Bauer says ‘I’m running for governor’ then back tracks

Related story: Calls for Sanford’s resignation grow

By Molly Parker
Published July 1, 2009

As Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer perused the salad bar and the wraps at Whole Foods in Mount Pleasant on Wednesday afternoon, he was overheard saying into his cell phone that he was trying to hide.

As he checked out, Bauer attempted to ignore a Business Journal request for an interview, saying he had hoped to remain in the dark today, and that he had already turned down an interview with CNN.

“I’m trying to be fair,” he said, asking for a phone conversation the next morning.

Gov. Mark Sanford (left) and Lt. Gov. Andre BauerBut Bauer did answer a few questions as he stood waiting for his aide to check out behind him.

Bauer said he had heard the rumors swirling today that Gov. Mark Sanford might step down as a growing chorus of leading Republicans call for his resignation.

“Personally, I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Bauer said.

But Bauer said he is ready to assume the role of governor, noting that the constitution calls for the lieutenant governor to fill that position should it be vacated for any reason. He also said he was hurt by calls for Sanford to stay in office specifically because critics did not believe Bauer was fit to serve as governor. The voters put him in office twice, Bauer said.

“Sure it’s hurtful,” Bauer said. “But that’s politics.”

Still, Bauer indicated he was not willing to forgo a run for governor to appease those critics, or to mitigate concerns that he would gain an unfair advantage in a 2010 race should Sanford resign and he become governor. Bauer told CNN on Monday that such a scenario might help calm the political storm clouding the overriding question about whether Sanford should resign.

“We are at an impasse now because it’s all about 2010 and the next governor’s race, and I don’t see anyone being an adult,” he told CNN.

But on Wednesday, Bauer said: “I am running” when asked whether he was thinking about bowing out of the race. But clearly growing frustrated by the interview he did not want to have, Bauer paused, and then said, “Again, I’m not saying I’m running.”

Bauer said he had already said too much, and didn’t want to give a story he wasn’t ready to talk about.

“I don’t want to answer any more questions — please,” he said, walking away.

Should Sanford resign, Bauer would be immediately elevated into the high-profile job after seven years of serving in the shadows. The lieutenant governor’s office — its main function overseeing the Office on Aging — does not play a major role in day-to-day state government operations.

It didn’t appear that many people shopping at Whole Foods during the busy lunch hour recognized Bauer. He was briefly approached by one man.

Wearing a business suit and tie, Bauer looked at the wraps, and then meandered around the salad bar at Whole Foods without interference. He seemed undecided on what to pick out for lunch.

Reach Molly Parker at 843-849-3144.

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Added: 1 Jul 2009

I pray Govenor Sanford will not resign. He is a good man, and a good govenor. I don't believe for one second that the people calling for his resignation are without sin themselves. Move on people. Govenor Sanford is doing a good job. He should stay.


Added: 1 Jul 2009

What is the deal with the endless bashing of Bauer? I met him years ago at a public event and he seemed like a sharp and reasonable man. Yet for for years now, the press and critics just won't let up...first some house siding mess...then the speeding ticket...then the plane crash...then some gay whacko lib slanderously calling him gay...and now, endless doomsday predictions because he might become governor. His point is valid...don't you think that was considered by those who put him in office. He has been elected to LTG not once, but twice. Give the guy a chance. Does anyone have any complaints or analysis relative to his policies??? How would anyone even know with all the constant personal bashing.


Added: 1 Jul 2009

Lt. Gov. Bauer is very capable, experienced, and ready to restore the Office of Governor to a place of trust and honor. His dedication and performance in his elected roles in the past are above reproach, and we are fortunate to have him as an advocate for the people. Godspeed Andre Bauer!


Added: 1 Jul 2009

How can anyone say Sanford is doing a good job as Governor of SC? Have they read the papers? When all 50 states are ranked, SC is at the top of the "bad" lists and at the bottom of the "good" lists. How can you call this being a good governor? Do you know we are the third highest unemployment in the US? Is that a good thing? Instead of doing what he can to improve education, employment,etc in the state of SC, our governor is out using tax dollars to visit his love interest. I really don't think he has the people of SC at the top of his priority list. Never has. Time to go.


Added: 2 Jul 2009

Sanford left the state leaderless for 5 days - that is doing a good job? He should resign or be removed not because he had an affair, but because he abandoned his job. If I didn't show up for work for five days and didn't tell anyone where I was, I'd be fired - wouldn't you? So should he. What if there were an emergency while he was gone?


Added: 10 Jul 2009

From my perspective, the issue is quite simple. Rightly or wrongly, he has lost a substantial number of people who are willing to support him, place confidence in him, and trust him. A leader needs as many people believing in him or her as possible. As for resignation,

Reggie Greene / The Logistician