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 forwardโ€ฆ 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. steve

    He wants to have his cake and eat it too.
    His 15 minutes of fame are up.
    Vote him off the island.

    July 19, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    And stop with the crocodile tears, writing such self serving crap and be a man... Grow a pair and resign!

    Wheres your dignity? Wheres your caring for your family? Also I see D-I-V-O-R-C-E headed your way Sanford...Loser!

    July 19, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Jonathan

    And it is our Tax dollars that pay this mans salary, health care, etc. Along with all the other LIars in congress UNTIL THEY DIE. Doesn't that sound far and just and right?
    This guy is a pig and the Republicans that want to keep him in office are hypocrites.

    July 19, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Palermo

    Everyone who gets caught suddenly gets jailhouse religion. I frankly do not have any opinion at all on his adultery, but I think the hypocrisy has really boxed him in. It really is true that the people who protest the loudest are the most guilty. The endless public apologies ring terribly hollow and self-serving.

    He will cheat again.

    July 19, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Tell us something we havent known for years

    Bye Mark.I dont blame his wife.She paid big money to get this dufuss this job.They are really going to miss all that bag money they were bringing in.hahaha

    July 19, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. linda in AR

    Sanford should take it to his C Street-AA [adulterers anonymous] Sponsor and call us back when he gets his 10-year chip.

    July 19, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. La Chatte

    Yep, God will step in and forgive him his trangressions and make him a better person so he won't have to take personal responsibility for any of his actions.

    And there's a Tooth Fairy too!

    July 19, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Aaron

    I've never seen a Republican apologize so much, as bad of a person as he is, Bush, Palin, Cheney, Ensign, Vitter, and half the other scumbags in his party could learn a thing or two from him.

    July 19, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Viola

    Who cares whether or not the public forgives him, it's his wife and kids who have to forgive the shame and betrayel. At least he gets the chance to right the wrong. Steve McNair will never have the chance to correct his mistake, his family has to live with the devastating legacy he left to his sons.

    July 19, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Philanderer

    Shut up! We're sick of it!

    July 19, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Belgium

    Are there any politicians left who don't have affairs? Maybe we should focus more on these people.

    Yep, shut up and leave!

    July 19, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. FranciL

    Maybe he should just stay quiet, keep his head down and do his job, out of the spotlight. The media will move on to the next scandal soon enough - trust me, there will always be another scandal!

    July 19, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Cyrus

    Another "family value" republican who rallies against government, but will not resign from power, even when caught with his pants down! These politicians are a disgrace to the original Republican ideology. Lincoln must be rolling in his grave.

    July 19, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. american citizen in SC.

    Sanford could finally stand up and be a man.....by resigning, paying back every dollar of the State's money he spent on himself, apologizing to his wife and the citizens of the State, and removing himself from the political arena for the rest of his life. Nothing worse than a man that speaks from both sides of his mouth; preaching righteousness in all things then doing things he's preaching against. I may not have agreed with all his politics, but I did respect his strong moral principles. Not any more....all my respect for him is gone. He's just a joke now.

    July 19, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    I personally don't care that he cheated on his wife. That's between him and his family. What annoys me about him is that he was one of the many who threw President Clinton's affair in his face and insisted he be placed on the stand for something such as that. What Governor Sanford is doing is hypocritical, and insisting on receiving the forgiveness he wasn't willing to give others, and in God's name. The hypocrisy is what is truly despicable.

    July 19, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Charlie

    I love the holier-than-thou crowd falling to its knees.

    Social conservatives, please crawl back under the rock from whence you came.

    July 19, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. bob

    to me the problem isn't the affair. the problem is that he left the state and nobody knew where he was. I would think that, as Governor, you would stay at home and, you know, govern.

    July 19, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Liberty Queen

    Go away Sanford. You are a crook, a liar, an adulterer and a lousy father...just GO AWAY !!!!!

    July 19, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. andrewstl

    as much as i love watching the gop makes hypocrites out of themselves i did not feel the atack on clinton was right and i feel we should let this man try to save his family. if the gop cant see both of the street the next time then by all means it is open game again. gop open your eyes you dont dicate waht is is right and wrong

    July 19, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. MJHS1967

    Everytime I see Sanford's face, I'm reminded of Senator's Lindsey Graham (SC) and Sessions (AL), and I just want to puke. -Please go away! ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

    July 19, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Melissa

    What a load of crap this man spews. He needs to be removed from office.

    July 19, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. M Hunter

    As a resident of South Carolina......my advice for what it is worth.
    Actions speak louder than words, in all due respect, please stop apologizing in the press and GET TO WORK and do something positive and constructive for your family and the state.
    It's not about YOU and your need for punishment or forgiveness, it's now about the needs of your wife, your boys and the citizens of South Carolina.
    Go forward become the better husband, father and Governor and STOP making public apologies.

    July 19, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Kathryn

    This guy is more annoying than an affectionate drunk.

    July 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Motz

    The guy is a real headcase. Who is he kidding? Just get off the stage, please and go.

    July 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. SHL, TX

    To err is human and to forgive divine. We are all, after all, human.

    July 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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