July 6th, 2009
09:50 AM ET
12 years ago

Sanford returns to SC as Republicans mull his fate

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/26/art.sanford3.cnn.jpg caption="State GOP leaders are weighing their formal response to the ongoing Sanford saga."]COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Members of the South Carolina Republican Party will hold a conference call Monday night to discuss how to formally respond to the ongoing Mark Sanford saga.

The state party's executive committee will confer on how to proceed now that the governor has returned to South Carolina following a weekend visit with his family in Florida. Party members could decide to ask for the governor's resignation, or they could settle on the lesser penalty of censuring him for his behavior. They could also choose to do nothing, depending on how the call goes.

The state party chairwoman, Karen Floyd, released two statements last week suggesting that Sanford needs to step down. But despite last week's chorus of Republicans calling for Sanford's resignation, the governor offered no signs that he intends to leave office.

Many Republicans in South Carolina - believing that Jenny Sanford holds the cards to the governor's fate - are waiting to see what facts emerge from the family meeting in Florida before making any public comment.

In a statement late last week, Jenny Sanford called her husband's behavior "inexcusable" but added: "I am willing to forgive Mark for his actions."

Sanford is scheduled to attend a briefing in Charleston with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Sen. Lindsey Graham, a friend of Sanford's. But the governor's office said Sanford will not attend a press conference after the briefing.

The governor and his family returned to South Carolina on Sunday after spending the holiday weekend together in Florida. Sanford's office would not say if the governor and his family are together or in separate locations.

Sanford opponents have also scheduled a "Resign or Impeach" rally on the state house grounds in Columbia later this week. The event - which planners say is non-partisan - is being organized using Facebook.

"We have heard from the governor and have heard from politicians and pundits, but no one has heard from the people," said Marilyn Hemingway, a Democrat from Seneca who is spearheading the effort.

Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Grace

    King is crazy, plain and simple!!!

    July 6, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. GI Joe

    If Lindsay Graham is involved in it, get rid of Sanford. We need to get rid of all the wing-nut bible-thumping thugs we can.

    July 6, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Stephen Cohen

    Hooray for Peter King. It's about time some one brought this to the surface.

    July 6, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Hang on in there Gov Mark Sanford don't quit like Gov Palin. Dont' believe it for the good of the Republican Party. Republican and Democrat need to check themself on this.

    July 6, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I hope he spent his holiday weekend begging and pleading his wife and kids for forgiveness.

    July 6, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Terry from West Texas

    Mark Sanford fell in love. He met "the one." What penalty should he pay for that? It is difficult to meet "the one" after you have married "another one"

    July 6, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |

    Governor Sanford is against clandestine immigration ... but is all for clandestine emigration....

    July 6, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. al/Alabama

    What is the penalty for job abandonment? He left the state high and dry with no transfer of power. Is that type of person to be trusted with the fate of the citizens of SC?

    July 6, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There are so many destractions by Sandford still staying in office that it might be better for him to leave. This affair disclosure is more distracting to South Carolina than Palin's ethics investigations to Alaska.

    July 6, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. John

    Interesting – it's a political party that is going to ask him to resign or censure him, *NOT* the duly elected reprentatives in the state legislature. I guess *party* is more important than the people of the state...

    July 6, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Luanne

    What Govenor Sanford did is sad, but not the unforgiveable sin. Give the guy a chance, his wife has. Far worse things have been done on the Democratic side and swept under the rug. Move on to more important things such as getting us out from under this mountainous debt.

    July 6, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Gary SC

    Members of the South Carolina Republican Party

    Your kidding, what about everyone else, just because they can't count votes down here doesn't mean we're all republicans.
    I'm sure the Good old Boy club will do whats right ( for their party) in their own minds.
    Think you'll figure this out in 18 months?
    I haven't heard anyone here support this fool. Whats the delay?

    July 6, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Governor Sanford should follow the example of the other loser, Palin, and just resign.

    July 6, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Bubba

    Here in Teabag, S.C., we think he ought to resign because he's a socialist democrat atheist. And biased media.

    July 6, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. KJL

    The people of South Carolina have the right to reponsible government, and should know who is running the state and where they are. Should they have to send out a search party whenever loves strikes? Get rid of this blathering fool.

    July 6, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Candy West Virginia

    Even when republicans are found guilty they still want to skirt the law. Funny how sanford called on Clinton to resign and demanded his impeachment for lying yet he did the exact same thing and he won't resign. I guess if your a republican it's okay to be hypocritical.

    July 6, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. yuri

    Sanford's sins should speak for themselves. Ethically, we eye him as an enigmatically evil guy, tryin' to make others forget what his misdeeds were. We wonder how he can conduct business, with eye-to-eye conversations among his own staff. His mindset is mystifyin'.

    July 6, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Larry

    Hey Mark ...

    Whether you INTEND to leave office or not, your time is over

    Get over yourself ...

    Admit to yourself, and to those you care about, just how rediculous your actions have been

    I will also predict, now that your future in politics is gone ...

    So is little Maria ... she can find a hundred guys in 5 minutes that out class you

    July 6, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. JHL

    At least Jenny wasn't standing behind him on the podium as the dutiful, long-suffering wife ala Vitter when Mark announced his adultery. He and Ensign should stop their hypocritical behavior and just resign. Family value indeed: do these guys havve any self-awareness or sense of decency?

    July 6, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. Republicans can mull but they have no say

    Republicans in SC can mull about Governor Sanford all they want for a photo op or some TV face time, but the only person who has control over his fate is Governor Sanford, and I hope he finishes his term. I believe that is what he will do.

    July 6, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. mikeTPA

    What hypcrites this guy and Ensign are, they both said as they slammed others for infidelity they would resign if they ever found themselves in this predicament.
    They chose to use family values as a platform, so they both need to resign or shut up forever!

    July 6, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. John

    Sanford should be impeached or at least censured for dereliction of duty – he left the country for a week without turning over governance of the state to the Lt. Governor or providing any means of reaching him in the event of an emergency. Any personal drama is irrelevant and would have never been a problem if not for the dereliction of duty.

    July 6, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. DT

    This idiot needs to be booted from office...not now but RIGHT NOW!!!!!! Stop playing with him...get him out...he's disgraced himself, his state, his family, and the God he (Supposedly) serves...

    July 6, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. fastrbud

    Sanford is simply another of the self-righteous, Republican hypocrites that has cloaked himself in family-values and religion while using state funds to finance their "activities". Now rather than disappear into the night as he would have others do under similar circumstances, he is determined to stay in office. The disappearance without contact as he traveled out of the country and the spending of SC state funds for his affair are far more important crimes than adultery. That's between he and his wife.

    July 6, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Fed up in SC

    He should have stayed in Florida.

    July 6, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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