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. KC

    At least Mark Sanford is one of the few (the only?) Republicans who cheated on his wife with another WOMAN.

    July 19, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. CGq

    Mark Sanford – Governor of Shame.

    July 19, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. longdoodlez

    can one really expect a brain of a guvner cumming out of this state that started the CIVIL WAR? NOT very likely!!!

    July 19, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. jim in Ohio

    I think the bigger picture is why do we Americans think the people we elect to represent us are super human. They are no better or no worse than the rest of us, but merely a representation of today's society. The ones who should be cast out are the hypocrites who stand at their pulpits and condemn adultery (later found cheating), homosexuality (later found out gay), drug use (abusing oxy contin). Lets start electing leaders who stop judging others and want to move us forward.

    July 19, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Ceboia

    The excessive focus on this hypocrite is a total waste of my hard drive space, just to display the headline and short summary.

    July 19, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. pollinett@yahoo.com

    PLEASE STOP!! No more Mea Culpa's! Enough of this dribble already!

    July 19, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. don't need broken

    just need to go away

    July 19, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Steve

    Um....who cares?

    July 19, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Bryan

    Is this guy for real???

    Why doesn't HE step aside and get marital counseling in order to get his life back in order on his OWN personal time. He already spent nearly $500K of taxpayer money jetsetting around the world doing God knows what...In South Carolina, how many people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    July 19, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. VP


    your words are worthless.

    July 19, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Mike

    If we are debating whether Gov. Sanford has the moral authority to remain in office, let us all remember Ted Kennedy's Chappaqiddick incident.

    July 19, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. JDQ

    I can't see any self-respecting woman staying with a man who says he has found his "soul mate" with another woman. How could she remain a wife to him? One thing no one seems to mention in all this is that when one partner is unfaithful, it exposes not only him (or her) to STDs, at least one of which is ultimately fatal, it also exposes the wife or husband, unwittingly, to it also. Of course no one who thinks of another as a "soul mate" could dream that they might have an illness that is communicable, but the possibility exists. After all, if a man or woman would have an affair with a married person, who else has he or she been with?

    July 19, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. TOM

    Mark Sanford is an arrogant, rich SOB who is used to always getting his way. The only thing that has changed is he got caught. Zebras don't change their stripes and neither will Sanford. This may be the first time in his life that he thinks he was wrong.

    July 19, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. valerie

    I just do not see how any women could stay with a "man" who calls another woman his soul mate!!! that's all I would think about every time he touched me or looked at me! I just can't imagine "getting over it"

    July 19, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Yada yada yada. Are you going to resign? If not, then you are not sorry enough.

    What PR firm advised you to write this op-ed piece. It had me tearing up.... no, not really.

    July 19, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Hes still a chump.

    July 19, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Amanda

    Give us a break ! This lousy loser, the holier-than-thou Republican is a crook who has paid his trysts with taxpayer's money. The great side of the GOP, along with the Gingrich, Ensign and others.

    July 19, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. ken

    Jims right – it is a reflection on our country. may be cause we don t make anything here anymore – rather we make alot less. we just broker
    what exists regardless of how it comes into being. A huge chain of middle men carrying one screw driver to three people who tighten one nut.

    July 19, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. wisconsin mom

    Oh, please! Just go away already.....you're disgusting! I can't believe that your wife has no self-respect by staying with you!

    July 19, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. sol

    I think it is not a big deal , the most important thing is that his wife and family forgive him. The rest is story, it does not matter weather he stays in his position or not which solely determined by the people around him, the Republicans, .

    We are all humans , we do mistakes , affairs are sometimes incidental, where u do not have control, but once into it , it is very hard to come out..

    This guy might not be happy with the relationship with his wife, be emotional or physical, so he can easily fumbled when he met this argentinine woman, look at New york governor, Bill cliniton, the list is endless, so it is important that to realize the circumstance these guys are in , but i do not pardon those activities but sometimes happen.

    It is his wife and his kids , the most affected so let us leave that decision for his family.

    July 19, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Darth Vadik, CA

    Dirt is dirt, scumb is scumb, republicans is a republicans....

    ...life goes on, its just a fact of life that we will have scumbags around us. Oh well.

    July 19, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Too little.......too late Sanford! Cheating and lying people are only sorry when they get caught! You are just another fine example of hypocritical Republicans who champion "family values" and preach to the rest of us heathens how we should be living.

    July 19, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Wanderer

    The hypocrite is the one who believes he is better than other people. The hypocrite is the one who casts the first stone and deserves the stone being thrown back to him. In a perfect sense, we should not throw stones at other people because we all have sins, but if one who uses Jesus ‘s words ‘who without sin can cast the first stone’ as an excuse, he also deserves the first stone because he is not Jesus. He is a hypocrite. I think Mr. Sanford should not apologize at all because it will not change the mind of people. Jesus also said ‘… sin no more…’. Therefore, Mr. Sanford needs to admit he was wrong and a hypocrite. He should understand he deserves punishment and if he stops being self-righteous and never show off his Christianities then he will naturally be forgiven.
    If we don’t want to be stoned, don't throw any stone at anybody.

    July 19, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. KC

    This man needs to step down from office and get help. He continues to make a fool of himself, his family and his state if they keep him in office.

    July 19, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Seattle Sue

    Has Sanford promised to quit preaching to us about having high family/moral values? I understand these things happen (adultery) but it seems worst when it comes from someone that claims to have higher standards then other people. What a two faced hypocrite.

    July 19, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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