South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he still wants to reconcile with first lady Jenny Sanford and doesn't begrudge her for speaking out in a nationally televised interview.
Sanford said Thursday that he knows the affair he publicly revealed in June hurt his wife, who had found out about it in January. The South Carolina first lady spoke to Barbara Walters about it during an interview for an ABC special on the ten most fascinating people of 2009, which aired Wednesday.
"What people didn't know was that I had asked Mark to leave ... Without permission to see his woman in Argentina or to see her anywhere," Sanford told Walters, according to The State newspaper. "And he was to have no contact with the boys or myself for 30 days. And my hope was that he would wake up from whatever he was in the throes of and maybe see what he might lose."
Jenny Sanford said that the governor did not ask her to appear with him during his tearful admission of the affair at a June news conference, and that she would not have done so if he had asked. The State also reported that the first lady is writing a book about the aftermath of the governor's affair.
The Sanfords have said they are trying to reconcile, though Jenny Sanford has more recently described the couple as separated.
"I think the hurdles are significant," she told Walters.
A legislative panel voted 6-1 Wednesdayto impeach Sanford. Lawmakers voted instead to issue a rebuke tied to the affair and investigations of his travel.