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. lynn in NM

    Give me a break! About the only thing this guy is"sorry" for is that he got caught, in my opinion. How much longer would this have gone on, assuming it was never found out that he wasn't hiking the Appalachians?

    July 19, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. 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 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Dave C - NJ

    Tar 'n feather em! That's what yall wanted to do wif Clinton! Yee Haw!

    July 19, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Barry

    Why is this man still in office? Apparently Republicans now condone extra marital affairs.

    July 19, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Stubanas

    A liar and a thief (taking state's money for travel?), needs to go away, as in prison. But then again, we invoke 'God' and everyone wants to forgive.
    I think George Carlan once said he didn't do political skits, because we deserved what we got.
    Lets fire this guy and put him into the courts. Not give him a chance to apologize and give the money back. THATS WHAT WE DESERVE.

    July 19, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Eric

    I don't care what party you are in, the way this guy has treated his family is wrong. It doesn't matter how many apologies he makes, his family deserves better.

    July 19, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Mike B in Toronto

    Someone please put this guy out of his misery (and ours). He clearly is too distracted to be running the state...has to be enough cause for impeachment now. He doesn't have the courage to resign, so take him out.....please.

    We can't have this distracting media coverage from all the important tweets that Palin is about to start sending....thank you GOP...most entertaining reality show on tv....

    July 19, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. economist

    I'm with Tim H. No one cares about this mess, but please learn the difference between tact and tack. Thanks.

    July 19, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    This from the Party of Family and Moral Values.

    And for the Right Wing swifties, this is news, just like you continue to carp about Bill Clinton in your media outlets. This man is a sitting Governor, with huge credibility problems!!! H's still deluding himself into thinking he's a viable, presidential candidate!

    July 19, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. ChicagoJim

    Why doesn't Mark Sanford apologize for being a hypocrite? His marital infidelity diminishes the "sanctity of marriage", a term he used to oppose my right to marry whom I choose. I don't need his apology for tom-cattin' around, his wife and children do. So, Mark, shut up and don't apologize to me, unless you are contrite for being a "flaming" hypocrite!

    July 19, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    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. 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!!!"

    OK, "Peter," you had me going there for a minute. Come clean, you're either Sacha Baron Cohen or a Borat wannabee.

    July 19, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. kww

    South Carolina's new official state song:

    "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina"

    July 19, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Paul

    He should go on a forgiveness retreat with the Rest of the "C" street boys that knew about the affair, and were also having affairs of their own. I wouldn't really care if they weren't all marching around touting "Moral Values" and being members of the Promise Keepers. Give me a break – Hypocricy knows no limits here.

    July 19, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Ken in NC

    Gov. Sanford will not resign because he is stupid and stubborn. He has screwed up and through it all as he tries to be humble, he shows how stubborn he can be and how willing he is to sacrifice all for the sake of saying "I HUNG TIGHTUNDER PRESSURE". Stupid is all it is. He has disgraced himself and still he is fortunate his wife will still have him back. In my culture if I were to do as he has done and then went back home my wife would turn me from a Rooster to a Hen one night after I go to sleep. Gov. Sanford is no more than a fool that has no sense of loyalty to his wife and family. Like so many others, he thinks with the wrong head.

    July 19, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Denise

    Please leave God out of this!! You weren't giving HIM a 2nd thought when you cheated on your wife!

    July 19, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. U make me puke

    Sanford, let me tell you what any self-respecting wife should have: Hit the road, Jack - now - and take your crocodile tears with you. Have fun with your mistress and "soul mate." How can your wife even stand to look at you without vomiting every time you call another woman your "soul mate"? I'm getting ready to puke for her.

    July 19, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. red state Tenn

    Just think he ask for forgiveness on 40th anavericity of Ted kennedy saying he killed his girl friend Mary Jo.

    July 19, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Sanford should resign, get a divorce, move on down to Argentina with his soul mate and leave the rest of us alone.

    July 19, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Kate in SW Fla

    I'll bet his wife wrote it for him; she is the brains of the family.

    July 19, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Big Al C.

    Mark is sorry he got caught. If Jenny would just forgive him and let the Maria move in next door. A lot of Marks traveling problems would be solved. And South Carolinians would not have far to go to find their Governor. I wonder how he feels when his son's look into his eyes.

    July 19, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. Chrissy

    Should citizens actually care about people's sex lives? Just because a politician is in the spotlight, should we still care about who Stanford has sex with? Under the U.S. Constitution, people have a fundamental right to privacy, which encompasses people's sex lives. Europe, especially France, laughs at the U.S. for its puritanical response to cases like Stanford's. I could care less who Stanford sleeps with. I do care, however, if he takes a trip on my taxpayer dollars. I also think Stanford has a problem with applying his theological views and ideals into reality, but that's his problem – not ours.

    July 19, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Stubanas

    Sorry for another comment, but I just read Peter's remark below. No one has the moral authority to judge you? Is this guy crazy or just stupid? Every human being has the right, if not the responsibility, to be judged by their peers.
    Most of his peers think he's a liar and a thief.

    July 19, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. longdoodlez

    Rubbish, this trash will be out cheating on his wife in the time it takes to curl ur peter!

    July 19, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. ak

    Even Jenny knows Mark can't keep vows. Talk is cheap. In Sanford's case – WORTHLESS.

    July 19, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. ken

    All these activities are wrong –
    whether it be Clinton, Sanford, Ensign, McGreevy, the NY former gov whos name escapes me – the list goes on and on. And then theres the corrupt officials – the list goes on and on.

    its hard to find a decent politician – it perhaps draws the wrong people.
    Can someone name a decent politician with out regard to party?

    July 19, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14