POLITICS
07/26/2013 12:54 pm ET

Duncan Hunter, GOP Rep, Cracks Joke About Mark Sanford Hiking

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Republican Rep. Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor who reentered politics despite a sex scandal, wants to make a fresh start in Congress. Unfortunately, his colleagues aren't making it so easy.

When Sanford was late to a House vote Wednesday, unaware it had been moved up by an hour, he arrived in the Speaker's Lobby sweaty and wearing a t-shirt, gym shorts and sneakers. But the story doesn't end there.

One Republican lawmaker invoked the infamous story that Sanford was hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2009, when he disappeared from his state for days without informing even his staff of his whereabouts.

Roll Call reported:

At any rate, as Sanford showed up sweaty in athletic casual gear for Wednesday’s votes, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., yelled out, for all to hear far and wide, "Where have you been? Hiking?"

Sanford was actually in Argentina visiting his mistress in 2009 when his staff claimed he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, a revelation that ultimately led to his resignation as chairman of the Republican Governor's Association. He was later censured by the South Carolina Republican Party amid a State Ethics Commission investigation into whether Sanford traveled on taxpayer dollars while conducting his affair.

Sanford's baggage has meant he's had to work at building relationships in Congress, the Washington Examiner recently reported. The congressman has nonetheless remained upbeat, telling the Examiner's Rebecca Berg he is "past the point of trying to prove anything."

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