Mark Sanford Caught Without His (Congressional) Pants

Jul 26, 2013 4:21pm

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., was caught without his (congressional) pants on in the House Speaker’s Lobby, RollCall.com reported earlier this week.

Sanford appeared to be fresh out of a workout, wearing a sweat-soaked t-shirt, gym shorts and sneakers, when he was informed that a House afternoon vote series was moved up by an hour.

When asked by reporters if he had not allotted enough time to exercise before returning to the House chamber, Sanford replied, “I think that’s a fair assessment.”

The inappropriately dressed congressman intermittently hurried into the chamber to cast votes, donning a borrowed blazer each time he had to make an appearance on the House floor.

Sanford’s attire didn’t go unnoticed by his colleagues. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., reportedly wondered whether Sanford needed to borrow a tie, while freshman Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., called the incident “the best thing [he's] ever seen” in his six months in Congress.

ABC News was unable to reach Sanford for comment.

Clothing attire aside, Sanford wasn’t the only one breaking the decorum in the Speaker’s Lobby that day. One of the witnesses to the incident, referred to by RollCall as the “[Heard on the Hill] tipster,” snapped a couple photos of the shorts-wearing congressman in action, a move that is strictly prohibited in that part of the Capitol. The mystery photographer’s snapshot is largely unprecedented in the Speaker’s Lobby, where reporters cluster to meet with lawmakers and congressional aides.

Photography is banned there, and rules governing the ornate room just behind the House chamber were recently changed to permit the use of audio recorders.

ABC News’ John Parkinson contributed to this report.

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