At a jaw dropping press conference today, Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) announced that during his mysterious absence over Father's Day weekend, he was, in fact, visiting a woman in Argentina with whom he has been having an affair for the last year.
"The bottom line is this -- I have been unfaithful to my wife," Sanford said before a mass of cameras and reporters at the State House in Columbia, S.C. "All I can say is I apologize," he said.
Sanford, an avowed Christian conservative, apologized to "people of faith," wiped tears from his eyes, and invoked the Bible during his confession to the cameras. "If you were to look at God's laws, they are in every instance designed to protect people from themselves. I think that that is the bottom line of God's law."
The governor did not resign from his job, but did step down from his leadership position as the head of the Republican Governors Association.
When answering questions from reporters, Sanford said he had not had other affairs and that, "I am committed to trying to get my heart right." He also described news trucks parked outside his family's house on Sullivan's Island, S.C., and asked reporters for privacy, "If not for me, then for (Jenny) and the boys."
Sanford's admission of infidelity is the second in as many weeks for high-profile Republicans who were considered rising stars within their party. Last week, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) admitted that he, too, had been unfaithful to his wife. At a Las Vegas press conference, Ensign said he had been in a relationship with a campaign staff member, who was also the wife of the top staffer in his Senate office. Like Sanford, Ensign resigned his leadership post within the party, but not his job.
UPDATE: The State newspaper in Columbia has revealed portions of several emails between Sanford and his mistress, Maria. The paper notes that it obtained the emails in December, and that they come from Sanford's personal email account.
In one, Sanford writes to Maria, "You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines..." You get the picture.
In another, Maria writes back, "But unfortunately I am not in love with him ... You are my love ... something hard to believe even for myself as it's also a kind of impossible love, not only because of distance but situation."
You can see the full report from The StateHERE, and video of the Sanford press conference below:
We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›
The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*
The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly
Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain
* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
EVP and Senior Partner
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›
Our New Approach to Comments
In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.