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. KJL

    I'm sure God has nothing better to do than look out for this sorry mess.

    July 19, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. phil

    Stop talking.

    July 19, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Gobama

    Another week, another episode of the St Mark saga.
    Keep it coming, Mark.

    Show Americans how holier-than-though conservative republicons use and then get entrapped in their own foolish religious web. lol

    July 19, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Rob P.

    I had to check the date on the article to make sure I wasn't in the archives.

    This 'news' is weeks old. Please drop Sanford into the nearest dumpster. I refuse to believe that CNN can't find more relevant news somewhere on this planet. Somehow, somewhere, more important things are going on than the ramblings of an obviously distressed man.

    July 19, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Independent observer

    willowood said: "In Japan they resign when breaking the public trust…"

    That is just the first half of what people would do in Japan and in South Korea: they don't just resign, they commit suicide after resigning. In that case, Mark Sanford would have been burried by now.

    If this guy had not preached "values" and tried his A off to get Bill Clinton impeached, maybe it would have been less laughable and more forgivable.

    July 19, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. bill

    Yep. Let's hope that the "Good Lord Above" will make all these family values, anti-abortion, anti-gay, Christian, Republican politicians stop cheating on their wives. They need devine help from somewhere.

    July 19, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Mike

    Does this mean he is a born again, born again "Christian"?

    July 19, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Butch Dillon

    Sanford is a coward, a holier-than-thou coward who is thoroughly incapable of making the tough, right choices to lead a decent life. He's lived a life centered on himself and now he wants everyone to join him in "Mark Sanford" worship. Please Gov. Sanford - Vanish!

    July 19, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. daunt

    Judge not lest you be judged
    Mark Sanford judged anyone that committed adultery, so now I judge him YOU HYPOCRITE!! YOU FOOL!!

    July 19, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. Shingo

    The Gov needs to step down. Besides the moral side of this issue the Gov shows he lacks decision making discretion. He over a long period of time showed this lack of ability. If he cannot keep a sacred vow to the person he claimed he loved above all others he lacks the ability to keep a vow to the people. Time to go.

    July 19, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. judasgoat

    pharoh's army drowned in the red sea; mary -- "oh mary don't –you weep - don't weep . tell martha not to moan......... now tell all of the poor in south carolina and the school kids along the corridor of shame, that you repent. you ain't the only good ol boy that is on the way down. there's going to be more on the way. its called reap'n what you sow.

    July 19, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. concerned citizen

    What a hypocrit!!!, while he was so frugal with education, budget and state employees and retirees, except his own friends and staff, we know now about his expensive trips, his affairs and everything else, but he has found the right words GOD and the BIBLE. Please Mr Sanford GO HOME and do the only honorable thing left RESIGN and work on your marriage, the state does not need you

    July 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. dhatch

    What he doesn't seem to get is that most of us don't really care about him having a fling with another woman, that is a transgression between him and his wife. Most of us don't care that he is a hypocrit either, most politicians are also. What really sends me over the edge is that he is a thief. He stole from his employer (the state of SC). Most of us would be fired if we stole $3K from our employer I do admit that he paid that money back, but still how could this man ever be entrusted with the kind of money that he is responsible for, most employers would also have us arrested as well. He is just another thief that should be in jail for stealing.

    July 19, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Hopeful Optimist

    When the normal person would want to get lost, crawl in a hole and pull the dirt in over him, the fact that this poor soul obviously wants to maintain a public presence attests to the fact that he is emotionally and mentally unbalanced. Probably should be evaluated by a very good practitioner for depression, possibly b/p. Once he gets better, if he ever does, he'll look back on this episode with tremendous shame and embarrassment, not only for himself but for his poor family.

    Or........it could be that he is just pathologically flawed in matters of judgement, discretion, emotional maturity, etc. Frankly, I could live with his personal indiscretions, but his political leanings are abysmally unacceptable.

    July 19, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Dakota, Lake Stevens, WA

    Governor Sanford admitted to committing adultery. He does not deserve public office, or his wife. He should resign; and, he should file for divorce, so his wife can get on with HER life.

    July 19, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Joyce

    After 19 years, I got suspicious, wired my home phone and caught him telling her how much he loved her. Divorced in 34 days. Been trying to forget it and forgive him for 8 years. Can't be done. She will never know in her heart if he is always thinking about her and wanting to be with her and only stays with her because of his children. Still single. (She was 20 years younger and didn't keep him over 6 weeks after the divorce).

    July 19, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. gl, Pittsburgh

    This man is to stupid for me. He is the only one that making things worst with him commenting about it day in and day out. Shut up and maybe we will forget about it.

    July 19, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. amiamian

    Typical Republican. Lies, cheats and asks for forgiveness. At least Palin stepped down...

    July 19, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Chris

    Aside from his moral failings, he went AWOL from his job and wouldn't even answer his phone. Nor did he give temp. authority for someone to act in his place in an emergency.

    July 19, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Jane

    He's a self-absorbed doofus.

    July 19, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. moses

    If this man doesn't shut up, I swear I will cancel my South Carolina vacation. I'm nervous about spending any time and money in a state that would have this nitwit for a leader. Give it a rest, Gov.

    July 19, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. sally

    president, governor, if you cannot be faithful honest with your family–the traitor, then you should not hold public office. some say, forgive forget, but these same people continue to blame bush for our problems, the same people who refuse to see how clinton contributed to this economic mess have forgiven him but not bush. strange blindness that some have. with that said, forgiveness granted to people of this kind only out of office.

    July 19, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Post always rejected by CNN

    Blah blah blah same old same old. BUT the republicans flipped their wigs and made such a fuss Spitzer had to resign...guess if you are a republican you are entitled.

    The get away with anything. Old white men.....or should I say RICH OLD WHITE MEN...but you can't be a latino woman.

    July 19, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Anvil

    Yes people do make mistakes but you can't pull the kind of things he did while in a high ranking government position. First of all he lied about his whereabouts for a few days, didn't he? Why wasn't he working for the people of his state during that time? Does the fact that he can be swayed away from his post by a woman thousands of miles away mean that his decision making can be swayed away by self interest groups?

    How is someone like this still in office? People of South Carolina, I implore you: get rid of this fool as soon as you can get the votes together to do it!

    July 19, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. curious

    PLEASE give up one more area of control. Yours vis-a-vis the airwavees, cyberspace and print materials. GO AWAY!

    July 19, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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