Gov. Sanford Admits Other Encounters

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Tuesday he "crossed lines" with women other than his mistress, but never had sex with them. In an interview with The Associated Press, Sanford also said he met more times with his Argentine mistress than he previously acknowledged. AP Writer Tamara Lush, who interviewed Sanford, discusses the new revelations.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

It's probably fair to say that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's troubles are going from bad to worse. Last week, the governor admitted to an affair with an Argentine woman. He apologized to family, friends and staff, and he vowed to remain in office. Today, he told the Associated Press that he had, quote, "crossed lines" with other women.

Tamara Lush is the AP reporter who sat down with Governor Sanford at his statehouse office. Hi, how are you?

Ms. TAMARA LUSH (Reporter, Associated Press): Good, thanks. How are you?

SIEGEL: A little mystified. What did the governor mean by crossing lines?

Ms. LUSH: Well, I don't think this is a good week for Governor Sanford. He detailed exactly his feelings for the woman who he had the affair with, and he also detailed - not in great detail - but he talked about when he would go on yearly adventures with his friend, yearly trips to, as he put, blow off steam, and he would go to somewhere overseas and he would, you know, meet women and have casual encounters.

He said that he never, quote, "crossed the ultimate line" with the women. He didn't - he said very specifically he didn't cross the sex line with these women other than the woman that he met in Uruguay in 2001, who - the mistress.

SIEGEL: Yeah.

Ms. LUSH: But he never crossed the line.

SIEGEL: He also disclosed more about his relationship with the Argentine woman, that he'd actually seen her more times that he said last week, than he originally said.

Ms. LUSH: Yes, he saw her a total of seven times since 2001.

SIEGEL: This sounds like one of the most incredibly uncomfortable interviews one could possibly sit through. What was the governor's mood like doing it?

Ms. LUSH: I would say the governor is very - he's very upset, and he's a very tragic figure. He's very upset and he really wants to - I think he really wants to talk. And I think he really wants to talk about what has happened in his life for whatever reason.

SIEGEL: As he discloses more details of his relationship with his mistress, there are investigations getting under way to look at his travel records. Was he traveling - was it official business, for example? These things are - he is literally compounding his problems with (unintelligible).

Ms. LUSH: Yes, he is. That's correct, Robert.

SIEGEL: Do you get the impression that this sense of openness and this confessional tone, it seems, in the interview that he gave you, that it's consistent with his insisting on remaining in office? Or do you get the feeling that it might not be worth it after all to stay in office?

Ms. LUSH: I don't have a handle on that. I believe that he really would like to let the public know everything, and that may not be in his best interest, but he wants everyone to know. He's been apologizing all week, all weekend. He's apologized to the cabinet. He's apologized to his neighbors. I've seen him on several occasions apologize to just various people. And that is the mode that he's in right now.

SIEGEL: Has he said - has he put a lid on this story or can we expect "The View?" I don't know. Can we expect more appearances by the governor?

Ms. LUSH: I think anything's possible at this point here in South Carolina.

SIEGEL: Well, thank you very much for talking with us about your interview.

Ms. LUSH: Thank you.

SIEGEL: That's Tamara Lush, who's an Associated Press reporter, talking about her interview today with South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: