Sanford spent most of his time Thursday visiting with his family at their beach home on Sullivans Island. Asked by reporters whether he was resigning as he was leaving, Sanford shook his head and said "No." His wife, Jenny Sanford, said her priority is to work on the family and that Sanford's political future is his business.
On Thursday, Sanford promised to repay the state for a 2008 business trip to Buenos Aires, admitting that he met with the other woman while he was on the taxpayer funded trip.
The dates of that trip matched dates on steamy e-mails released Wednesday between the governor and the woman, identified as Maria, with whom he had an affair. It appears that the two were sexually intimate during the visit.
"While the purpose of this trip was an entirely professional and appropriate business development trip, I made a mistake while I was there in meeting with the woman who I was unfaithful to my wife with," Sanford said in a statement released this afternoon. "That has raised some very legitimate concerns and questions, and as such I am going to reimburse the state for the full cost of the Argentina leg of this trip."
According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Sanford's airline tickets alone cost $8,687, and included flights to different cities in Brazil and Argentina. The only taxpayer funds used for any of the Argentina portion of the trip were for Sanford and Commerce Project Manager Ford Graham, the department said.
The governor's office said he paid for last week's trip -- his most recent visit to Argentina -- from his own pocket, and that "he plans to stay on as governor, and is going to focus on building back the trust of South Carolinians," adding that the governor "is spending time with his family" today.
Sanford said in the press conference Wednesday that his wife of nearly 20 years was aware of his affair before he left for Argentina, and that the family had been trying to work through the situation for "about the last five months."
Jenny Sanford said she asked Sanford to leave two weeks ago and not contact the family. But while she clearly expressed anger at the news' damage on their four sons, she hinted that she was willing to forgive her husband and that "this trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage."
The couple started their careers on Wall Street, where Jenny Sanford was a vice president in mergers and acquisitions at the investment bank Lazard Freres, the Associated Press reports. The couple met in the Hamptons, Long Island, married and headed to South Carolina.
Across the state, embarrassed residents say they're not sure which bothers them more -- his absence or his infidelity. South Carolinians have mixed views of Sanford's affair.
"Here you are cheating. That doesn't stand right with me at all as a woman," Zippora Gregory told ABC News.
"It's happened in politics before and I'm sure it's never going to end," said Camillo Miller.