Sanford's tale about the trail in ad on campaign trail
April 26th, 2013
09:09 AM ET
7 years ago

Sanford's tale about the trail in ad on campaign trail

(CNN) – Former Gov. Mark Sanford is getting hit with another TV ad in the South Carolina special congressional election, less than two weeks before voters head to the polls.

The latest spot again goes after the Republican’s infamous secret trip in 2009. While his staff told reporters at the time he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, it was discovered that the then-governor actually went to Argentina to see his mistress.

“Mark Sanford abandoned his post,” says the narrator, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.

“No one, not even the National Guard could reach him,” he continued. “What are we supposed to do when we can't get in touch with him–the leader? You can't just walk away. If I had abandoned my post, I could be court-martialed.”

House Majority PAC, a third-party group attempting to retake the House for Democrats, paired up with VoteVets to renew the spot, which the left-leaning veterans group ran earlier this week. The commercial is part of six-figure ad buy announced by House Majority PAC last week.

Since launching his congressional campaign, Sanford has sought forgiveness and redemption for what he openly calls a mistake.

National Democratic groups started investing more resources in the 1st Congressional District race as Sanford began facing controversial headlines over trespassing accusations by his ex-wife, and as the Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of satirist Stephen Colbert, began gaining ground in the longtime Republican district.

On Thursday, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race to “lean Democratic” from “Toss-up.” Before the trespassing allegation, the district was rated “lean Republican.”

Democratic groups have focused on Sanford’s affair and disappearance from his state four years ago. He and his ex-wife, Jenny, divorced in 2010 and Sanford finished out his term in 2011. He’s now engaged to the Argentinean woman.

Sanford, for his part, has focused on Colbert Busch’s decision to accept only one debate invitation and continues to paint her recent support from national groups as a sign that his opponent has strong ties to Washington, despite her attempts to campaign as an outsider.

Earlier this week, his campaign released an ad attacking Colbert Busch for accepting contributions for labor unions, even though she applauded Boeing’s efforts to bring a new plant to South Carolina, a move strongly opposed by certain big labor groups.

The election is May 7.

- CNN’s Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Filed under: Ads • House • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The gop continues to run the worst canadates like sanford ,Rubio and Cruz and bachmann and wonder why the keep having gop train wreck elections results . Morons !!!!

    April 26, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    if the best Mr Appalachian Trail can come up with is the number of debates they have, he's toast. MAYBE the people of SC will see this and vote in someone who cares more about them than taking junkets on their dime to cheat on his wife and be derelict in his duties

    April 26, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Sandford should have seen this one coming. He left without letting anyone cover for him. AWOL isn't good for someone who is supposed to be running the show.

    April 26, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. plain&simple

    Mark Sanford like a lot of politicians has an ego. His happens to be so bighe thinks he can do no wrong. Very disturbing....

    April 26, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Should this man be elected, he is just one step away from another scandal. Mark Sandford has proven he has an ego bigger than that Appalachian Trail he so loves to hike.

    Unfortunately for SC, he has also proven he is unfit for private sector employment.

    April 26, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. ST

    Hey folks, Stanford is the dead person walking. Two weeks can not come fast enough and he gets buried in politics somewhere for good and for all. He has embarrassed himself, his family, his mistress and the entire nation. Enough is enough! No more of these kind of rubbish!

    April 26, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. much thunder..little rain

    oh boy a real pig wonder politicans are rated lower than use car salesmen...maybe groups who produce trash commericials will make the list of most hated...

    April 26, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Data Driven

    Sanford will likely win this thing. 1). Off-year election equals low turnout equals Republican victory. 2). Sanford's campaign has been rather brilliant. They've got South Carolinians hyped up into a paranoid frenzy, warning them that unless they vote for Sanford, an executive horde of greasy Jimmy Hoffas will swoop down upon the state and force them to join labor unions. This will be followed by a flanking maneuver by a battalion of California hipsters generaled by Nancy Pelosi, who will force the shell-shocked residents to give up their pickups for Priuses while mandating a vegetarian diet.

    Hey, but if Busch wins, I'll happily eat my crow with relish.

    April 26, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. sonny chapman

    When the Gov. of a state goes MIA over a piece of tail, even a "Soul Mate", they're not qualified to hold High office. This is supposed to be PUBLIC Service, not me,me,me...

    April 26, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    This is a man who had already promised Jenny that he would not see his mistress again: so what does he do? Jets off to Argentina, and lies to everyone about where he was going and what he planned to do. He's a serial liar on a scale that already makes most politicians blush. His response to the trespassing complaint is typical Sanford.

    April 26, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. MaryM

    Sanford, you are done, you gave it up for your "soul mate" hahahahahahha

    April 26, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. rs

    I have long ago given up on the notion that politicians of any stripe are moral standard bearers, and so Snaford's mid-life crisis involving a young thing down Argentina way is within the norm for that crowd. The ad raises a valid point- Sanford abandoned his post- he was out of office, and unreachable because he wasn't "hiking the Appalacha=ian Trail" (where he could have been found in the event of a state emergency), no he was out of the country.

    Republicans love that scary "3am phone call" fear-mongering about their opponents- well were was Sanford if that call came? He abandoned his state and its citizens. End of story.

    April 26, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....and do you know why Rush Limbaugh doesn't have guest in his show? Because he's a Blowhard who can't debate the issue

    Mark Sanford should hit the Appalachian Trail once again...and NOT the Campaign Trail!!!

    This idiot betrayed the public trust and should NOT be rewarded with a high office for misusing public funds and chasing after skirts in Argentina while on the J.O.B!!!!

    April 26, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. Homer Simpson

    Cant get a real job huh? wonder why

    April 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Bill

    Goodbye Sanford. You will plenty of time to go hiking after the election.

    April 26, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Lets see if the stereotype about southerners is true. My bet is that they will be smart enough not to elect this embarrassment again.

    April 26, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |