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Graham, DeMint Cautious on Sanford

By Paul Kane
South Carolina's U.S. senators today declined to defend Gov. Mark Sanford's mysterious trip to Argentina, both saying they simply didn't know the truth behind Sanford's decision to disappear for a long weekend without informing his family or top staff where he was going.

"I'm trying to find out what really happened, and I don't know. I'm afraid to comment, because I don't know what the truth is," Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) told Capitol Briefing.

"I don't know any more than I read," added Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Graham, elected to the Senate in 2002 as Sanford was elected governor, is considered a Sanford ally. Yesterday, Graham defended Sanford at the point when the governor's aides told the media he was on a hiking trip. After learning today Sanford was in Argentina, Graham was more hesitant in his supportive statements.

"I'm sure the governor will answer the appropriate questions," Graham said.

Sanford was one of the most outspoken gubernatorial critics of the $787 billion stimulus package passed in February, using his opposition to lay the groundwork for a potential 2012 presidential campaign for the GOP nomination.

Congressional records show Argentina was a favorite spot for Sanford to travel while he was a member of the U.S. House in the the 1990s, having gone there in 1995 and 1998.

By Paul Volpe  |  June 24, 2009; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Rumors about the never-married Sen. Lindsey Graham make it difficult for him to say anything. No proof he is gay, but he is in his early 50s and never even got close to be married. The same was true of Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, but he announced an engagement while being considered for McCain's running mate and he even had a big wedding in November 2008. Gay right supporters point to both as leading secret double lives.

Posted by: georgiaguy | June 25, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

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