Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Mitt Romney all appeared on Sunday morning talk shows, and all said that disgraced South Carolina governor should not resign. The Republicans all claimed that Sanford has a personal problem, and completely ignored the fact that Sanford abandoned his post as governor.
On Face the Nation Gov. Barbour was asked if Sanford should resign. Barbour answered, Well, I don’t think so, but that’s up to the people of South Carolina. But no, I don’t think so.” Host Bob Schieffer followed up by asking about the fact that Sanford went AWOL, and Barbour dodged the question, You know, Bob, I don’t know all the details. But I’ve been in politics a long time. I’ve made it my policy, I just don’t talk about people’s personal problems. I don’t– I don’t think it’s appropriate, I don’t think it’s polite, and I don’t think it– it achieves any purpose.” (Note to all: It is not polite to talk about a governor who vanishes).
Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney were on Meet the Press, and they also defended Sanford. Graham, who is the godfather of the Sanford’s youngest child said, “I think if Mark can reconcile with Jenny, and that’s not going to be easy, that he can finish his last 18 months. He’s had a good reform agenda. And I do believe that if, if he can reconcile with his family and if he’s willing to try, that the people of South Carolina would be willing to give him a second chance. But he’s also got to reconcile the legislature. If he can get his family back together, I think he can continue out his term and maybe do some good things next year.”
Mitt Romney tried to dodge the question about Sanford going MIA, You know, his, his holding onto that job is really between him and his family and the, and the people of South Carolina. It’s not for people outside the state to make pronouncements on. This is a matter which is really a heartbreaking matter, and that’s what I think you have to focus on. You’ve got a family in great distress. And I’m, I’m really… Well, overwhelmingly the heartbreak is what the public is focused on, and what we should be focused on. And seeing this family become healed is our highest priority.”
The hypocrisy of Barbour, Graham, and Romney is unbelievable. These are people who were calling Bill Clinton to resign over the Lewinsky affair, and Clinton didn’t vanish to Argentina to hang out with his mistress. The affair isn’t why Sanford should resign.
It is the fact that he abandoned the people of his state, and nobody knew where he was for days. Republicans are trying to downplay his neglect of his political duties, and are trying to create sympathy for Sanford.