September 8th, 2009
03:52 PM ET
11 years ago

S.C. House Speaker: Time for Sanford to go

Sanford received a letter from the South Carolina House Speaker on Tuesday.

Sanford received a letter from the South Carolina House Speaker on Tuesday.

(CNN) - After remaining relatively quiet on the matter for more than two months, South Carolina's Speaker of the House is now calling for Gov. Mark Sanford to resign.

The Charleston Republican delivered a letter to Sanford on Tuesday telling him that his actions "have forced unnecessary suffering on the people of South Carolina."

Harrell leads 73 members of the House GOP caucus and now becomes the second-highest ranking elected official in the state to ask Sanford to step down. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer called for the governor to resign last month - a request Sanford quickly rejected.

"The daily trickle of allegations against you has shown that there is no end in sight to the constant distractions caused by you remaining in office," he wrote. Harrell said the governor is destined to be an unnecessary distraction when the state legislature re-convenes in January.

Several Republican members of the legislature favor impeaching the governor, but Harrell said he would avoid talking about possible impeachment charges until the State Ethics Commission concludes its recently-launched investigation into Sanford's travel expenses.

The House Speaker has clashed publicly with Sanford over the years, most recently over the governor's refusal to take $700 million in federal stimulus funds.

Harrell was one of few top officials to keep quiet after revelations of Sanford's affair in June, instead choosing to let the saga play out before making any public statement.

However, Harrell got an earful from members of the House Republican caucus at their annual retreat in Myrtle Beach last month, when a majority of House Republicans said the governor should either resign or be impeached.

A spokesman for Sanford did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Harrell's letter, but the governor will likely address the matter when he appears on a Columbia radio show later Tuesday.

UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, Sanford declined Harrell's invitation.

In a statement, the governor said, "I think the Speaker was originally right in his view of a couple of months ago that people should withhold judgment until after the Ethics report. It's unfortunate that he, by this action, seems to have joined the ranks of some others who would attempt to politicize what has gone on."

Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Dave C - NJ

    The fact that Sanford was a loud voice against Clinton, claimed that he would resign if in the same position, and has mislead his constituents with his "travel" plans is enough reason that this guy should man up and step down.

    September 8, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Ted Tartaglia

    Isn't it fun watching Repubs eating their own?

    September 8, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Sue

    What the he– took you so long????? You guys all protect each other cause you're all afraid your own misconduct will be shown. Well, live with it, it's never too late to REPENT. Fire the vulture and move on!!!!!
    Get rid of the corrupt man and try to be honest – Money is NOT everything you know – when you die you will still be judged. If you truly want to work for the PEOPLE, forget your buddy-boy washing of hands – and GET ON with installing DECENT, (at least somewhat honest) people!!!!

    September 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Neal Page

    I am not so sure about the harsh nature of this request. Politics as usual?

    September 8, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Linda-Omaha

    For his own self fulfillment and happiness, I hope he leave South Carolina, and the ice princess, fights for what is his, goes to get his soul mate a live out the remainder of his short life in God given and approved bliss. God wants us to be happy. Many times that is not successful with one spouse, it doesn't mean you, and your children can't be happy in a different set of circustances.

    September 8, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. boot him out

    Time for Sanfore to go ? He should have been/deserved to be/ booted out moons ago whats the hold-up?
    TakHe cam take the cheater out west that doubled his bed partners wages with him to some far away place like South America and dump them bothe out on their own dime.

    September 8, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. M*C*P

    You mean your wife hasn't disposed of you yet? You disgusting pig not to mention you did this crap on the tax payer's dollar. You owe an apology to the people of America.

    September 8, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. dougie dude

    time for them to take steps to impeach him, if possible. let's move people. more of these idiots in office need to be removed on both sides of the aisle.

    September 8, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Chris Pavkovich

    "The Charleston Republican delivered a letter to Sanford on Tuesday telling him that his actions "have forced unnecessary suffering on the people of South Carolina." " – Are you kidding me? I live in SC and frankly could care less about the affair. The only thing that concerns me is that he has embarrassed his wife and children. Other than that, I can't say that it has caused suffering on my part.

    September 8, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Paul

    The GOP should jump all over Sanford with full weight of moral indignation with which they persecuted Bill Clinton after a an insignificant, quasi-affair with his intern–impeach!

    September 8, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Roger

    Ok I admit. he isn't much of a Governor refusing the stimulus money so if they oust him for that so be it, he was stupid & didn't represent the people but if they oust him for being soulmates with the Argentina hottie, thats not right, sure having a soulmate while you are married is stupid it has nothing to do with representing the people.

    September 8, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. rhoward

    The time for Gov. Sanford to have left with some shred of dignity passed weeks ago. Now he's going to hang on for dear life no matter what anyone says even though he knows darn well that he will accomplish exactly nothing when the legislature comes back in session. Maybe he thinks he can still be president since God told him not to resign.

    September 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    Finally! Looks like the leaders of South Carolina are taking the last steps toward removing this hypocritical, shameless, and totally unsympathetic fraud from office.

    September 8, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Ms. White

    please leave now...move to south america and become governor

    September 8, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Luke Brown

    The Republican Party in South Carolina is the worst of the bottom feeders. This nonsense with Sanford has been going on for years. He has virtually destroyed the state government in SC.

    It is amazing that it has taken this long for the Speaker to come around and see what a disaster this man has been for the state. If Sanford had been a Democrat, the Republicans in the Legislature would have gotten rid of him years ago.

    September 8, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Linda B., Ga.

    ummmm the Heck with Resign, IMPEACH IS rearend, how much and/o how long, do the good people of S.C. have to put up with this CREEP? He should've been gone long ago....

    September 8, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. ~~ July ~~ ( Working HARD to make TX Blue )

    Sanford picture makes me think he is thinking

    ' Don't cry for me Argentina , the truth is I never left you ...' ;op

    September 8, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    I feel bad for the people of South Carolina. Time for them to assert themselves and throw their loser governor out on his fanny!

    September 8, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Bo for Obama

    Just fire the loser governor with no respect from his state ALREADY

    September 8, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. JES

    We sure do have short memories. What about Clinton lying under oath, JFK and his affairs, Teddy with his, Jesse Jackson, and on and on we can go.

    I don't approve of what he did but look at who is calling the kettle black, white, or any other color you want.

    Get over it and let the man finish his job.

    I don't know about his marriage but his career is over in public service unless he is forgiven like the people above.

    September 8, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. nanbar

    Sanford thinks he has been "forgiven," so why leave. The fact that he cheated on his wife is not the end of the world. The fact that he held himself up as a moral guide to others is the hypocrisy. Where is all of the Republican indignation? Oh, that's right, it is because Clinton lied about having sexual relations under oath. Looking at these Republicans just gloss over their transgressions, but hold others to some mythical standard is a joke.

    September 8, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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