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. Gramma Rose

    South Carolina's governor is not confessing his "sins"; he's simply indulging himself in sophomoric, locker room bragging about his sexual exploits. It's the kind of thing we "liberals" have come to expect from the formerly" Moral Majority."

    July 2, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Rob

    The Difference between Repubs and Dems is that Repubs actually take responsibility for their action and saying how Sanford needs to step down. Dems would just say oh well he's a man and move on and no one would say anything. Its amazing how Dems are such hypocrites its disgusting.

    July 2, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Tom in Delaware

    Who the heck is Bill Bennett? Top Republican?!?

    If Clinton could stay in office so can Sanford....at least Sanford didn't lie every which way to Sunday.

    July 2, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Jane

    He is finding it very difficult to implement his own preachings about how the president, the liberals, the country and the world should act!!

    July 2, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Jed Rothwell

    This is probably sound advice. "High Roller" Bill Bennett knows a thing or two about how to embarrass yourself, after all. Just don't bet the milk money. Why anyone still listens to this outrageous hypocrite I do not understand. I suppose he and other "top Republicans" think gambling away a fortune at Las Vegas is not a moral issue. They looked the other way while Wall Street and AIG gambled away trillions of dollars, and now they presume to lecture the rest of the country about morality! What chutzpah.

    July 2, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Tony from Michigan

    I think that Sanford should stay and give as many interviews as possible!!! Every time he speaks we all learn what the GOP is all about.

    July 2, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Ren from Baltimore

    I agree with Dr. Bennett that the Republicans have other potential candidates. The problem, for all parties, however, is the kind of glare that strikes individuals who veer off the beaten path at all, whether in their personal, busines, or political lives. There are no doubt candidates in the wings who are indeed both straight and robust enough to endure the glare. Maybe problems like this will compel them to follow their good conscience and decide to help out the people of South Carolina and the rest of the nation.

    Sanford is doing himself nor the entire country any favors by being in this situation and digging himself deeper by the mouthful. So I'll chime in with everyone else, even with Keith Olbermann: In some ways we must envy a person who has so found a soul-mate, even late in life. However, be quiet about it, Gov Sanford!

    July 2, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. Bill

    I am hoping for the day when politicians of all parties return to the place where the people they represent are considered as a poltician's first priority. Governor Sanford's actions reveal remarkable self-interest and disregard for the state of South Carolina.
    On a positive note, Mrs. Sanford has shown herself to be a real person with enough self respect as to not represent herself as an appendage to the governor's agenda.

    July 2, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Jack

    I agree with Mr. Bennett. South Carolina will elect another GOP Governor. Mark Sanford's best move would be to say, "I confess. There is no excuse. How can I manage the state when I can't even manage my own house hold? I will take responsibility and start following a course of repentance. The course of repentence will be to resign, seek qualified counseling, get a regular job, have transparent and accountable finances, get a filter on my Internet and start allowing my wife to view ALL my email.

    Actually, Bill Clinton should have done the same thing.

    July 2, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. johnanna

    Here here, Mr. Bennett.

    July 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. pam Eugene OR

    Please Sanford for the sake of your sons, shut up! I don't care if you step down or not but STOP talking!

    July 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Mary

    Adultery is sin. Stanford loves his mistress. It is all over his face and his heart is expressing it. How do you tell a man like Stanford to stop talking when he wants the world to know that is was not something that happen once but this mistress is his soul mate? Which one of us in American can not pick up on how much he loves this woman. He left his family on Father's Day and that means he cares for her. Cheaters who are not serious about the person they are dealing with always spend holidays at home. Leave the man alone, after all he is a good Republican with no family values. He just talked the talked. I am a Democrat and have been with my husband for 26 years, yes faithfully and yes married to him.

    July 2, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. carlos

    a top republican, bennett???????????...man, they change every other day in the top spot......and where is the bloated king kong rush?....what does he think of the evil sinners in his party?....I didn't hear any comments YET.......hissss hissss hissss

    July 2, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Mary Koral

    Hmmm... sounds as if this is the person who will take the heat for all the fiascos of the Republican party, Sarah Palin's " watch me, hear me, attitude... full of self glorification, Cheny's wretched politics and lack of honor. Sanford is wrong and his behavior deplorable. But, I fail to see why he should resign and others, who are equally in error, remain.

    July 2, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Tom

    I agree with Bennett. The governor has gone out of his way to give us too much information. For the sake of his family, he needs to stop all this embarrasing blather and resign. The man sounds like he needs some mental help. He certainly can't govern in such an irrational state.

    July 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Dennis

    Of course they can fill the gap he leaves, the lots more JUST LIKE HIM! This is, of course, great news for the Democrats.

    July 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Emily

    I agree with Mr. Bennett, he should resign and get his life in order

    July 2, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Jim in Indinana

    This is a S.C./republican problem. I don't have a dog in this fight. But I do enjoy it.

    July 2, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Jim

    Well, Bennett would certainly know about embarassing oneself!

    Reminds me of that line from the Bible about tending the mote in your neighbor's eye while ignoring the beam in your own.

    July 2, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. John, from SC

    He keeps talking like his staying in power amidst this scandal is showing his sons he has backbone. I believe it shows more backbone to say, "I was wrong, I am wrong, I will take the penalty and step down and build my way back up"... however, the typical repub response is always, "I was wrong, but God forgave me and I need to stay in power to show that I am forgiven and that I will not give up even if something bad happens. You need to forgive me too."

    July 2, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Bill Woodall

    After reading the article in CNN today, all I can say for those self-righteous conservatives is that you need to get a life of your own and not try to control the lives of others. I am sure that Mr. Bennett has a lot of skeletons in his own closet that he would not want others to know about as do most of the other conservatives who are quick to point a finger at others who do not think and act according to the great conservative "ideal" life. Surely you have more to do in your life than dictate to others how they should live.

    July 2, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. P. D.

    I would have more respect for these Republicans if they demanded his resignation sooner. They have let this fester and now it is out of control. I remember the Clinton debackle and the Republicans were howling for blood, but they seem rather timid when it is one of their own.

    July 2, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. 60's survivor

    doesn't need a shovel. apparantly just keep talking is enough

    July 2, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. kishen c.rao

    if this guy has any kind of sense of ethics, he needs to resign...not run for ever...............for the benefit of the nation...

    July 2, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Midge from Ohio

    Bill Bennett hit the nail on the head! EVEN I feel embarrassed for Sanford, he is acting so high-schoolish it is comical. Step down and let an adult become Governor.

    July 2, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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