Sanford's run sparks charge of 'apology tour'
February 19th, 2013
03:43 PM ET
10 years ago

Sanford's run sparks charge of 'apology tour'

(CNN) - It was bound to happen at some point.

The campaign for one of Mark Sanford's opponents in the South Carolina special election issued a direct statement Tuesday, criticizing the former GOP governor for trying to bounce back from a political career thwarted by infidelity.

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"Governor Sanford displayed a sad dereliction of duty in abandoning the people of the entire state of South Carolina," Mike Biundo, a consultant for state Rep. Andy Patrick, said in a statement responding to what they described as Sanford's "apology tour."

Patrick is one of more than a dozen Republicans vying for the nomination in the crowded primary next month. The seat for the state's 1st Congressional District was vacated after Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Tim Scott to the Senate at the end of 2012.

Sanford, who once represented the district, emphasizes a message of redemption in his campaign, referring to his extramarital affair that went public in 2009 when he served as governor. He and his wife divorced the next year, and Sanford finished out his second term in 2011. He's now engaged to the Argentinean girlfriend, Maria Belen Chapur.

In his first television ad Monday, Sanford addressed the controversy, saying "none of us go through life without mistakes."

"But in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances and be the better for it," Sanford continued in the spot, looking directly into the camera.

But Patrick's campaign isn't buying it.

"His personal tour of redemption now is a disservice to the people of the Lowcountry who are looking for the next leader to represent them in Congress," Biundo said.

"Andy Patrick is a Christian man and believes in repentance," the statement read. "But he also believes past is prologue."

Other candidates have taken more subtle attacks. Former state Sen. John Kuhn, for example, prominently boasted of his "personal responsibility" and "devotion to family" in a television ad. Meanwhile, high school economics teacher Teddy Turner, son of CNN founder Ted Turner, ran an ad in which he chastised the idea of a "career politician."

The statement, however, isn't a total surprise. Even Sanford's ex-wife, Jenny, told reporters last month that the issues will likely come up, and her former husband's ability to handle questions about the affair "will make or break his campaign."

Filed under: House • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Never mind the infidelity, Sanford went AWOL from the governer's office and LIED about it. He wasn't even in the US.

    February 19, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    I am glad that at least he stuck with the Appalachian hiking girlfriend.
    Did he mention that this particular weekend was Father's Day? That speaks volumes of his character and family values. Then again, he is a rethug after all.

    February 19, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    Looks like someone took a page straight out of ole Newts playbook. Marrying your mistress. Who said infidelity doesn't pay off?

    February 19, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Pete

    He'll need more of an apology given to these religious bible toters in S.Carolina if he expects to get anywhere with them..Most of these religious hypocrites are just like Sanford,drunk and adultres during the week but go to their closets to get their halos,bibles for church that Sunday,how hilarious ,how pathedic but it doesn't stop with Sanford by a long shot!Remember how republicans went after Clinton with his affair during his presidency and those same hypocrites were the ones that were as guilty as he in McCain,Gingrich and Sanford the holy,sanctumonious three especially Gingrich who's now catholic and should have been burned at the stake like the other two but that's republicans the party of don't do what I do,do what I say right!!I honestly thought Sanfords wife was going to run against him but at last reading I think she stepped aside for him ,I'd like to see him soundly beaten by the woman he screwed over pure political justice would be nice,that's the best send off she could give him right gals!!

    February 19, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "His personal tour of redemption now is a disservice to the people of the Lowcountry who are looking for the next leader to represent them in Congress," Biundo said.
    Typical right wing double standards rising to the surface, folks. [Bob Menendez] They let Sandford finish his term as governer without kicking him out. But now he's suddenly too tainted with whatever to run for public office as a Republican? Come on! How much more of a "severely conservative" Republican can you get?

    February 19, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is a good way to term this guy's run for the open House seat.

    February 19, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. yanni

    "none of us go through life without mistakes"
    tell it to your children and wife they are suffering with the thing you called "mistake" for life; while you are enjoying yourself with your exotic fiancée. Now your power pursuit at the national stage is a salt in their wound. It is unkind and crud act to show up on the national stage and rekindle the devastation you have caused them. A wise man would have immigrated to Argentina and live an obscure live so that he cannot hart his children again.

    February 19, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. ellid

    He's a liar and an adulterer. Why does he still have a career in the party of "family values"?

    February 19, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances and be the better for it," Sanford continued in the spot, looking directly into the camera..."

    Absolutely. So, Sandford made a mistake by hiking out of the country with nary a word of his whereabouts to his State Cabinet members and as a reward, God has given him a second chance at politicking?

    OK, then.

    February 19, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    He'll win, because he says he asked Jesus for forgiveness. David Vitter dressed up in a diaper for a prostitute, and he still has his job. All it takes for the GOP to forgive you is to swear publically that you are sorry and the Lord has forgiven you-RIIIGHHHTTTT.

    February 19, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Larry L

    He said he was sorry, talked about Jesus, and forgot to mention the laws he broke when he spent the taxpayer's money sporting around with his new squeeze. It's straight out of the Sleazeball Handbook.

    February 19, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. kayla

    and this is the snake that voted to impeach clinton. hypocrisy at it's best.

    February 19, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Timothy Moultrie - Lexington, S.C.

    In Mark Sanford, South Carolina's Republicans could not ask for a better steward of their tax money and guardian of their rights. True, he made an egregious personal blunder, but he never asked to spend money the state did not have in its coffers nor was he a part of the kleptocracy in Washington D.C. which has brought us to the razor's edge of economic oblivion. Mark is a rare specimen amongst Republicans, but he is a human with failings just like you. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a Republican. I am a card carrying member of the Libertarian Party.

    February 19, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |