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. Gus The Willie

    A loser is a loser is a loser.

    July 19, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Tired of conservative hyprocracy

    As one of the most vocal critics of former President Clinton, please do the right thing and step down from political life:

    If you live by the sword, ye shall die by the sword
    Will he who is without sin cast the first stone

    You have lied to your wife, stolen from the people of SC and your holier-than-thou attitude gives all Christians a bad name.
    Do the right thing – quit the your position and work on your family and faith.

    July 19, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Stu-Florida

    It never fails to amaze me how many "I'm sorrys" people carry around in their pockets like dollar bills at the ready to shell them out at a weak moment. I'm sick of apologizes by these weak...

    Perhaps he should have used his "I'm sorry" to his Argentine soul mate and said... "I'm sorry, but I have obligations to the people of South Carolina and I cannot just disappear" ... I'm sorry and I know you are my soul mate, with fine tan lines, but I cannot have an affair after vowing to my wife at our wedding"... I'm sorry, but I'm a low life looser and can't say no to sex, money or power"

    July 19, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Tracy

    I wonder how many citizens of SC have betting pools going on what he does as soon as his term is up. More importantly, he needs to quit talking to the media about this and do the job he was elected to do. Hypocrits like Sanford need to remember the feather that they use to tar others can be used on them as well.

    July 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. SC Peach

    Blithering idiot. Jenny needs to clean his clock, and his bank account out.

    July 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Aunt Bea and Opie

    He is giving real believers everywhere a black eye.

    July 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Patsy Hodges

    This guy needs to shut-up, step down, and start mending his
    marriage and his relationship with his sons. He seems more
    interested in saving his ass, than anything else, and the
    Republicans seem impotent when dealing with their own
    "sinners". They can issue opinions when the Democrates
    mess up, but they sure are quiet about their own. And they
    want their "power" back? They screwed up when they had it.
    So, boo-hoo, this guy got caught, and how long has be been
    doing this kind of thing. He is willing to judge others (Clinton)
    but does not want to be judged. He needs a new "soul" mate,
    namely, God, the final Judge.

    July 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Victoria

    He first choose the word "redemption" a few weeks back which is the code word for all the Christians to forgive him.....now he again uses his faith to so he can continue his political career. None of this would have happened if he wasn't caught. The guy, like most politicians is enjoying the freedom that comes from not having to be responsible for your actions because he can wave the magic christian wand and make it all better....pathetic but so is most of the south when it comes to this .... you can break the law as long as you have Jesus in your heart...

    July 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Brad

    I think it might be fun to keep talking about this until the end of time.

    July 19, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Sue Ohio

    Go back to c street

    July 19, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Simmy

    Denise.......I understand your point of view.........Legally each person is innocent until proven guilty (or deemed guilty by 12 of his/her peers).....Gov. Sanford has admitted his guilt, so he is guilty of falling to a human weakness. There is a Higher law that says 'if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are (his peers) restore him to the faith with in a spirit of meekness" – less you succumb to the same or similar fate.......I choose to forgive the gov......I think he should resign and concentrate on rebuilding his family...But that's his choice......

    July 19, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Bob Ramos

    Sanford will never be taken seriously until he faces President Clinton and aplogizes. When the Lewinsky affair came out, Sanford was a Congressman. He was in the forefront of demanding that President Clinton resign. Sanford swore that someone in that position was not fit to hold office. Now, Sanford has been caught in the same delima and is doing his best to stay in office.

    July 19, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Bev

    Individuals who hold public office should be kept to a higher standard. They are being paid by citizens to represent the common good and make valued decisions, and thus 1) should not quit when the going get tough (Ms Palin), nor be morally and ethically inept (Mr. Sanford). When those elected to public office violate the public trust, they should and must be held accountable. There should be no reward for quitters or cheaters.

    July 19, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. LiLa

    I wouldn't care whether politicians were having affairs IF they were discreet about it and didn't use tax dollars to fund their liaisons. It falls under the category of "none of my business."

    July 19, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Having an affair is bad enough and it happens, but to leave the state and not notify anyone that you will be gone is beyond the pale.

    What was Gov MIA (Sanford) thinking when he did this? He must either resign or be impeached because of his lack of good judgement.

    The good peope of SC deserve so much better!

    July 19, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Sheri

    sol – Unfortunately, Gov. Sanford is one of those that passed judgment on others when they had this same issue. If his wife and children can forgive and go on, that is their choice. But, to be a hypocrite, lambaste others while your doing the same thing, to me speaks volumes about his character.

    July 19, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Marchant

    Please step down gracefully...then the south carolina people can heel them selves faster and recover their economy, unemployment , education and other social aspects. We heard enough and God tells me to remove such thorns immediately for the good of the state and the country too.

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

    I do believe God has already heard you Mark – You done got CAUGHT!!!!
    Now let's forget about the God theory and MAN UP!!!! RETIRE!!!!!

    July 19, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Sam I Am

    Apology accepted. Now, as a man of ethics and honor that you claim to be, step down. You have embarrassed yourself, your family, and your state. You have made a mockery of your office and Republicans.

    Frankly, your indescretions with the woman in South America are something you will have to work out with your wife, and I don't feel it's any of my business. What you DO have to answer for is the lying to your staff and your state, and the stealing of tax dollars you spent on your trips, and your incredibly poor judgement to disappear for a few days, even though you were governor.

    Mr. Sanford, you are nothing more than a pathetic loser. Go home. I'm sure there's a local restaurant that needs an assistant manager.

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

    Gov Sanford cast "stones" at Pres Clinton for his immoral philandering. Did he accept Bill Clinton's apology? NO! Instead, he voted for impeachment. This makes Mark Sanford a hypocrite. Impeach the hypocrite!!!

    July 19, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. E.C.Coleman

    Bet his wife is giving him No Forgiveness, No Reconciliation, No
    Understanding, No Anything...................

    A person must feel some measure of concern or forgiveness in his heart to see a man so distraught and confused and contrite.

    Only a person who is NOT a religious person or certainly, not a Christian, would have No consideration or forgiveness in his soul.

    Remember folks: There is NO PERFECT HUMAN BEING.
    This statement includes his wife and kids.

    Governor Sanford should put this incident behind him, if he considers his behavior a 'mistake' ....and forge ahead.

    NO MORE PUBLIC APOLOGIES, regardless of the wife and kids and other family members OR the citizens of his state.


    July 19, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. John of Michigan

    Okay, then stop pretending to be a conservative. Both the liberals and the conservatives share failures in their conducts. At least the liberals don't preach what they can't practise.

    July 19, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Peter

    To those bashing me for my earlier comments ( Failure as A Republican, Cloe and Stubanas). The point Im trying to make is really simple, differentiate between Mark the Governor and Mark the man who had an extra marital affair . Great wise people like solomon had 600 wives and 1000 concubines. Lets stop pretending there is a man who has never had an affair with an extra woman or a girlfriend. Lets stop the holy than thou attitude.

    July 19, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. E.C.Coleman

    TO: Darth Vadik, Ca

    Yes, scum is sum..........dirt is dirt..........and YOU ARE IT!!!

    July 19, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Marchant

    Please step down gracefully...then the south carolina people can heel them selves faster and recover their economy, unemployment , education and other social aspects. We heard enough and God tells me to remove such thorns immediately for the good of the state and the country too.

    Also, when you have a soul mate of very high morals...you can't abandon such soul too...God never forgive you at all..think wisely.

    July 19, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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