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. Danny Husk

    Maybe him and the former Gov of Ill could team up and have a reality show $$$$$$$ I see dollar signs here!

    August 13, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    His phony (hypocrisy) life is coming apart. Maybe he can go cry to his cronies at that C Street Church/Lobbying group, the one who tells their supporters that they are destined to rule the world. (chosen)

    I hope we see more of these repugnant, republican hypocrites reap what they sow. (Sarah Palin would be a good start with her scare the life out our seniors campaign. What a group of wretched "righteous" individuals)

    August 13, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. mary

    Is it really news that Sanford lacks an ethical core?

    August 13, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Laurie in Spokane

    I don't care how he traveled to see his mistress, but it does seem to me that the real issue is being overlooked. How can Sanford concentrate on State business with this controversy going on? If he had the best interests of SC in mind, he would step down, try to repair his family life, and let the State move on.

    August 13, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. Casey - California

    Those Republicans sure don't like it when the finger points at them, do they? I mean, it's all good when it's THEIR fingers doing the pointing, but hey, maybe they should remember that the other fingers are aimed back at them.

    I, for one, am sick and tired of having to wait for scandals to determine who runs our government - at any level. Perhaps the American people should spend more time getting real facts before voting... so that we don't end up with the Sanfords, Palins, Foleys, and Gingrichs running this country.

    In other words, do your civic duty in an informed, intelligent manner.

    August 13, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Obama 08/12

    As a South Carolinian I'm ashamed that he is our governor. I was already ashamed of him before his current problems came to light when he tried to turn down the stimulus money that would help our troubled schools. He has refused to even VISIT our schools' "corridor of shame" even after a young girl, who has to attend one of these schools, was highlighted at a speech given by Pres. Obama. It took his infidelity and his abandonment of his office for the spotlight to finally shine on his true character, not a "responsible conservative" (running for president in 2012, ) but as the lying, cheating, self serving person he is. I think one of the reasons he's still in office is due to the fact that we also have a law breaking Lt. Gov. who people don't want to see as Gov. I hope the people of SC realize in the next election that we need to be very careful who we elect and not just automatically vote for the Republican as our state is prone to do. We're supposed to feel sorry for him because he's alone and his career is ruined? His whining just proves again his lack of character.

    August 13, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Josh in TN

    If our public elected officials are not to be held accountable for thier immoral acts after running on the morals platform surely you don't want to fire a coach over the same kind of issue.

    August 13, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Minnesotan

    Republicans are always making excuses for their failures, corruption, disasters and stupidity.... but only after they've been busted. What a bunch of losers.

    August 13, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Jay T.

    Here is why American loves this guy's story. At first, he appeared to just be a hypocrite. Now we learn he is also nuts. No different than that Blago guy from Illinois who Fox still runs stories on.

    August 13, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Wise AZ

    Where is CNN's reporting in the paternity test of John Edwards illegitiment "love child"? If you're going to slam one politician for his stupidity – you should slam them all. As usual – you're giving the liberal politicians a free ride!

    August 13, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Glennis

    He deserves his licks all right and the people of his state deserve something better. He needs to go.

    August 13, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Lauren

    South Carolinians should have impeached him already.

    August 13, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. I can see Canada from my house!

    The only problem with Sanford's argument is that this is a man who insisted that state employees use both sides of Post-It notes: he has been screaming about government waste while using the plane. The fact that other governors used the plane more is irrelevant: he should not have used it for ANY personal travel if he had advocated such an extreme stand on public spending.

    Hoisted on his own petard.

    August 13, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. Johnny-Boy

    Sanford has been exposed as a liar, a cheat and a thief of public taxpayer funds. A liar, a cheat and a thief.
    Yet he stands up and compares himself to King David and says that God wants him to remain in office.
    Not only should he be kicked out of office, he needs treatment for his extreme narcissism.
    He's an embarassment to himself, the office he has abused, the State of SC and to humanity in general.
    But hey, it's politics right, nothing new here.

    August 13, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Jim in San Mateo

    I love this quote "I messed up and deserve my licks for it – but this doesn't give some in the media license to write as they please," .

    No governor, the first amendment to the United States Constitution gives the media license to write as they please.

    Let's see. Public government figure behaving badly yet refuses to resign. The only way to stop the media from writing as they please about you is to remove yourself from the government. Take a hint, PLEASE!

    August 13, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Jake

    Shut up already! Nobody thinks any more of you, your career is ruined, and you continue to embarrass your family! CNN, please stop covering this guy.

    August 13, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. B

    Details..... this guy should have already been History..

    August 13, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. trish

    OK,lying,cheating,adultery,playing the blame game,which party does this man represent? I don`t believe in parties,I believe in people.How does this man have the unmitagated gall to criticize Obama?Be careful when you throw rocks and hide your hand.They have a way of coming back and knocking you off your high horse.

    August 13, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. TimHowe

    "I only stole a little."

    August 13, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Libertarian

    The saying "Live by the sword...die by the sword" continues to prove itself true.

    If you wield virtue and righteous against your opponents and use the press to accomplish this........well.........

    August 13, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Rick

    It would be nice if Sanford resigned–thereby sparing us his pathetic life story!

    August 13, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Ruty

    Sanford, South Carolina has sufferer emough Go back to Argentina and stay this time

    August 13, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. charlie in Maine

    As far as affairs are concerned both The Dems and the GOP seem to be about equally un-faithfult o their spouses but it smacks of hypocracy that this guy want's to "save marriage" from the gays. That is ridicoulous If he spent half of the time into his own marraige that he puts into keeping gays from their full rights he probably would not be in this situation. As for the plane and his refusal to accept the stimulus money: " Fisaclly responsible is as fiscally responsible does."

    August 13, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. CarMar

    This guy is nuts and little Missy from Brazil should be smart enough to stay 1,000 miles away from him. And so should your wife and ALL women. Alert!

    August 13, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Peoples Voice

    Hey, Mark. You need a roommate? Feeling lonely all by yourself? Maybe we can find you a big strong roomie in a local prison.

    August 13, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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