Sanford slipped away to Appalachian Trail

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COLUMBIA - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has been hiking along the Appalachian Trail, a spokesman said tonight, explaining an absence of several days.

The lieutenant governor, other officials and even his wife said earlier today that they didn't know where he was, leading critics to question who was in charge of South Carolina.

"I cannot take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts," said Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. Bauer said he'd been rebuffed by the governor's staff when he tried to find out where Sanford was.

The Republican governor left town Thursday, spokesman Joel Sawyer said, with plans to hike the trail, which passes through 14 states, but not South Carolina. Sawyer said he didn't know where exactly Sanford was along the 2,200-mile trail and declined to discuss Sanford's travel arrangements or who, if anyone, was hiking with him. The governor is expected back later this week.

"He's an avid outdoorsman," Sawyer said. "Nobody's ever accused our governor of being conventional."

Sanford, who's also chairman of the Republican Governors Association, earned a reputation as the nation's most vocal anti-bailout governor by refusing $700 million in federal stimulus money for schools until he lost a court battle earlier this month.

"He's just up there to kind of clear his head after the legislative session," Sawyer told The Associated Press in an interview.

Sawyer said if there were an emergency the office would consult with other state officials before making any decisions.

"We knew he would be difficult to reach, and that he would be checking in infrequently," Sawyer said in a statement.

First lady Jenny Sanford said earlier Monday that she had not spoken with her husband for several days, including Father's Day. The Sanfords have four sons.

"He was writing something and wanted some space to get away from the kids," Mrs. Sanford told The Associated Press while vacationing at the family's Sullivans Island beach house. She said she didn't know where he was but wasn't concerned.

A message left for her wasn't immediately returned after the governor's hiking plans were disclosed.

Law enforcement officials who handle his security declined to comment and Sawyer wouldn't say whether Sanford had a security detail with him. Sanford is known for taking walks and runs without security, but flight logs show he seldom leaves the state without it.

Sanford typically is open about his whereabouts, and his office has in the past made no secret of time spent on vacation or out of state.

But politicians, including the lieutenant governor, said they did not know Sanford was taking time away from his office. Bauer said he had not been put in charge.

Sanford's critics were quick to criticize the governor.

"It's one thing for the boys to go off by themselves, but on Father's Day to leave your family behind? That's erratic," said Senate Minority Leader John Land, D-Manning.

Sanford's unannounced absence was a cause for concern because the National Guard and the state's top law enforcement agencies report to him, Land said.

"And when those officials can't get in touch with the commander, it's really weird. That's not responsible," he said.

Sen. Jake Knotts, a Lexington Republican and a persistent Sanford critic, said the state needs to know where its governor is.

"The way things are in the world today and homeland security, we need the governor to be fingertips away," Knotts said. "Somebody's got to be in charge."

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charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 06/23/09 - 01:44 am
0
0
Good he is ok. Sounds like he

Good he is ok. Sounds like he decided to take some "mental health" days off.

common-sense-justice
0
Points
common-sense-justice 06/23/09 - 02:53 am
0
0
You can bet that someone is

You can bet that someone is in charge, and his whereabouts are probably known to within 10 feet thanks to GPS. I think it is a good thing that he took time to clear his head and ponder his future. Cobwebs in the head are a recipe for mistakes.

message
1
Points
message 06/23/09 - 05:30 am
0
0
Suicide is not the solution

Suicide is not the solution for your stimulus standoff.

patriciathomas
44
Points
patriciathomas 06/23/09 - 06:09 am
0
0
What? The governor takes off

What? The governor takes off and doesn't tell the AP where he's going so it's a big deal? I call a B.S. foul on the AP for creating this non-story. The people who need to know where Sanford is, knows where Sanford is. It's my guess that this is just some more of the general attack attitude of the AP for all things not hard left. The credibility continues to suffer as a result.

ZONE2
10
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ZONE2 06/23/09 - 06:30 am
0
1
I'm pretty sure when he comes

I'm pretty sure when he comes back he's gonna say he was abducted by a black man.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 06/23/09 - 06:36 am
0
0
If this were a black governor

If this were a black governor they would destroy him and all your posts would look and sound a lot different especially patriciathomas. He should inform the lt. governor and especially his wife of his whereabouts. He hasn't even contacted her or the kids on Fathers day, he wrote something about wanting to get away from the kids. He's an idiot and it's apparent that he doesn't give a crap about his families concerns. And shame on all of you who don't think that's irresponsible.

LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 06/23/09 - 06:38 am
0
0
oh please!!.. maybe he will

oh please!!.. maybe he will fall and bump his head!!

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 06/23/09 - 06:42 am
0
0
I can't believe his wife

I can't believe his wife didn't know, this is going to HURT him I hope there were no ladies on this excursion. He losing his mind.

patriciathomas
44
Points
patriciathomas 06/23/09 - 07:01 am
0
0
pantherluv, just because his

pantherluv, just because his wife wouldn't confide in the AP doesn't mean she doesn't know where he is. It would be more intelligent to assume the filtered news offered by this biased source is VERY slanted, as usual. By the bye, if this were a black governor he wouldn't be missing. He'd know his place, just like all other black Dems.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 06/23/09 - 07:02 am
0
0
Quite frankly if I had the

Quite frankly if I had the wherwithal to disappear into the woods for a few days and clear my mind I would. Sanford, stick your ground. Everyone who's rumormongering, just plain stick it.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 06/23/09 - 07:09 am
0
0
message on Tue Jun 23, 2009

message on Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:30 AM That did make me laugh! Panther, with a name like that, I can understand your post! Every day is fathers day whats the big deal?

convertedsoutherner
2
Points
convertedsoutherner 06/23/09 - 07:32 am
0
0
An employee (pultzer prize

An employee (pultzer prize winner) of the liberal media was kidnapped by alquida and the press chose to not tell anyone about it. Now the man has been released and the media has stated their still not going to report any details. *** The liberal media go after anything conservative and want to tell every detail and that is just standard behavior. Double standard - oh yes.

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 06/23/09 - 07:44 am
0
0
convertedsoutherner, the NYT

convertedsoutherner, the NYT (the man's employer) and other media were PROTECTING him. The man was abducted in a foreign country by our enemies. He didn't voluntarily disappear, leaving his own Lt. Gov. to wonder if he was in charge and how to get hold of him in the event of an emergency. Your comment makes no sense.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 06/23/09 - 07:50 am
0
0
And this nut job is thinking

And this nut job is thinking about running for President? Disappear, the Lt Gov doesn't know where he is and "he'd been rebuffed by the governor's staff when he tried to find out where Sanford was." I always thought Sanford was out there, now he's proved it.

REDRIDER
134
Points
REDRIDER 06/23/09 - 07:56 am
0
0
He just might be doing some

He just might be doing some nude hiking we been reading about.

patriciathomas
44
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patriciathomas 06/23/09 - 07:58 am
0
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the simi-competent Lt.

the simi-competent Lt. Governor didn't need to know where the Governor was because he would have sent news hounds after him. Rebuffed is the polite way of being told, "none of your business". The uninformed left will have a chance to place this buffoon in a leadership position next term.(it's what they do)

1941
4
Points
1941 06/23/09 - 07:59 am
0
0
If this don't tell the people

If this don't tell the people of S.C, that they have a nut for governor, nothing will. Just wait and see what his 'nut' supporters have to say!!!

hangemhigh
0
Points
hangemhigh 06/23/09 - 08:00 am
0
0
to bad he didn't go for a

to bad he didn't go for a hike 8 years ago. most probably think he has been missing for 8 years.

Why ME
0
Points
Why ME 06/23/09 - 08:16 am
0
0
you reckon he's seen any

you reckon he's seen any bears?

convertedsoutherner
2
Points
convertedsoutherner 06/23/09 - 08:17 am
0
0
And the blind and gullible

And the blind and gullible dims say that the conservatives are haters, evil and mean-spirited. dims want to know everything about conservative politicians but want to know nothing about their incompetent/teleprompter prezbho. The double standard of the libs continues to astound. There is absolutely no comparison and the dim hypocrisy rears its evil head again.

patriciathomas
44
Points
patriciathomas 06/23/09 - 08:19 am
0
0
well said,

well said, convertedsoutherner.

sucram
0
Points
sucram 06/23/09 - 08:19 am
0
0
Is this Mark Sanford of Fred

Is this Mark Sanford of Fred Sanford?

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 06/23/09 - 08:20 am
0
0
One more publicity stunt by a

One more publicity stunt by a grandstanding politician.

HotFoot
17
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HotFoot 06/23/09 - 08:21 am
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I see you didn't address my

I see you didn't address my response to you, convert. I'm not surprised. It made sense, unlike your rants. I wonder if PT actually has two screen monikers and alternates between them...we'll know for sure if convertedsoutherner slips and uses the word "myrmidon".

Niko Mahs
83
Points
Niko Mahs 06/23/09 - 08:23 am
0
0
Nothing wrong with a good

Nothing wrong with a good walk in the woods. It does help to clear your mind and relieve some stress. That should have taken Sanford about 110 yards to do that!

corgimom
46801
Points
corgimom 06/23/09 - 08:31 am
0
0
If Andre Bauer needs him, he

If Andre Bauer needs him, he can get in his car and drive like a bat out of hell to get to Sanford. He knows how to do that. Bauer is a whiny sissy baby. In fact, Sanford probably went there to get away from him.

j2says
3
Points
j2says 06/23/09 - 08:42 am
0
0
If Barack Obama had slipped

If Barack Obama had slipped off not telling anyone and then his staff wouldn't tell the Vice President these comments would take a totally different tone. He would be reckless, selfish and no regard for those he was elected to lead. The same is true for Mark Sanford. He left and didn't even bother to tell his family where he was going. Even if he didn't want to be contacted he could have done that. And what would have occurred if his leadership was needed and he didn't bother to leave the Lt. Governor in charge? Regardless of his feelings of Bauer, he owed the State of SC that much respect. Had an emergency occurred everyone would have been in limbo because he needed time alone. Please, if he wanted to go away and pout fine just do it responsibly if not for the people who elected you at least for your family.

weatheringheights
0
Points
weatheringheights 06/23/09 - 08:44 am
0
0
This guy doesn't need to take

This guy doesn't need to take a mental health day, he needs to flat out check himself in. Either he has had some sort of breakdown or he is pitching a hissy fit over the court ruling against him. Regardless of which this guy does not need to stay in office.

Georgiais1
0
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Georgiais1 06/23/09 - 08:48 am
0
0
Too bad he didn't take prezbo

Too bad he didn't take prezbo and the she devil along the App. trail. He might have taught the obama's a little about nature. But, I am sure they are not the "outdoor type". They could always do a fly by in air force 1 though..

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 06/23/09 - 09:07 am
0
0
Still no desire by the dims,

Still no desire by the dims, to know anything about the incompetent, teleprompter prezbho but must know absolutely everything about a gov of SC. dims don't know all the facts but attack anything/anyone conservative. The double standard still astounds and continues to prove the hypocrisy of the dims.

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