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. Jane

    Governor you can do the people of South Carolina a lot of good if you just go away. What is so puzzling is why you want step down. Is it because you can't be with your family on a daily basis? What would your life have been if you were retired? Do us everyone a favor and shut up and step down.

    July 19, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Aaron

    Man, this is entertaining. If this were a movie, his wife will eventually let go peacefully fade into the sunset with his soulmate. The governor who gave up his power for love.

    July 19, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Mary

    Everyone is focusing on the moral issues of adultery and the blatant use of taxpayer's money for personal use. Those things can be summed up easily. Adultery is wrong and it's up to his wife to decide to forgive it or not. Not the public. Taxpayer's money? A judge and jury needs to resolve that. The real question here is this: Are the women of Argentina so desperate that they need to settle for American, married men that are neither good looking nor very charismatic? Not to mention, a wimpy type? This does not speak well of Argentinian men...I'm just amazed anyone WANTED to have an affair with the guy. It truly baffles me!

    July 19, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. mervel

    The only reason this is a big deal is that he is talking about it so much. Hillary stayed with Bill, Edwards has kept his wife so far and so it goes. If he would simply play it down no one would care that much.

    A one time affair is common, 60% of married men have one, it does not mean he has to divorce and hurt his kids; most people who have affairs don't divorce.

    Maybe he could become a polygamist? Wife number 2 in Argentina wife number 1 at home.

    July 19, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    I am so sick and tired of this boo hoo baby
    he got caught and who cares . the country is broke and we are trying to get back on our feet and become productive .and this idiot thinks some one cares . he should hook up with Sarah Palin .then they could boo hoo together. like the rest of the republicans are doing..
    he should leave the office and drop of the planet

    simple jerk

    July 19, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. S M R

    What's wrong with this guy? WE ALREADY KNOW

    July 19, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Skyview

    Sandford is a typical republican hypocrit; he says one thing while doing just the opposite. He pledges to protect your assets, while stealing from you; he promises to respect you and your values, while he lies to you; and he offers fidelity, while he commits treason.

    July 19, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Karen

    How long does he want his 15 minutes of fame with his mistress to last?? For the sake of your family, the state and the country, shut up already!

    July 19, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    If Sanford's Argentinian bimbo is truly his "soul mate," there is no way he can reconcile with his wife unless it is to be "just friends."

    If I were Mrs Sanford, I would dump this jerk faster than you can sing "Don't cry for me, Argentina."

    July 19, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Independent_me

    I don't get it...
    He and the other adulterer, Ensign, called for President Clinton's resignation when he had his "affair" (they did not have sex) with Lewinski. But they won't quit????

    Suddenly Newt, Giuliani and their ilk who hollered for Clinton's resignation are silent????

    Oh, I forgot – they are adulterers too!

    Republicans are shameless hypocrites!

    July 19, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Sick -n- Tired

    Just step down already! Your a HYPOCRIT period. Enough with trying to explain yourself, and referring to God as a way to somehow, justify your sins! It's amazing how you scumbags always seem to "find God" AFTER THE FACT!

    July 19, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Fan of Common Sense

    This guy is not playing with a full deck. He should just keep his mouth shut, his head low, finish out his term and then go away.

    July 19, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Bill Sampson

    Babbling on about "God", again, Mark? That is truly the mark of a scoundrel.

    Drop the "God" crap, PLEASE! If there is some great all encompassing power in the universe, Mr. Sanford, that superior being is not in the least concerned with your whacky sex life. Get over yourself already. You and all the rest of your fellow repressed, megalomaniacal "Christian" brothers need to mind your own business and drop the idea that some magical being is all worried about where you may or may not display your naughty parts.

    July 19, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Joanna in PA

    Repay the money you stole from the tax payers you Hippocrate! You fought your people on the stimulus money while stealing from them. You called for Clinton to resign when he did the same thing as you. But you think you are above Clinton i guess? As long as you say God saved you, it's OK? Dems remember that one when you are caught cheating.
    I actually believe Sanford loves this Argentinian women. I really do not care if he cheated on his wife. But i do care about the double standards and the C street ideology. "the Family" is scary, they look to Hitler as a role model. Google it, its real!! And they have the gall to say Obama is like Hitler. LOL They believe they are above everyone because God choose them to be in a power position. This is what the GOP has come down too!

    July 19, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Deb in Northglenn, Co

    Governor Sandford obviously cares nothing about his state or his wife. You would think he would shut up for the sake of his four sons who have to read and hear this cr*p everyday. I cannot begin to imagine what these boys will go thorugh when school starts again. If Sandford feels the neeed to bare his soul, he needs to see a therapist or those nut jobs at C Street. But keep it out of the media, if only to protect your sons.

    July 19, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. johnny

    The saddest part about all of this is that his wife is willing to give him the chance "to fall in love with her again." I do not care if he is willing to humble himself, he needs to be humbled. How can there be no consequences for his actions?

    July 19, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. JR

    For all those bashing Republicans.......news flash.....

    Ted Kennedy – murder extraordinare! Don't forget Chappaquidick and all of his lies, but money and power ALWAYS get you off the hook.

    They're all liars and scum, and don't give a crap about any of us!

    July 19, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. nas from PA

    Men will be men. Sometimes that means they think they can do whatever they want and its ok as long as they don't get caught. His crime wasn't his affair. Thats between he, his wife and his savior (and the Argentine lover). His crime is leaving the state with no way to contact him and with spending tax payer money while touting financial responsibility.

    The people of S. Carolina have a poor political representative who only thinks of the states citizens when it is politically convenient to do so to save his job.

    He is in need of a little help menatlly and I feel sorry for his wife and children.

    July 19, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Will all the prisoners in the South Carolina prison system get a "second Chance" also because only God should judge them? Gov. Sanford is showing what class he has...too bad it's all third. That governors pay is just too sweet to give up...especially when your next job is going to be asst. night manager at Piggly Wiggly...

    July 19, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. Larry from RI

    This guy was out gunning for Clinton during the Lewinski scandal – as was Newt Gingrich while they were boinking their own mistresses!

    Now he sounds like Jimmy Haggart doesn't he?

    Why doesn't the GOP ever practice what they preach?

    July 19, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. christo

    he needs to leave office and stop making an a– of himself. Or maybe he should stay and hurt the GOP even more LOL

    July 19, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. ByronJones

    Wow what a reflex. It seems that every time we catch a GOP guy with his pants down, someone reminds us of Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick. This happened today in response to this column, in Frank Rich's column and Maureen Dowd's column.

    Is the battle cry of these presumably GOP folks "Remember Chappaquiddick!"?

    How many will be around for the 50th, 60th and 70th anniversaries, I wonder. Do y'all hold reunions?

    July 19, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. JC

    This is the story of a sociopath. If you study this saga he only cared about his own feelings, not those of others. Why are the people of South Carolina allowing him to keep taking their taxpayer money in the form of a paycheck. As long as he stays in office he continues to cheat the people of South Carolina. Boot him and then forgive him!

    July 19, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Susan (Michigan)

    He'd better watch out. The right doesn't like apologies...look at Palin, and look at the garbage thrown at our President for trying tho make amends for Bush's slights. This makes Sanford almost human.

    July 19, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Tim

    If this guy can't even learn the simple logic of shutting up when he needs to, then how can their state trust his judgments in other matters?

    July 19, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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