The Republican Party may claim they are the home of family values but it seems more and more of the GOP faithful are leaving home and getting some on the road.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford became the latest Republican to admit he just can’t keep it in his pants, admitting to an affair with a Argentine woman.
Sanford also apparently lied repeatedly to his own staff about his prolonged absences from his office, saying he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was — in fact — porking his mistress.
Sanford, a one-time Presidential contender, can kiss his political ambitions goodbye and, most likely, his marriage.
Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina said Wednesday that he had been having an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina for the last year, ending the mystery surrounding his disappearance over Father’s Day weekend and considerably dampening his prospects for a national political career.
But his confession and apology, in a rambling, nationally televised news conference, left other mysteries unsolved, like whether he had lied to his staff members as late as Monday about his whereabouts, whether the affair had definitively ended, whether he would resign from the governorship and whether he would even have acknowledged the affair had he not been met at the airport in Atlanta by a reporter upon his return.
Mr. Sanford, 49, admitted that he had been in Buenos Aires since Thursday, not hiking on the Appalachian Trail, as his staff members had said.
Standing in the rotunda of the South Carolina Statehouse, the governor, a Republican who had been considered a possible presidential candidate in 2012, teared up as he spoke, taking more than seven minutes to apologize before getting to the crux of the matter.
“The bottom line is this,” he said. “I have been unfaithful to my wife.”
The governor’s wife, Jenny, 46, who did not attend the news conference, issued a statement later in the day saying that while she loves her husband, she asked him to leave the family two weeks ago in a trial separation, though she still believes the marriage can be repaired. The couple have four sons, the youngest 10.
“We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong,” she said. Because of the separation, she said, she did not know where he was in the last week.