August 13th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
12 years ago

Sanford defends use of state airplane in op-ed

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has penned an op-ed defending his use of state aircraft."]
(CNN) – No one is ever going to accuse embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford of backing down.

In an op-ed piece that appeared in newspapers across South Carolina Thursday and was also provided to CNN, Sanford defends his use of a state-owned aircraft after a recent newspaper report took issue with some of his official travel.

"I messed up and deserve my licks for it – but this doesn't give some in the media license to write as they please," the Republican governor wrote. "Anyone with a busy and intertwined life can be made to look foolish if one ignores the larger context of travel within the state."

Citing a review of records earlier this week, The Associated Press reported that Sanford had used state aircraft for personal and political purposes, sometimes bringing his wife and children along with him. These uses violated South Carolina law, according to the AP.

In his response, Sanford wrote that he has flown far fewer hours on state-owned aircraft than previous South Carolina governors. "When measuring four year terms, Governor Campbell flew 451.6 hours, Governor Beasley flew 303.17 hours and Governor Hodges flew 310.06 hours, while I flew 228.95 hours," wrote Sanford. And the seven flight hours at issue represent "two percent of the total flight hours taken," the embattled governor wrote.

Sanford has been at the center of controversy after admitting to an extra-marital affair with an Argentine woman. The South Carolina Republican has weathered and resisted calls for him to resign and, instead, has tried to refocus attention on his gubernatorial duties. His wife, Jenny, recently moved out of the governor's mansion and Wednesday Sanford gave a radio interview where he said "the aftermath of any of these things is not going to be ideal."

"We take it a day at a time," Sanford also said of his situation.

Filed under: Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. Cache

    Is it really ethical to have someone with a known history of lies and the deepest kinds of betrayals maintaining his position in a high government office? This is a man in love with power and who will betray the citizens of South Carolina in the same lying, hidden, and manipulated way he did to his wife. Once a cheater, always a cheater.

    August 13, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Amazing the way CNN covers this story. No liberal bias showing here. Are we ever going to get back to Charlie Rangel cheating on his taxes and cover it with the same diligence that the state run media uses to cover Sanford and Palin.

    August 13, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Elwood Larf

    What a shocker, a politician turns out to be corrupt. Time for all the other corrupt politicians to act indignant and hope they don't get caught doing the same thing, or something worse. Ordinarily I would say that his adultery is and should be a private matter, but apparently he isn't doing such a good job in the office, either.

    August 13, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. SMX

    "I messed up" says Sanford.... You think? What other repetitive monologues are we going to hear from this stumbling sap?

    August 13, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Ron Howerton

    If impeachment was good enough for Clinton, it's good enough for Sanborn. Or are only Democrats culpable for their dalliances? If the GOP does not back impeachment they'll lose further credibility in my eyes, at least.

    August 13, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Ted Tartaglia

    This guy is just another criminal who happens to be the Governor of South Carolina. He did more than just mess up; he proved beyond the shadow of a doubt just how much of a fool he is.

    The South Carolina legislature should impeach this idiot.

    August 13, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. renee

    really Mark?????the media should not write as they please??? what about your party's lying media, FOX??????? please explain!!!!!

    August 13, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Whatever

    Why does this guy still have a job?

    August 13, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. greg

    I am a Republican from SC and he needs to go, this three ring circus is underminding Sanfords authority. I as a Christian believe his hypocrisy is sickening. He called for Clinton to resign for lying and unfaithfulness and Sanford is no better. Clinton has shown true Christian character since his struggles and mess ups. Sandford keeps telling us this was "love" (like he thinks that legitimizes his behavior vs. Clinton) and he is a King David. I've study the Bible, I read extensively about the life of King David. Let me tell you Sanford is no King David. If Sanford loved Maria he would not have involved her in adultry. This guy only loves himself. He is arrogant beyond belief and will only put South Carolina in worse shape than it already is.

    August 13, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Typical Republican

    I robbed a bank today, but I took less then the guy that robbed it yesterday. I'm innocent!

    August 13, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. bruce from S.C.

    He said he was waiting for the voters to ask him to resign. When do I get my turn?

    August 13, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. doesn't give some in the media license to write about me as they please

    Really Mr. Governor

    and you have license to take off from your duties as you please telling no one

    you messed up... we should give you a take back?

    it does give some in the media license to write about you as they please, if you want to plead your case, start with more troubling examples: Obamas children ending up in ads

    or how about the staged outrage at the town hall meetings

    or how about the daily garbage that pours from O'Rielly, Rush, Hannity, Coultour

    you are a petty, selfish man

    Given what the rest of the U.S. is going through how about you shut up

    August 13, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Loulou

    At least, I respect Governor Sanford for being an honest man. He is true to himself and to his feelings. Elected officials do have a personal life that is none of anyone else's business. Who among us can say we have never screw up before? He is married, not dead.
    Once he leaves office, I do hope he follows his heart to Argentina. It is not everyday one can find real love. I hope he knows how lucky he is.
    For everyone out there, look at yourself in the mirror before you judge anyone.

    August 13, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Carl Justus

    I do not care if he only flew one hour, but if he took his wife and children, he should reimburse the state for their fare.

    They are not any part of the elected or appointed officials that are doing state business and not only Sanford, but many other governors, big city officials, and those in federal government should be reminded of the same thing.

    If this was a just a state worker taking his family on a state paid trip and it was reported he probably would be fired unless of course he is a powerful persons friend or was backed by maximum contributor to the governor or several of the legislature.

    August 13, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Scott

    Like a little kid....." but I didn't use it as much as ........." dude you offered yourself up for the media when you cheated on your wife while in public office...and now you want sympathy? LOL.....

    Anyone in politics is held in higher esteem than the average citizen....If you didn't want the scrutiny then you should have opted out of politics.

    Can't have your cake and ice cream too!

    August 13, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Pete

    Let's hear it again for "Family Values" err that would be a not.

    August 13, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Richard L

    No problem. He's a moral majority family-values Republican so he will stay in office.

    August 13, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Consuela

    Sanford is a piece of garbage and should immediately resign from office or be thrown out. However, the link on CNN's main web-page to this article has now identified Sanford as "Unfaitful Gov" for the last two days in a row. It's possible CNN has used the adjective "Unfaithful Gov" when referring to the current governor of South Carolina several other times.

    I just wonder how many times CNN referred to former president Bill Clinton as "Unfaithful President" while he was in office?

    August 13, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. ben

    Leave him alone you wolves. Stop sensationalizing personal stories for your profit. This is NOT NEWS. How about you report on the actions of the CIA in overthrowing foreign governments for the benefit of US economic interests? That would be news.

    August 13, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Keeth in California

    Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. That's all he thinks about.

    August 13, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  21. chuck

    Those of you who are not from So. Car.: Considering who our Lt Gov is, calling for Sanford's impeachment is a terrible idea. It would be like replacing Krammer with George Costanza. Don't wish this fate upon us. Things are hard enough as it is.

    August 13, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. just thinking

    So, if we add up all of the number of days he was married, and divide it by the number of days he cheated, it is probably less than 2% so that shouldn't count either, right? I'm sure his wife will agree with his logic.

    August 13, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. S Callahan

    Exodus 14:14 at work! Get 'em Sandford! lol

    August 13, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. bam

    Can we please get this low-life out of the news??? Ditto for Palin.

    August 13, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Pepe

    Sanford: It's 'hard' living alone in governor's mansion. So just call "Senorita Argentina" and she will solve that problem! Si o no?

    August 13, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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