Former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford will not seek public office again, but like many other South Carolina voters he’s searching for a candidate he can support in the 2012 Republican presidential primary.
“I think we need somebody who is willing to get under the hood,” Sanford told FOX News’ Sean Hannity on Friday, specifically praising U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) for his work in offering concrete spending cuts.
Sanford – who was viewed by many as a top presidential contender prior to his dramatic fall from grace in 2009 – said he has been “disappointed” by the degree to which the current crop of Republican candidates are “not stepping out on real remedies.”
He’s not the only one who’s disappointed …
Anyway, in addition to weighing in on the underwhelming Republican presidential field, Sanford also spoke about his failed marriage to former S.C. First Lady Jenny Sanford – a woman who has turned getting cheated on into a cottage industry.
“I don’t think I properly loved Jenny — and I put the failure of the marriage in my camp, as she deserved to be loved as a woman,” Sanford told Hannity. “And this isn’t the love as in a feeling; this is love as an action.”
Sanford’s political career unraveled two summers ago when his long-term love affair with Maria Belen Chapur – his Argentine “soul mate” – was exposed. In fact, many feel that Jenny Sanford helped push the story out into the mainstream press in an effort to get back at her husband for resuming the affair against her wishes.
At a bizarre, rambling press conference at the S.C. State House, Sanford admitted that he had been unfaithful to his wife and that he had lied to his family, his staff and the citizens of South Carolina about “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” Days later, just when it appeared the scandal had died down, Sanford granted an ill-fated interview with the Associated Press in which he called Chapur his “soul mate,” admitted “crossing lines” with other women and said that he was trying to “fall back in love” with his wife – who ended up publicly exiting the governor’s mansion and divorcing him.
“I fell in love. Not right. Not the way to do it. I fell in love,” Sanford told Hannity.
Sanford was nearly impeached as a result of a subsequent investigation into his travel practices. He wound up effectively pleading “no contest” to thirty-seven ethics violations and paying a $74,000 fine.