(CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford defended his trips on expensive international flights on Tuesday and said that a state Senate probe into his foreign travel is driven by a politically-motivated “feeding frenzy.”
Sanford also told reporters that he and his wife Jenny — who moved out of the governor’s mansion in Columbia last week — are not getting a divorce.
Sanford’s travel has come under increased scrutiny since he admitted an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman in June. A state law enforcement probe in June found that the governor did not use state money while carrying on his affair.
But on Monday, Republican state Sen. David Thomas concluded an investigation that found Sanford violated South Carolina regulations by billing the state for business and first-class seats on international flights during trade missions in 2006 and 2007. South Carolina law requires state officials to purchase seats for the lowest available fare. Thomas told CNN that Sanford’s actions could be grounds for impeachment when the legislative session begins in January.
Sanford, speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting Tuesday, said that the state Department of Commerce purchases tickets and argued that other South Carolina governors had flown business and first class when traveling overseas in the past. He said that if Thomas was really concerned about his travel practices, he should have called the governor’s office instead of simply releasing the results of his investigation to the media.
“I did wrong, I messed up and there are consequences for that,” Sanford said, referring to his affair. “But at some point it gets to the point of the absurd, where in political terms people smell blood in the water, and they keep coming and coming and coming.”
Keep in mind, Sanford, you brought it on yourself. Remember that press conference where you talked about your “soulmate”, and you were referring to the other woman, not your wife? No self respecting wife would put up with that. She “goodbyed” you. If you want the sharks to stop, get out of the water and walk away.
Yes, mid-life crises do happen for men. But in the world of politics, certain things do not work. Sorry about that, it’s just how it is.