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. Terry

    "I love my country, my state, my wife, my family, and my soul mate in South America, Oh, and I love the money and fringe benefits I get in politics." – Governor Mark Sanford – This guy is a joke. He is sorry because he got caught, plain and simple!

    July 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Sonnie

    Why do all the libs here believe that this is a republican problem? Do they so easily forget about Edwards, Spitzer, Kilpatrick, Clinton, etc. etc.? And then you often see the "family values" thing coming out which makes them hypocritcs. Yes it does, but really shouldn't all politicians be encouraging strong family values? Eroding family values it's the number one problem with America right now. Geez. Start concentrating on how America is changing into Europe and the Soviet Union – how many czars do we have to elect, or does everyone need to go back and read some history books for once? My grandparents are Ukrainian immigrants, they know the real truth, the horror, yet people seem to support socialism – and it's just plain ignorance.

    July 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Randy Davis

    Gov. Sanford is a scumbag....make him resign or impeach the loser. I can't believe the SC legislator is letting this go this far....

    July 19, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Just an observer

    Have you noticed that those who would have crucified Clinton for his infidelity are immediately willing to forgive Sanford, and those who were ready and willing to forgive Clinton want to tar and feather Sanford? Not that it makes any difference. The most rabid supporters of either aren't willing to learn anything from noticing.

    July 19, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Victory

    Tell me this guy is a joke. Trouble is, Im not laughing, how can anybody in SCarolina believe this guy since all he does is LIE!

    July 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Uncle Ellsworthey

    There seems to be an over abundance of apologies going around.
    Gov Sanford does it too much and President Obama also does it far too often.
    It will not help either of them in the long wrong. Gov Sanford comes across as not being sincere and President Obama only makes himself and the United States appear weak and timid to the world.

    July 19, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Get Real

    Why do these politicians think they can do this. It sickens me worse when their wives stand beside them for what they do. That is why I think very low of the Sanford's, Clinton's and the Edwards'.

    July 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Ron L

    It is too late to say HOW SORRY YOU ARE!!!
    You bacasically LEFT YOUR STATE to regroup, say your farewells with your other woman..This is simply IRRESPONSIBLE, UNACCEPTABLE, and UNFORGIVEABLE!!!
    What if a MAJOR natural disaster had occured in your state, and you could not be found UNTIL a news flash occurred in Argentina!!
    What is wrong with the people in South Carolina? The Governor can get his life together as an EX-governor...

    July 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Anthony from NC

    he just needs to go away. Adding God to everything he says just shows how much a hypocrite he is. IF he was was not spotted at the airport in Atlanta when he was coming back from his "soul mate", he would have never confessed to anything.

    July 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. abby0802

    He just doesn't get it, does he?

    Why, oh why, do all these men stand up there and confess their sins and think that that makes it all okay with everyone.....

    God may forgive him, but the voters have no reason to - dereliction of duty, bad judgment.....

    If I was his wife, I would have kicked his derriere to the curb.....

    His sons should shun him.....

    Republicans, the self-proclaimed party of morality, family values, and Christianity, are not only hypocritical but also very, very weird.....

    July 19, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. chris_zzz

    Narcissism is at its ugliest at this stage of an emotional breakdown. Sanford really thinks we care about his personal life beyond recognizing him as a narcissist and hypocrite. Please silently exit, stage left.

    July 19, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Amy

    He needs to resign, NO ONE wants him in SC. What he did was shameful and he will never be forgiven in this state. As for some of the ppl in this blog, Not all ppl from SC are stupid, and if it were up to the ppl in this state than that jerk wouldn't be here. They will not take our calls, and I seriously doubt any of the emails or letters that have poured into the state house been read. I look forward to the day that I read about his resignation, until then my neighbors and I will continue to rally against him.

    July 19, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Jerry

    Am I the only one that see something wrong with your headline? "Ticker: Unfaithful guv apologizes . . . again"

    July 19, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. jaye

    This man is a disgusting pig.....
    he's always acted so high and mighty, and he's just a wolf in sheeps clothing.
    He needs to resign!

    July 19, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. jaye

    He's humbled and broken because he got caught!!!!!

    July 19, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. m

    We all need to leave Sanford alone in his misery. He has a lot to atone for and we cannot judge him.

    July 19, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Sarah

    His poor wife: not only does he cheat on her, he calls another woman his soul mate on national television and spends the next month mixing all of his apologizes with unnecessary details about his personal life.

    He is delusional. He has given enough explanation. If he wants to stay governor, he will probably get his way. He just needs to stop talking and realize that nobody believes his self pity or apologies, and that this will probably be his last term in public office.

    July 19, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. CTG

    Didn't he use a lot of taxpayer money to jet off to Argentina while he was carrying on this affair? In any case this whole mess indicates a serious lack of integrity, and I don't see how anyone can effectively govern after destroying their credibility like this. No one should be persuaded by anything he says about humility and trusting in God. The larger family of South Carolinians? Give me a break. This is just an obscene gesture from a parasite trying desperately to cling to power.

    July 19, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Mariann Pepitone

    What difference does it make if he cheated or the next door neighbor cheated. Cheating is cheating. I think he should stay his term. It appears that he was very smitten with this woman and would have continued if his wife didn't find out. However, if he is a good governor and runs the state accordingly then he should stay on. His cheating has nothing to do with his job. If he is a good governor he should get elected again. There are governor's that didn't cheat but can't run the state. And that's more important.

    July 19, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. Steve from WI

    I wish I lived in SC, so I could look forward to a handwritten note or phone call in the next few weeks. I haven't had such laughs at a hapless dork since The Forty-Year-Old Virgin.

    July 19, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Kitty Parker

    If the Governor was truly sorry and had his priorities straight, he would resign and remove his family from the media glare and try to repair the damage as best he can. He has children who do not need to see their father's dirty linen across every newspaper page, TV program, blog etc. However, it looks like this is more about trying to salvage his soiled political image rather than anything else.

    July 19, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Ellie

    He will never ever be happy with his wife. He needs to go to Argentina to be with his soul mate.He just might say the hell with everything and do it!

    July 19, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Marchant

    Brave Sara Palin is leaving her post to take care of her family and save the state....then why Sanford is crying, begging and taking God's name to cling to the post...?. It is disgraceful act as a man in republican party show such a coward and hypocritic act.. I expect him to step down immediately.

    July 19, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Peter

    Hey Sanford, you are a hypocrite and a liar. You deserted your state and family to take care of your self first. So much for " Country First ". Resign Now!!!

    July 19, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. AL

    Without forgiveness there is no future. No future for countries and no future for any of our relationships.

    So, I say let us all practice forgiveness. We never know when we may need it ourselves.

    July 19, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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