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. texasgreenacres

    Yes Mr. Sanford we know your sorry we've heard it enough.But mistakes are costly and everybody has to pay. Now resign with out an more public crying. Move on and let somebody else move up. You"ve had your day, had your say, screwed it up now give up go on ENOUGH GOOD BYE!

    July 19, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Just the facts

    As the Bard of Avon noted, " The lady doth protest too much, ........."

    At this point, who cares( Unless Gov. Sanford and that other clown, Sarah Palin are discovered to be involved in something a bit intriguing).

    July 19, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. sch in raleigh

    How is this going to make him a 'better husband'? He NEVER said he was ending the affair with the other woman. He still calls her his 'soul mate'. What a sleeze

    July 19, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. enufalready

    If Mrs. Sanford wants to continue a marriage with a low-life, sniveling worm after he has confessed to the world that he has found his soul mate elsewhere, that's certainly her business. However, for the sake of the general public, please go away. I think is is plain that the consensus is, Mr. Sanford, you are fooling no one with your whining, and it's time for you to fade into the sunset. Don't you have any pride?

    July 19, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. DCE

    This column was in our paper today. Noticeably missing is a public apology to his wife and children. Hollow words. As one commenter said: resign and go to Argentina to be with your soul mate and spare us all more of this PR psychobable. If it takes your in-laws, pastor and the secret Republican club in DC to put humpty-dumpty back together again....I think it is time to take the next flight to Buenos Aires. You only have one life to live Mark-your wife is independently wealthy-she'll marry someone else, Get along little doggy! You're a mess!

    July 19, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. mike kaplan

    More than the affair, it's the hypocrisy that rankles here: Ensign, Coburn, Gingrich, Pickering......the list goes on and on. Every one of these folks not only said that Clinton should have resigned, but also voted to impeach him, and chose to take up nearly 2 years of the people's business investigating Clinton's affair. And all of them were already cheating on their own wives at the time. What a disgraceful bunch of hypocrites.

    And worst of all, these are the same folks who posture that they are "protecting the sanctity of marriage" by denying to gays the right to take vows that they themselves could not honor.

    July 19, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Vincent Petrosino

    Is this more advice from the "C Street Band?" Remember he was a member of the "Family" a supposed christian sect devoted to keeping white men in power and ignoring moral controversies until they get caught. Ensign and Pickering are and were alumni of this group whose leader uses Hitler as a primary example of good leadership. South Carolinians should be ware. THIS MAN NEEDS TO RESIGN!

    July 19, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Lynne

    So when than Senator Obama stated that speaking for God was "above his pay scale" everyone criticized him. When Sanford says it, Pter claims "no one has the moral authority to judge" him.
    Such hypocricy.

    July 19, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. opie

    "It is my belief this will make me a better father, husband, friend and advocate."

    .....and maybe ex-governor?

    July 19, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Pugas-AZ

    Mark my words, Mark. You crossed the mark and can't go back. In fact, you can't go forward in your present position. Bye, bye, Mark.

    July 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. E

    resign already you hypocrit!

    July 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Keith in Austin

    To all you judgemental, elitist liberals out there. I trust that YOU are above reproach! Your political idols certainly are not.(All the Kennedys, Slick Willie, F.D.R. et al all had their little trysts. Stop your panty-waisted attacks OK! Wake up and take notice on how your "Annointed One" is ruining the Country our Fathers and Forefathers built before us. Focus your attention on reality vs.the lies that your Democratic leadership is telling you! What morons!

    July 19, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Palmer

    Just another Carolinian with high morals. Remember good ol Jessey Helms from the northern carolina state? And now the southern state has a hero too. Bigot, racist, and then race womanizer? High morals never were party of the 'Publicants agenda. When will they elect a Capone type next? They have put every other type of miscreant in office!!!

    July 19, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Independent

    What????? Again????? Are you taking lessons from Sarah???? Please, you did it, just go away.............

    July 19, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Pam

    Please, someone, make him go away and get some real psych help! Or, get him a job on a soap opera. Enough already.

    July 19, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. tony

    Another "family values" Republican scumbag....I'm sure he believes in the "sanctity" of marraige and that he is a "good christian". We need to round up these worthless hypocrites and kill them all.......

    July 19, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Hawaii gal

    This guy is pathetic! He needs to stop making a complete fool of himself and step down as Governor now. Sanford is continuing to harm his family by coming out again and again and saying he is sorry. He is a hypocrite, as believes others that have done what he has admitted to should step down, he should do the same. He is not "above "anyone, but "below " them. South Carolina deserves better than this jerk. They need to impeach him if he does not step down.

    July 19, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. liz

    I don't really care that he had the affair, that is between he and his wife.

    He is a HYPOCRITE because he stated that Clinton should resign because of HIS affair, but when busted himself is all, oh no I shouldn't have to quit.

    He thinks the rules don't apply to HIM.

    July 19, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Steve from SC

    The best the hypocrite can do is to resign! I am getting ready to turn in my GOP membership.

    July 19, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. hozo2006

    love these clowns who find God ... ONLY after they have been caught ... this is one of the most insincere, hypocritical guys on the planet ... he is the essence of the right wing Christian Republicans .. certainly would make a fine Taliban

    July 19, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. The Marginalizer

    Simply a hypocrite. While demanding all state employees travel less and only in coach he racks up $500,000 in travel mainly in first and business class. Who is trying to kid anymore? No way would I ever vote for a Republican again!!

    July 19, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. efree

    Stimulus money. Is that jerk still holding this money ?

    July 19, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. wilma GEne

    What a loser!!Everyone who gets caught does a pity party in public!

    July 19, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Jesus loves mark sanford

    and that is what is important. He is a wonderful christian governor a great father and a strong choice for this countrys next president. Atleast he isnt a muslim and wasnt born in Kenya! He will put the white back in the White House. He has been honest and up front. He has been a breath of fresh air in this otherwise hateful political climate that the liberals throw us all in. The GOP is the party of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ. The liberals will know this when they are burning in the lake of fire and Mark Sanford Sarah Palin and myself are flying up in heaven with Jesus!

    July 19, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Pat

    Dear Governor Sanford,



    July 19, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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