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Mark Sanford, Former South Carolina Governor, Talks Post-Affair Career, 2012 Election With Sean Hannity

Mark Sanford

First Posted: 08/05/11 04:34 PM ET Updated: 10/05/11 06:12 AM ET

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) is ruling out a return to politics.

“No, I'm not,” Sanford told Fox News' Sean Hannity in his first national television interview since admitting to having an extramarital affair with an Argentinean woman.

Sanford's rise in the Republican ranks came to an abrupt halt after he disappeared for seven days in June of 2009. His office initially told reporters that the governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but he later confessed that he had secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he had been having an affair.

“I fell in love. Not right. Not the way to do it. I fell in love,” Sanford told Hannity in the interview.

Sanford remained in office, but his wife, Jenny Sanford, divorced him.

Since leaving office, Sanford told Hannity that he has been hiding out, working on a farm he owns, and reflecting on his life.

On the state of the 2012 presidential race, Sanford said that he's looking for a Republican candidate who is a combination of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

“I think we need somebody who is willing to get under the hood as Paul Ryan had in real detail, not platitudes, not political platitudes,” Sanford said.

“Right now, I've been a bit disappointed on the degree to which people are stepping out or not stepping out on real remedies.”

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Filed by Alexander Belenky  |