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. vbl

    Such a hypocrite!! He was one of the first to vote for Clinton's impeachment out of office. He must think we are stupid that he can go around professing family values and being a good christian when he is not better than anyone.

    He needs to go to his "soul mate"

    July 19, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. MillerJ

    Gee another Ticker blog presenting a Republican in a bad light; what a surprise. Heaven forbid you focus on the debacle your beloved liberal administration has gotten us into; better yet, maybe focus on how people are finally starting question whether or not Obama really has any idea what he is doing.

    July 19, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. csh

    Oh for the love of God – will this nutcase/whackjob pleasssseeee go away!

    July 19, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Joe Campbell

    Bottom Line Facts
    1. Gov Sanford's extra-marital affair is between him, his wife and his God.
    2. If Gov. Sanford misused tax payer funds, he should repay them.
    3. Gov. Sanford was absent without leave.
    Gov. Sanford should resign for the good of his state, South Carolina, based solely on No.3 above. If you or I clocked into work at 8am and was not heard from nor seen for several days, we would be terminated from that job or assignment. Our men and women of the armed forces are punished for being AWOL. We have asked them to sacrifice for a way of life our politicians are afraid to uphold. Gov. Sanford, do what is right for your state and resign today and go home.

    Joe Campbell

    July 19, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Dave T

    He's a cheap, lying, worthless, moralizing, hypocritical scumbag who deserted his 4 sons on Father's Day. If a Democrat and/or African American man had done that, the smug self-righteousness erupting from Sanford's corner of the world would be deafening. And that C Street crowd is both scummy and scary. If nothing else, his weepy mea maybe culpas exposed that townhouse for the cesspool that it is.

    July 19, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. rick peregud

    We should not be surprised at this,The State,Federal,County,City Leaders have all failed us.(citizens).They are the most inept,arrogant and not tuned in to reality bunch of traitors this country has ever seen.I believe this country (leaders) should all be tried for treason and crimes against the constitution.They should be put in jail for 25 years each and every one of them.You might think Im crazy ,but the more I talk to strangers(regular folks)they pretty much feel the same way I do.If someone would like to start a revolution please keep me in mind.

    July 19, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Laura

    Just stop already. You're a loser... you got caught... you don't need to be in office anymore. Do everyone a favor and step down – it's the only way anyone will ever forgive you even just a little tiny bit. Please.

    July 19, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Toni

    I just finished reading all the e-mails many of which state that Jenny, his wife, should leave him. While I don't condone adultery, I want to remind everyone that it takes two to make a marriage. I have followed Mark Sanford's career since he was in Congress and I found him to be an indivual who stood up for what he believed no matter the consequences. I would bet that there are serious issues in that marriage that need to be addressed and corrected by both partners.

    On another note, I recently moved from South Carolina. Mark Sanford used to write editorials all the time so I didn't find it unusual that he was writing one now.

    July 19, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. F

    Sanford is a hypocrite and liar. He needs to resign and no longer put South Carolina in a negative light. Everytime he opens his mouth he only brings more shame on himself and the state. Why is it that rich conservative republicans think they can get away with everything and not suffer the consequences?

    July 19, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Len

    To Mike,

    Let us not compare. The right wing conservatives would have gone crazy if this was a Democrat. Difference is, if he is Republican and is Christian, and he says he is sorry, he is forgiven!!

    Give me a break, his wife told him to stop having this affair and he continued anyway.....If she really wants to help her sons, she should leave him. It would send a message to their sons: You do not cheat on your wife and family. This would be the Christian way!!!

    July 19, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. renea

    No more apoligizing unless you are still cheating if the people of S.C. havent forgave by now they wont. Just ask GOD to forgive you and move ,on After all He is truly the only one that will any way.

    July 19, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. VH

    It takes a long time to process and heal trust in a broken marriage, and the children grow older resenting their father and many times follow their father's path of destruction with spouses,

    July 19, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. js -----santee

    Was not the truth and morals discussed in your little C street male bible club? Have your mid life crisis on someone else's dime.

    July 19, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Pat

    Every time he opens his mouth, he hurts the GOP.

    Be a man and step down from office!

    July 19, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Reformed Republican

    If the voters of SC fall for this hypocrites "bible quoting god smack" and elect him again they should all be thrown in jail under the statutes of "Feloney Stupidity".
    Dont' buy this religious-based con job from a member of the "C" Street Christian Mafia again SC, dump the chump....

    July 19, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Brian MacDougall

    Kind of hard to retake that "family values" and "sanctity of marriage" high ground after having an affair, especially one complete with lots of embarrassing videotaped moments and emails that show you as a real tool. Probably best to go away for awhile before the voters show you the door. Because the voters WILL show you the door.

    July 19, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Give it up

    I feel that he may very well be sorry for his actions because he is about to lose his entire career and that is the only reason why. He doesn't care about family or morals. If he did he wouldn't have had the affair in the first place!

    July 19, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. peligro

    Another Strom affair?

    July 19, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Sherrol in Canada

    Why in heaven's name would Jenny Sanford want this man?! Only God knows.

    July 19, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. katie

    He fell in love! Maybe it's because I'm English but I cannot understand how that equates with breaking the law? If he was a French politician he would have been promoted. Personally I feel very sorry for him.

    July 19, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. j

    who cares that he boned some chic, its his personal business and his personal problem between his family, just because you cheat on your spouse doesnt mean you cant get up and do your job, plenty of people do it, and their are plenty of reasons why people make mistakes in life

    July 19, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. Michele

    Blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah and I quote, blah. Just throw some words in there and quote him again. Same speech different day. Same contrition different day. Same mea culpa different day.

    Put a fork in it. The adulterer's done.

    July 19, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Sherrol in Canada

    Can't 'The Family' on C Street tell him to shut up?

    July 19, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Independent

    All right all you hypocrites out there bashing Republicans....Dem-wits democrats still hold the record for this type of sleaze...Kennedy at
    Chappaquiddick, Clinton and Monica, Barney Frank.....come on!!!
    Get off your high horses and quit your finger pointing and drooling...
    you are like the monkees from Wizard of Oz!!!!

    July 19, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. frank bischop

    Keep trying, but it won't do you any good, Mr. Sanford, or should I say Mr. "I just can't keep it in my pants!"

    Cheating on his wife is one thing, but lying and not fulfilling his responsibilities is cheating on all of us that live in S.C,!!!!!!

    I vote we, the people of SC, divorce him!!!!

    July 19, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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