July 19th, 2009
03:47 PM ET
13 years ago

Sanford, 'humbled and broken,' makes vow to state

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/19/art.sanfordbow0719.gi.jpg caption="Close to a month after holding a press conference and publicly admitting to having an extra-marital affair, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford penned an Op-ed published Sunday where he apologized again."]
(CNN) – Embattled South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford tried a new tack Sunday to win forgiveness after admitting to an affair and being incommunicado while he left the state for several days.

A self-described "more contrite" Sanford wrote an op-ed, published in newspapers around South Carolina, vowing to "begin the journey of trying to get things more right with you and others."

Sanford had previously tried a news conference and several interviews which stirred more controversy over his admitted extramarital relationship with an Argentinian woman whom he called his "soul mate."

"I realize this op-ed does not do justice to the process of saying I am sorry," the two-term Republican wrote. "A handwritten note or a phone call would ultimately be more appropriate."

Sanford again admitted, "I did wrong and failed at the largest of levels." He said "life is... about way more than public standing or political views, it is about recognizing that none of us of are the arbiters of truth, that there are moral absolutes and that there is a God to whom we will all report for our actions.

"My failure has been more glaring on this front, where no public apology can make wrong right."

But Sanford wrote that he has been "humbled and broken as never before," and has "given up areas of control."

"It is my belief this will make me a better father, husband, friend and advocate."

Sanford, a strong-willed political figure who often sparred with legislative leaders, said that he is "committing to you and to the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience to both trust God in his larger work of changing me, and from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader."

Trying to heal political wounds deepened by the scandal, Sanford said, "I think all that has transpired will be particularly relevant in the way I deal with the legislative body and other state leaders going forward… as I begin these steps into the last 18 months of this administration, it will be indeed with a more contrite and humble spirit."

Sanford has taken trips with his wife Jenny and children trying to heal the wounds at home, including one this weekend. His family was not specifically mentioned in the op-ed, except for the one reference to being a father and husband.

In an interview with the Associated Press at the end of June, Sanford said he had previously "crossed the lines" with other women, though not "the ultimate line."

Updated: 2:52 p.m.

Filed under: Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. Jose

    And if it was one of us "regular citizens" and we did this in a job, how long do you think it would take before we were escorted to the door? It isn't about forgiveness. It is much more than that. Gov Sanford like many of his fellow colleagues feel, they are above the law. They are better than everyone else. I don't know about you all, but that doesn't seem like someone that is representing my best interests.

    July 19, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. asr

    Low lifes have no business reunning the government. Steal tax payers money. After all this apologize? Oh no you should go to hell.

    July 19, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Come on SC . This guy is making a joke of everyone in the State. Just get rid of him.

    July 19, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. sailfish

    Be a man, quite crying to the media like a little girl,you've done enough damage already, just shut up you idiot.

    July 19, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Peter

    Governor Mark !there is nothing to apologize for!! no one has the moral authority to judge you. If homosexuals are asking for their rights of immorality you too should be asking for the rights to marry as many women as you can because you are a total man!!!

    July 19, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Voter

    This guy should have quit. I don't care about the affair and the nonsense this guy talks about, but the fact that he left his state without telling people where he was, is a concern. Can you imagine if he tries to run for president, gets elected and we have an emergency – and the guy is nowhere to be found because he escaped to be with his "soul mate"?

    Someone going through such personal life crisis should not hold any kind of public office.

    July 19, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. demwit

    More tabloid news from CNN. Great job!., no doubt your compition loves this dubiously advertised best team in politics.

    July 19, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Proud American

    It's safe to say that this guy is crazy and should be in a padded room somewhere. Everytime he opens his stupid mouth he continues to damage his family. But hey typical Republican, just plain dumb.

    July 19, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. willowood

    These soap operas are beginning to vie for oscar awards. In Japan they resign when breaking the public trust...end of story. Why are we not spared these humiliating diatribes. Get this guy gone already!

    July 19, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. S Callahan

    You are right to be humble and more telling to acknowlege that God IS
    and holds the upper hand God's word says
    My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
    because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Hebrew 12: 4-6
    I wish you well on your journey of repentence, healing, and restoration.
    God's speed to you and your family.

    July 19, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. James Stambaugh

    Enough of the sorrys, Just go away

    July 19, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. trueblue

    It is embarassing to be a Southerner right now but I'm grateful not to be a South Carolinian. What is wrong with our citizens?

    July 19, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. D. Lyons

    What a lot of garbage! What about his "soul mate"?? He has betrayed his wife and family – what a jerk.

    July 19, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Guy Rich

    It's a shame that CNN is forced to take reporters fresh out of middle school. In today's economy plenty of college graduates should be available. One doesn't take a new "tact," one takes a new tack. It refers to a course change for a sailing ship in which the bow crosses the wind and the sails change sides. Conversationally it implies a fresh course, a new way.

    Perhaps Steve has just been twittering too much.

    July 19, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Leslie

    Oh, please, Mark, please – Just shut up. This has become so pathetic. Just move on, for crying out loud. Do your job, live your life and just be quiet.

    July 19, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Tim H

    A new tact? Maybe a new tack ...

    July 19, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Don


    July 19, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. TulsaJoe

    I love his attempt to spin this as a blessing for himself, his family and most importantly, the people of South Carolina...

    Peter... I'm right with you. So long as homosexuals get equal rights, I think the gov should be have the freedom to destroy his family in whatever way he chooses.

    July 19, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Susan

    ok...now i am beginning to think that this man wants attention.

    July 19, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Scott

    and CNN reports on it AGAIN....

    July 19, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Wendy C

    If he were truely sorry, he would admit he's no longer fit for office. Holding public office requires a level of trust with the people, he no longer has that. He should quit and dedicate his efforts in making amends to his family.

    July 19, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Failure is a Republican

    Peter July 19th, 2009 12:21 pm ET

    Governor Mark !there is nothing to apologize for!! no one has the moral authority to judge you.

    Peter, you are either intentionally ignorant or an idiot. The Republicans, this is one of the worst offenders, PREACH they have the only morals in the country and democrats are godless heathens. Then these same morally deficient LIARS are out there humping anything that moves. If it was a democrat in that state that did the same thing the republicans would be SCREAMING for their head on a platter and immediate resignation.

    He is NOT a man but a gutless little boy who thought he could get away with sticking his hand in the cookie jar. Now that he got caught he is using all kinds of FALSE apologies to keep his job. Sadly, WEAK WILLED people like yourself fall for it hook line and sinker every time.


    July 19, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Paula

    I don't see why all the controversy. So he had an affair. That alone should not be the issue here. The dereliction of duty is what is so glaringly wrong in this case, and this alone should be the reason he steps down. On a personal level, I hate the hipocrasy shown by this man who was such a vocal proponent of impeachment for Clinton's lies during his affair. But once again, Clinton never disappeared during work time. As far as this slimebag answering for his lack of moral fiber well, that's between him and his God.

    July 19, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Catwoman in Mi

    The guv needs to give it up and get a life. I for one am nauciated by his attempt to stay in the news. One would think he would get it and put his tail between his legs and retreat to the doghouse . Too Too much information. The damage is done and no matter what he says,who will believe him.

    July 19, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. ken

    You know the real issue is that he left his post and left the country and had lied to staff about his whereabouts. Is that good governorship – no.
    He should resign – period. Its up to SC people to decide his fate.

    July 19, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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