Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) said he can convince voters that nobody’s perfect and maybe even woo some with his “humility” about his fall from grace.
He defeated challenger Curtis Bostic this week to face comedian Stephen Colbert’s sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, for the seat vacated by now-Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).
Sanford, who got nearly 57 percent of the vote, resigned as governor in 2009 after disappearing for nearly a week in conducting his affair with Argentinian Maria Belen Chapur. He was also found to have misused funds in trips to go see her.
Yesterday on CNN, Jake Tapper asked Sanford about Republican women in the district being willing to vote for him.
“Well, what I would say is there were a lot of Republican conservative women that voted last night,” Sanford replied. “And what they did was they decided to send me in as the Republican standard-bearer in this congressional seat in a general election, if we make to and ultimately carry ideas forward to — can you hear me? I’m hearing some backup noise…I completely lost my train of thought now, Jake.”
Sanford maintained “there has been a lot of time” since his 2009 scandal.
“There was a great sermon just last Sunday at the church that I attend where he said do the events of your life refine or define your life? I think the political opponents naturally enough will want to make any event define your life,” he said.
“I think that there are too many people in politics who think that they know it all. I think they project this whole image of perfection, the perfect family, the perfect person, the perfect this,” Sanford continued. “The reality is, none of us are perfect. I think the sooner we recognize that in ourselves is the sooner that we begin to have real conversations with other people, because if I’m projecting that I’m perfect while you’re projecting that you’re perfect, we’re not having a real conversation.”
The former governor said letting his guard down and calling himself “imperfect” serves to add a “level of humility.”
Sanford said Belen, now his fiancee, popped into his victory party without announcement.
“There was no decision. She completely surprised me,” he said. “I was having dinner with my boys. And a couple of the candidates who had endorsed us in this race, they said time to go in. We start walking in. I round the corner. And there she is give to give me a hug and surprise me. It was a nice event. It was not at all what I had expected, but it’s was an awfully, awfully nice surprise.”