Mark Sanford: Some ‘may never forgive me,’ but look at my whole record

Fresh off his victory in a Republican runoff Tuesday, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford said Wednesday morning that some people may never forgive him for his 2009 fall from grace, but he's hopeful most voters will judge him on the totality of his record.

"Some people may never forgive me for that. And some people, it will take them a bit longer. Wherever one is on that continuum though, I think people recognize this notion of, you know, none of us are perfect," Sanford said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Sanford disappeared from the state for nearly a week as governor in 2009 before admitting to an extramarital affair.

The ex-governor defeated Curtis Bostic by 14 points on Tuesday, advancing to a showdown against Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch in South Carolina's 1st district special election. Polls show a competitive race between the two.

Sanford said Colbert Busch has been polling well because of her high name ID and the lack of scrutiny her record has received so far.

"Right now, the one thing that people know about her is that she's Stephen Colbert's sister. ... At the end of the day, he is not on the ticket, and we're going to have a debate about ideas," he said.

Sanford said a chance to address the nation's fiscal issues is what spurred him to run for his old seat.

"It is the debate, I think, of this civilization," he said.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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Sean Sullivan · April 2, 2013