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. Mike b

    Resign, not for cheating on your wife, but for cheating South Carolina for all these years.

    July 6, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Sam I Am

    He may very well continue on as the Governor of South Carolina, but his presidential aspirations are ended. The marital problems are between he and his wife. The travel to Argentina without notifying staff or family is between he and his public. I for one do not want a leader that thinks it's OK to disappear. I for one do not want a leader who allows himself to be so distracted by an affair that he completely ignores his responsibilities.
    I'm sure there are millions of Americans with the same opinion. Mr. Sanford, you should retire and write a book. Your career is over.

    July 6, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Marcus Tate

    This is another story I am sick of being in the news. Why is this guy still in office? The Republican Moral Majority Party should have throw this guy out by now if he has not resigned. They tell everyone else how to live their life, but condone it as long as it is one of their own.

    July 6, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Republicans are the American Taliban

    If you think he's going to resign you're crazy! Look what happened in Minnesota. Republicans are quick to forgive each other, but no one else.....coz the bible tells them so....

    July 6, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Charles

    The governor should resign.

    July 6, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Bella Downell

    Aw, just do the democrat No-morals thing and move the family and the mistress all into the governor's mansion and be done with it. According to democrats, it's only bad if you have morals and standards.

    July 6, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. Bev - NYC

    Really they need a conference call under the cover of night to grow a pair and tell the Governor to resign or face impeachment. Affair aside the guy walked out on his duties to the state for 5 days. In the real world where most of us live thats a case immediate dismissal, not a rambling press conference. How effective a representative could he be at this point?

    July 6, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. John Black Hills/SD

    Take a look Sanford, then picture in your minds eye the image of South Carolina's serial killer. Busted!

    July 6, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Midge

    Send him back to High School. He is emotionally a teen-ager in an old man's body. What a joke!

    July 6, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Elly

    why should he resign? Clinton carried on affairs for years and he nevere resogned. How about Kennedy? How many affairs did he have and why did he leave the site of the accident all those yrs ago in Chappaquidick? He never resigned or was ever forced to resign.

    July 6, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. paul

    who would ever trust this man now?

    July 6, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. LuckyEp

    This guy needs to get the heck out. What a mess the GOP has become.

    July 6, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. SweetSusie

    In the words of Donald Trump..."You're Fired!"

    July 6, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Charlie

    SLAMMER!!!! Karma is a wonderful thing!

    July 6, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Hope

    If one woman is ok with his cheating wife, that doesnot qualify him to stay as a governor this is bull crap people.

    July 6, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    I just read that Sanford was one of the leaders of the effort to go after Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky affair...if true, such Pharisee-like hypocrisy from a Conservative Christian Republican does not surprise me in the least.

    July 6, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. GI Joe

    It's no wonder our Senate gets nothing done – they're too busy bible-thumping and running all over the country sticking their noses into State business. Let SC handle the problems they have at the next election.

    July 6, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. KMAN

    This pathetic wad has nothing further to offer as the governor of SC ... he's an embarassment to all the men who take commitments and oaths seriously. He should step down and go write Harlequin Romance novels.

    July 6, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. Sandra Day

    How come conservatives have no problem going after Sanford, but Palin is still a saint? I would like it if just one conservative would have the guts to admit that Palin is a moron, and move on. Partisanship is all fine and good, but what is wrong with calling a spade a spade?

    July 6, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Sniffit

    Ridiculous. Is there nothing people won't organize a protest for in this country? Go to work and shut up. WOLF!!! WOLF!!! A wayward wang is not grounds for resignation or impeachment. If one of these idiots would at least cite the substantive reasons OTHER than him cheating on his wife...such as going AWOL for 5 days and not telling people where he was...then it would all have some credibility, but no...all anyone seems to be concerned about is his inability to resist following his divining rod. Tabloid politics at its best.

    July 6, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Gov. Sanford and Sarah Palin need to get together and found a new organization..." Promise Breakers " ....for true Republican Americans.

    July 6, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Hiking the Appalachian Trail

    Bella Downell July 6th, 2009 11:02 am ET

    Aw, just do the democrat No-morals thing and move the family and the mistress all into the governor's mansion and be done with it. According to democrats, it's only bad if you have morals and standards.

    Aw sweetie, but itt's the Republican thing to do to run around preaching morals and virtue, all the while doing just the opposite yourself.

    July 6, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Florida Joe


    You are missing the point..HE LEFT THE STATE without leadership for 5 days...........You think that is OK? WOW

    July 6, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. what's good for the goose . . .

    He should do exactly what he demanded of Clinton: Resign.

    July 6, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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