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. Liberal4Obama

    Why hasnt John Boehner, Mitch McConnel, Eric Cantor or Michael Steele asked for Sanford to resign. Aren't this the leaders of the republican party? What are they waiting? Oh, I know for BOSS Limbaugh to tell them what to do, which in the case of Sanford is to do exactly what they are doing BE SILENT.

    Well with their silence this "leaders" are condoning Sanfords behavior and ultimately the GOP is loosing the respect of the American people. The republicans in Congress need to come out in full force and ask for Mr. Sanford to resign.

    July 2, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. Champly

    I don't recall Bill Clinton being asked to step-down by "top" Democrats. And Bill Clinton perjured himself. And lost his law license.

    July 2, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. Mike

    I don't care if he embarrass himself, he needs to stop embarrassing the state of SC. RESIGN.

    July 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Darryl Schmitz

    To varying degrees, rightist Republicans from Mr. Bennett to Rush Limbaugh have been as much of an embarassment to a once-proud constitutionist conservative party. They have hijacked it and driven it right over a cliff with no intention of lossening their grip on the wheel.

    July 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Madeline Michel

    I think CNN is embarrassing itself by having Bill Bennett as a contributor and naming him as a "top" Republican. Mr. Book of Virtues has embarrassed himself and shown himself to be every bit the hypocrite that Mark Sanford is.

    July 2, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. RedthenBlue

    Hey, Bill, wanna lay odds on that?

    July 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Diane

    I think Sanford should quit too, but not for hateful reasons, but reasons of love. He loves Maria. He should go be with her. Honestly, I didn't like him much when he was rejecting the stimulus money but now I feel sort of sorry for him. He has to leave the punitive Christian ideology behind and enjoy what remains of him life. Lighten up and go be in love. Rethink his positions, but do it in Argentina. Life is too short to be a Christian conservative!

    July 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Alex

    I respect Bill Bennett and Mark Sanford a great deal. Sadly Bill is correct that enough already with the information about a sad situation. It is bad enough that a man is suffering the effects of a simply ugly situation of infidelity. But Mark Sanford was also a rising star within the Republican Party that seems to have few left these days. That means the Republican Party just keeps on taking hit after hit and the only people remaining are the ineffectrive or extreme IDIOTS like Rush Limbaugh. Having been in a similar boat at one point in my life, I would strongly suggest to Mark Sanford to leave office and rebuild your family. I guarantee nothing in life is more important than your family and finding your way back to where it all started.

    July 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Eric

    Uh since when is Bennett a top Republican?

    July 2, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Pgoody

    You mean the way Bennett kept his life together as he gambled away millions of dollars? The hypocrisy of the right knows no bounds.

    July 2, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. John in Charlotte, NC

    I rarely agree with Bill Bennett. But I am in lock step with him on this. Sanford is telling us way too much. His professional conduct was irresponsible to the people of SC – he should go.

    July 2, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Limbaugh is a liberal

    The GOP is just looking for excuses and scapegoats on why they're in a political wasteland, and that's why they are turning on their own. The entire GOP needs to pull itself up, not just these scapegoats. The GOP is full of lazy whiners who only ever parrot pundit talking points, but can't come up with a viable plan of their own. They come up with budget proposals without any numbers, a health care plan that's just a 3 page outline and is mostly copied from the democrat's health care plan. Republicans need to start taking their job seriously! Until then, they don't deserve to be listened to!

    July 2, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. marcus

    from a purely political perspective, i can't believe i'm actually saying this, but, i agree with bill bennett... but, after having listened to the "holier than thou" right for the past 28 years, it sure is nice watching people like sanford and ensign and cheney implode.. it's the least we can get for the $14 trillion debt the republicans left to us..

    July 2, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Traj

    I agree, he is totally embarrasing himself. It's time to see a shrink, and tak Newt, Rush, Ensign, Mccain, and all you so called over-religious, bible toting, christian, marriage is sacred, people shouldn't be gay, right wing hypocritical nuts with you. The entire conservative movement is ridiculous right now.... Basically a joke.

    July 2, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Minnesotan

    "Mark Sanford is "embarrassing himself." – HAH! Republicans have been embarrassing themselves for years! But it's fun to watch the party of NO (No ideas, No sense of reality, No knowledge of America) self-destruct.

    July 2, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. David

    Can't say i disagree with Mr. Bennett. It's time to see if he can get his life in order and that would mean stepping down.

    July 2, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. duke

    top republican my foot. this bennett is nothing more than stooge for republican party. mike steele is not head of rep party russell slimebaugh is the head of party of losers.

    July 2, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Lady Dee

    Has it ever occurred to the GOP that Gov. Sanford is not interested in putting his life back together? Gov. Sanford has reached a new epitome in LOVE and he my fellow Americans has no interest in going back to business or life as usual. Marvin Gaye recorded a hit song that lyrics went like this . . . . “Makes you wanna holler; throw up both my hands”.

    Suffice it to say this is how Mark Sanford feels. He has had a taste of the Latin lolita and he is NEVER, EVER going home!

    July 2, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. david, CA

    Bennett had it ALMOST right. More importantly than Sanford embarrassing himself is that he's embarrassing the GOP. The longer the story unravels, the longer FOX has to play it's shell game with the Senator's party affiliation (notice how they NEVER mention out loud he's a Republican), and the longer Republicans have to wish this whole mess would just go away (like the dems had to with the governor of Illinois).

    July 2, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. SAI

    As Bennett says, there are a lot of GOP politicians who can be at their sanctimonious best, and can carry on with their 'holier than thou' denouncements of all lesser mortals till their feet of c(rap)lay are revealed. They can then follow their time-honored tradition of denial, contrition, atonement, redemption and so on. Bennett himself knows this well – as the gambling moralist that he is.

    This does not mean there are no liberal scum-buckets – they just do not preach.

    However, it seems Sanford may cross another line of sorts and go the Blogo-route – if the SC elected reps have any moral fortitude left and impeach this guy out of his office. After all, he not only broke 'God's laws', he also went AWOL and incommunicado for a week – and that is inexcusable in any Chief Executive.

    July 2, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. ObamaShrugged

    Why is it we can post comments about Sanford, but not about the jobless articles and BHO's non-stimulating stimulus?

    Once again, the media is covering BHO's backside!

    July 2, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. ruffian

    Since when is Bill secret-gambling-addiction Bennet considered a "top republican"?

    July 2, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Obama is not my Hero

    Keep fighting them off Sanford!!!! Pay them no attention!!!

    July 2, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Ivan Schiff

    No one is saying that Sanford should follow his one advice to others that have found themselves in this same position, having sex outside of marrige, and that is resign.

    July 2, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. norb

    Yeah, listen to Bennett. The guy who's at least 100 pounds overweight and has been treated for a gambling addiction. You tell em Bill!

    July 2, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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