Carolina, and the Republican Party. And this is from a life long Republican!

    July 2, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. L. Adams

    Anyone care to understand the underlying reasons of why he did this? Was the marriage downhill for some time?

    July 2, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Bill

    Mr. Morality has spoken, I guess he tore himself away from the gambling tables long enough to lecture others on vices.

    July 2, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Joel

    Did cnn just headline this story on the ticker referring to Bill Bennett as a top republican? They're reporting on what their own personalities are saying now and inflating their status at the same time? cnn is the worst. Is there any place on the web to get unbiased news??

    July 2, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Hugo

    If you had told the truth and then kept your mouth shut you may have weathered the storm. Unfortunately, you are going through something alot of people go through, mid life crisis or middle age crazy. It is apparently clear that you have lost it. Resign and come back to fight another day when you clear your personal issues. People can't focus on any of the good you've done politically right now all they see (right or wrong) is a father that has betrayed his family.

    July 2, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Nat Turner

    I hope Sanford keeps talking. This is very interesting. He's acting like a school boy with his first crush on a girl. There is no doubt in my mind that he will hook back up with his mistress. He is really hoping that his wife will divorce him, but she stupidly sees a political future in this clown.

    July 2, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Dan

    Has anyone thought of the possibility that our current administration could have had somethings to do with the death of Michael Jackson in order to divert attention away from the upcoming votes in congress. Just food for thought.

    July 2, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. David

    Governor Sanford's greatest self-embarrassment is his self-righteous condemnation of others' behavior. Remember Mark's vehement support for a foolish impeachment two terms back? What "God opened" that "door" for him?

    July 2, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. Wendy

    FINALLY, a republican opinion that demonstrates rational thought. Had a democrat made this statement he/she would be declared "biased". Either way, who cares. The rest of us concur with these feelings...Sanford needs the boot.

    July 2, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. pericles21

    This makes sense. Just look at tSanford's behavior during the past month. Also, one might expect him to bolt again. His soul is restless and calls out to be liberated from the confines of job and place to heal.

    July 2, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Patrick

    The people of South Carolina, including Jenny Sanford and her four sons, should tell him to get lost. They all deserve better and will be better off without him. "Saving the marriage for the kids" is often an ill-advised fallacy. He has failed as a father, husband, and governor and doesn't show any signs of being able to do what's necessary to succeed in any of those important roles.

    July 2, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Owen

    "Fiscally interesting"? What on earth is that supposed to mean?

    July 2, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. Voter

    I can't understand why people compare any person's private life decisions and personal problems to their public life.

    Do you think these irrelevant standards are applied any where other than in "holier than thou" America?

    These things are simply none of our business.

    And, incidentally, I am NOT a Republican, I don't live in SC, and I wouldn't vote for Sanford on a bet – because of his political views.

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

    I am not fluent, but I speak a little Bennettese. Translation: Gov. Sanford needs to stop embarrassing the GOP.

    July 2, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Annette

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. This is someone who had/has a huge several hundreds of thousands of dollars in gambling issues and said that black babies should be aborted and that would reduce crime. It is beyond me why Bill Bennett gets to sit and commentate on CNN shows with some brilliant legal minds, when he is clearly a judgemental bigot himself.

    July 2, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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