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. shooter_sd

    Bennett claims the GOP has "other people" who can fill the Sanford gap. Odd he doesn't name them? Who are these mysterious "other people" that have no personal problems and can magically lift the GOP out of its mess?

    July 2, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Ryan Indy

    Take note Democrats, when a Republican screws up they call each other out. But yet again Democrats lack integrity and Class. I can remember it like it was yesterday when Clinton was caught up in the scandal with Monica and all they wanted to do is make excuses and cover for him. I guess that is the different between Republicans and Democrats , republicans have class and Democrats have NONE.

    July 2, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. r edwards

    Why should he resign. He, at least, had the gonads to admit what he did. We had a president who denied his affair under oath and was allowed to continue his term in office. All parties concerned need to stop talking about something they can do nothing about and let him do his job. All this media hoopla is taking away from the real issues that face South Carolinians. And I'm sure they have plenty of them, just like every other state.

    July 2, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Heather

    This entire missing in action saga is an indictment of the conservatives insistance that "no governing is best governing." Disinterested, unengaged politicians is what the right prefers, so that's what they get.

    July 2, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Scott

    Gee. How did I know when the link on the main page said "TOP" Republican that it was not going to be the case?

    July 2, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Luke Brown

    How is Bennett a "Top Republican"? Is he just all mouth or has he actually been elected to something?

    BTW ... When his gambling addiction was discovered, did he step down from whatever it was that made him the Republicans Moralizer-in-Chief??

    July 2, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. dj

    Amen. Imagine the humiliation his family feels as he bears his soul and anguishes over the loss of his soulmate. Has this man no dignity? It seems as if he wants us to feel sorry for him. What a loser. We may want to rethink our South Carolina beach trip if this dunce stays in office. He's needs to check-in to "lost soulmate" rehab and both the wife and mistress need to kick his ass to the curb.

    July 2, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. bjc

    Sanford needs to resign and then we can have his wife run for Governor of South Carolina!!!!!!

    July 2, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. irakwarno4americans

    what a sorry bunch!!! Republicans are shameless!!! They love to throw stones. LOL

    July 2, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. cathern

    It would be nice if the politicians and the press would grow up. Ever since the Republicans used Bill Clinton's dallying to try to destroy him, we have the interesting phenomenon of expecting our elected officials to be sexually pure. The male animal is not monogamous in general, and politicians are no different.
    The only time a person's sex life is anyone's business but their own is if it involves children, or physical harm to someone else. There used to be a code among the press that personal lives were not fair game, if the behavior wasn't criminal. That code should be reinstated.

    July 2, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. carlos

    what's the surprise here?...typical CONservative thinking but not with their brains (heads)....really feel sorry for this guy...he is torn between a wife and a mistress and doesn't want to give up either.......

    July 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Pragmatic

    "fiscally interesting .." now just what is that?? As for Sanford – thinking he like is King David shows just how self-absorbed he is: very immature.

    July 2, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Tom in Florida

    So what does the REAL Republican boss, Rush Linbaugh, think? After all, the opera's not over until the fat lady has sung.

    July 2, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Kathleen

    Gov. Sanford clearly suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He can't stop obsessing about Maria Chapur and his compulsion to talk about his affair and himself is literally screaming at people for attention. Think of the scene in Shakespeare's play Macbeth about the concept of "undoing". Sanford needs to step down, seek psychiatric care with a doctor who specializes in OCD. His arrogant, narcissistic focus and delusional references to King David and himself along with his inability to stop weeping are signs of mental and emotional deterioration that can devolve into further self destructive actions. Just look at his sad, crumbling face.
    His wife Jenny needs to come to grips with the fact that she'll never be number one with him again. The specter of Maria will always haunt them both. Jenny can heal both herself and salvage her
    children 's future by realizing that her husband is a serial cheater and that her marriage is OVER. She needs to bail out. before the fallout gets worse as it will.
    Dr. K. Nelson, Clinical Psychologist, Retired.

    July 2, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Patrick

    Republicans need to stop thinking they are Saints. What Sanford did is not that different then Clinton...did Clinton resign? Did Bill Bennett stop being a pundit after his gambling problems surfaced? Barney Frank ran a brothel out of his congressional office and stayed in office. Sanford needs to stay put and fight.

    July 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Donna Mansfield

    I don't usually agree with Bill Bennett – but this time he's spot on. Sanford should be an embarrassment to the republican party – thank goodness someone in the ranks has the courage to say so!

    July 2, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Rondell

    He does not need to resign. Everyone thinks that when public officals mess around, "oh no, you must resign". This guy Bennett is thinking about the party before the individual. If this matter isnt affecting the people of S.C then it should not matter if he stays in office or not. Anytime if interfers with how the state is run, then there is a problem. This is a personal problem that must be dealt with personally.

    For example if someone in a normal job cheats on his wife and his employer finds out. Should they retire like how public officials are asked to resign?

    Bennett needs to get a hold of himself and again do what i think is important for the people of S.C TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES...NOT PERSONAL LIFE. !

    July 2, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. JM

    Amen Bill!

    July 2, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. Dave

    Wait... is this the Bill Bennet who embarrassed himself by presuming to write a "Book Of Virtues" to instruct the rest of us... and then was revealled to have racked up millions in gambling debts?

    That's the Republican party, folks. Hypocritical to the end. Sanford might as well stay in office, he didn't do anything unusual given his party affiliation.

    July 2, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. Judi Baller

    And this from the person that gambled millions away. Hmmm, some family values.

    July 2, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    Bill who!?!

    July 2, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Marva, NJ

    He won't resign because this is all about him and not the people of South Carolina. The Sanford saga will go on.

    July 2, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. Mike

    Before we worry about a replacement for Governor Sanford let's get a replacement for obama. Hows the change working for you.

    July 2, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. Mary

    Bennett has a point concerning the pain Stanford is putting on his family and embarrassing himself because he misses his woman. Did Bennett and the Republican party think about what a long investigation and public embarrassment did to Hillary and her daughter they had nothing to do with the affair that Bill had. I feel for Jenny but she is not the victim here. All woman say they love their husband and want the marriage to work. If Mark fell in love with this woman and has been seeing her for over a year, where was Jenny? Did she not know she no longer had her husband affection or just assumed it(relationship with this woman) would go nowhere. Unless Mark is a lustful man, he found something in the mistress he was not getting at home,especially when he spends Father's Day with her instead of his Jenny.

    July 2, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. JA/TN

    he should quit, if he was a state trooper, he would be unemployed, how can replaced stolen funds without pinishment, neglect your duties

    July 2, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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