Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Bombshell Confession From South Carolina Governor
Aired June 24, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a bombshell confession today from Republican Governor Mark Sanford after he dropped out of sight for a week, leaving family, friends and staff clueless about where he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY SCE-TV)
GOV. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I've been unfaithful to my wife. I developed a relationship with a -- what started as a dear, dear friend from Argentina.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The governor's stunning admission about sex, lies, a secret trip to Buenos Aires sends shockwaves through the political scene.
Why do powerful men risk marriages, careers and reputations to cheat -- next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin tonight in Columbia, South Carolina with John O'Connor, a reporter with "The State" newspaper.
John, Governor Mark Sanford was just back from a secret trip to Argentina.
Let's first talk a look at part of the confession.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY SCE-TV)
SANFORD: So the bottom line is this. I -- I've been unfaithful to my wife. I developed a relationship with a -- what started as a dear, dear friend from Argentina. It began very innocently, as I suspect many of these things do, in just a casual e-mail back and forth; in advice on one's life there and advice here. But here, recently, over this last year, it developed into something much more than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And, John O'Connor, how surprising was this?
JOHN O'CONNOR, REPORTER: Well, we had an idea that this might be coming all week. You know, we've had e-mails that we received anonymously that were from the governor's personal e-mail account to this woman in Argentina that we received back in December. We couldn't fully verify them then. We couldn't authenticate them. There was no way to know whether anything in there was true or not.
And so when the governor went missing this week, those e-mails came back to mind and we thought this was a possibility.
KING: That she -- that he was with her?
KING: The governor's wife of almost 20 years, Jenny Sanford, issued a lengthy statement. In part, it says: "When I found out about my husband's infidelity, I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness and then to work diligently to repair the marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in my eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago."
In a sense, then, John, were they separated?
O'CONNOR: Well, he says no and she says yes. But part of what led us on this story was we heard very on that he had -- heard early on that he had been asked to leave. So that's kind of what led us to pursue this story.
KING: Isn't the real story that he didn't do his job for five days, left the state -- a state that he was elected governor of?
O'CONNOR: Yes. And I think we're going to hear more about that in the next few days. So far, folks in the state here who have frequently clashed with the governor over a lot of his stands, they're -- they're pretty much holding their fire. And these other issues about where he was and being out of pocket and whether or not the governor should able to slip his security detail, for instance, are going to be addressed.
KING: Also, calls for resignation?
O'CONNOR: Some believe he should step down. I don't believe any elected officials have said he should step down yet.
KING: Your paper is publishing excerpts -- ones they had earlier but did not publish. And he reportedly said to his mistress: "As I've said to you before, I certainly have a special feeling about you from the first time we met. Sleep soundly knowing that despite the best effort in my head, my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your fingertips and even deeper connection to your soul."
"The State" newspaper told CNN today that the governor's office authenticated those e-mails. We contacted a spokesperson for the governor, who would not confirm nor deny the authenticity.
Do you now believe them to be totally true? O'CONNOR: Yes.
O'CONNOR: And I think some of the actions...
O'CONNOR: I mean, some actions of this week and the events of this week, I think, have authenticated parts of the e-mail. And, you know, folks have been asking us why we held them since December. Well, part of that was we didn't know that they were true, basically, until this week and events that happened this week, things the governor said today -- you know, finding him at an airport in Atlanta coming back from Buenos Aires authenticated the e-mails.
That's good reporting and sound advice to other people in journalism to not rush to judgment until we really know.
John O'Connor, reporter for "The State" newspaper.
We'll be calling upon you again.
We now go to Buford, South Carolina.
State Senator Tom Davis, former chief of staff for the governor; now, of course, an elected official in his state legislature.
Mark Sanford apologized to a lot of people during today's sometimes teary news conference. One of them was you, Tom.
And here's what the governor said about you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY SCE-TV)
SANFORD: Tom Davis came over to the house. He drove up from Buford. And he had been an incredibly dear friend for a very long time.
In my first race for governor, he moved up and he lived in the basement of our house for six months. And we called it Jurassic Park, because it was the kids' dinosaur sheets and all kind of folks were living there in the campaign. And he gave of his time and his talent and his effort for ideas that he believed in, to try and make a difference in those ideas.
And so I, in a very profound way, have let down the Tom Davises of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Senator Davis, are you shocked?
TOM DAVIS, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE SENATOR: I -- I am, Larry. I've known Mark Sanford for 30 years. He and I went to Furman together. He's three days older than me. I'm 49, he's 49.
I worked with him when he ran for Congress in '94 as part of the Republican Revolution with Newt Gingrich; when he ran for governor in 2002. As the governor indicated, I took six months off of my law practice to run his campaign then left my law practice on a sabbatical and eventually became his chief of staff.
He's responsible for pulling me into politics. I believed in the ideas he stands for. I still believe in the ideas he stands for.
But in the 30 years that I've known him, this came as a complete -- a complete shock to me. And...
KING: You had no inkling of this...
DAVIS: None at all. And I found out for the first time this morning. I knew there was going to be a press conference at 2:00 today. I thought it was going to be in regard to being out of pocket, quote, unquote for five days and he was going to answer questions in that regard.
But then I -- I talked to the governor and he indicated that it was going to be something more than that. And I immediately got in my car and made the two-and-a-half-hour drive up to Columbia; had a good hour long talk with the governor. And then he stood up in front of the public and -- and confessed his sins and asked for forgiveness.
I know Jenny. I've known his wife Jenny for 20 years. I know his four boys. I got to know them very well when I lived in Sullivan's Island when Mark was running for governor. And my heart goes out for that entire family and the pain I know they're feeling. And my prayers are with them, Larry. They really are.
KING: You're then caught in between here a little, Tom. He obviously did not entrust values to the people of the state by leaving for five -- do you think he should quit?
DAVIS: I -- I don't think he should resign, Larry. And let me -- let me tell you why.
In his -- in his statement -- and I brought it with me to make sure I got it right. He says, he wants to devote his energy and the time remaining in office to building back the trust of the people of the state.
And -- and I think he deserves that shot, Larry. I think that South Carolinians, in particular, and Americans in general, have a tremendous capacity for forgiveness, if the person is truly contrite. I also think those same individuals can spot a hypocrite.
And so I think the burden is on the governor to go forward and to make his peace and to build his trust with the people of South Carolina. And I think he deserves that chance. And I take him at his word when he says he's going to try.
KING: Are you still his friend?
DAVIS: Absolutely, I'm his friend -- friend first and foremost, beyond him being a political mentor, you know, beyond him being my boss when I was his chief of staff. He's always been a dear friend.
And -- and that's the thing that hurts me most. I mean, when I was there this morning talking with him, this was a man that was hurting. This was a man who knew the pain that he had caused to his wife and to his four boys, to colleagues like myself, who had placed their faith and trust in him and worked with him. And that he -- he feels that very, very deeply.
He is extremely contrite, as he should be, for what he is putting his wife and children through.
But, Larry, he's a good man. And I think it's important to remember that the principles that he stands for, the principles of liberty and freedom, are even more -- need to be talked about now more than ever. We need to have a countervailing force against the wisdom of the day in Washington. Governor Sanford was carrying that torch. There are millions of us right behind him who are going to pick up that torch and carry on where he left off.
KING: Thanks, Senator.
We'll call on you again.
DAVIS: Thank you.
KING: State Senator Tom Davis.
Can the governor keep that job?
James Carville versus Ben Stein next.
KING: Carville and Stein in a moment.
Mark Sanford's career has profound personal consequences; political fallout, too.
Here's more of the conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY SCE-TV)
SANFORD: You know, I've tried to think of, you know, the first step -- one of the first steps (INAUDIBLE) more time as we go through this process of -- of reconciliation and figuring out what comes next.
I'm going to resign as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. I'm going to tender my resignation. One, because I think it's the appropriate thing to do, given other governors across this nation and my role as -- as chairman of the RGA. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us, James Carville, CNN political contributor, Democratic strategist. He's in New Orleans, rooting for his LSU team to win another baseball championship tonight.
And Ben Stein here in L.A. "New York Times" columnist, best- selling author, former presidential speechwriter.
What should he do, Ben?
Should he quit?
BEN STEIN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHWRITER: Oh, absolutely.
STEIN: Oh, absolutely. Without question. I mean sex is normal. Having sex is normal. I don't think we should be casting stones at him for that. Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone, as the saying goes.
But to have lied about where he was, to have disappeared from leading the great State of South Carolina -- look, he's head of one of the biggest textile exporting states in the country -- a gigantic textile exporting state.
Why couldn't he have just said I'm taking a trade mission down there and gone down there and met his girlfriend?
I mean he's nuts.
KING: James, should he quit?
KING: That's a unique way of putting it.
JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Yes. Because, then, you know, Ben has a provocative view.
Look, I don't -- hey, I don't think people should -- should quit because of sex scandals.
Why should he quit if David Vitter doesn't quit or Larry Craig didn't quit or any number of people?
But he does strike me as being emotionally kind of tuckered out here. I mean, the guy looked even like he was worn out.
CARVILLE: And he probably hadn't slept in about four or five days. But, you know, if he can heal himself and try to, you know, stay focused, I -- I don't think he should -- I don't think he should resign over this. But he's got to -- it seems to me, he's got some emotional way to go.
I really felt sorry for him as a human being. I thought it was a very compelling press conference.
STEIN: I feel terribly sorry for him, but he's nuts. I mean, come on.
Look, he is the head of a distinguished, important state. All the states are distinguished and important. He's got a major job...
STEIN: ...one of the most important jobs in the world.
To say you're hiking the Appalachian Trail and then, as he says, not wind up there, wind up, what, 6,000 miles, 8,000 miles away -- I mean, come on. It's like -- you know, it's like that Wernher von Braun story -- I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London.
I mean it's a...
STEIN: It's -- it's ridiculous. This guys is supposed to be a grown up adult. He's making up a junior high school child's stories. I mean it's ridiculous.
KING: James, maybe we should form a club of guys who don't cheat and we'll meet in a phone booth.
STEIN: I won't be in it (ph).
CARVILLE: Well, fortunately or unfortunately, I'm -- I'm one of them. But I don't cast stones at -- at other people.
But look, again, the nature of this kind of stuff is, is that you're going to lie about it. And it's all -- it kind of starts with a lie and it ends in a lie. And, look, a lot of people do this kind of thing and don't get caught. He did. And, man, the journey for him to be there this morning -- I don't know, you know, he had -- this woman obviously, you know, meant something to him. But, man, the price he paid for it is -- this is a pretty good infomercial of people to sort of walk the straight and narrow, if you will.
STEIN: Well, or to at least be -- be cool about it. I mean this guy is the least cool person in the world.
STEIN: I mean this guy does not -- to think that somebody could be so stupid about something as basic as an affair is just unbelievable. It's terrifying.
KING: Lots more with our dynamic duo.
CARVILLE: I've got...
KING: We'll be back in 60 seconds.
KING: We're back with James Carville and Ben Stein.
This is a little weird, James. The Democrat is staying he should stay and the Republican is saying he should go.
STEIN: Well, I'm saying he should go not as a Republican, but just as a person who observes human behavior. I've been observing it for 64 years. When a person is behaving this bizarrely, I don't think you don't want him running your state. I mean I think he's -- he's not feeling well, as the saying goes.
KING: All right, James, you're a major political strategist. You've cut your own swath in this country.
How would you advise him?
CARVILLE: Well, look, to the extent -- if he is in the same emotional state next month as he was, you know, today, you know, or 30 days from now, I don't think he'll be able to continue. I think it will be obvious to the people of South Carolina and obvious to himself that he needs to do something. Hopefully, the man can recover somewhat, I mean, if he gets a little distance and tries to work something out with his wife or get his life in order.
I would certainly say that there's -- there's no -- he's not going to recover any time soon. And -- but people believe in redemption and we like a story -- we like a story with a -- you know, man falls from grace, man comes back. I mean that's the whole -- that's what we all want to believe in. And I do believe in that. And I hope this guy makes it.
STEIN: I hope he makes it, too. Let's have him resign. Let's have him have his affair, live it up for a while, then...
KING: By the way, does he have go back to his wife?
STEIN: Well, I don't think he's going back to his wife.
KING: I mean what if that don't work out?
STEIN: By the way, his wife is knockout gorgeous, so I can hardly imagine what this woman in Argentina looks like.
STEIN: This -- I mean, just let him go for a while. The citizens of South Carolina did not invest their political votes in a person who makes up nonsense stories about the Appalachian Trail.
KING: What's -- what's -- James, what's the effect on the Republican Party?
KING: A senator and a governor in the same week.
CARVILLE: You know, I can't believe that -- and, by the way, we'll have some people that will fall by the wayside, too.
I think the great thing about this is well -- there's all this nauseating pontificating about family values and what do we tell the children and all that garbage will be gone and behind us.
But who's to say that -- you know, Democrats are just as human as Republicans. And who's to -- you know, we're going to -- in all likelihood, we'll have people that will get caught doing something that they shouldn't have been doing in the first place, too.
I don't know it, but it does -- it does expose the element of hypocrisy in the Republican Party. And that is my chief sort of beef with these guys is, is they go and they try to act with this -- not people like Ben Stein, to be clear and not other Republicans. But there's a certain ilk of them that act with this moral superiority and talk down to people. And that's...
STEIN: That is not a Republican.
KING: But that's the hypocrisy (INAUDIBLE)...
STEIN: That is hypocrisy, but that is hardly a Republican characteristics solely. There are plenty of hypocritical politics on both side of the aisle. And politicians pretending to be perfect is not just a Republican trait. And politicians say, look, we're better -- we're better than ordinary people. We're better than people. We're super people. And they're not. They're just people. People are people. That's it.
KING: Except what about when they take anti-gay stands and they're gay?
STEIN: That -- that's -- that's a form of insanity, I would have to say.
STEIN: I have to say, respectfully, that's a form of insanity.
CARVILLE: It is, but, no -- you know, Larry, you've -- you've been through it and between the three of us, I wouldn't want to count the years that we've got. And you've been doing this for a long time.
And you know that as long as there are human beings, there's going to be stupidity. It just -- the two go hand in hand. Thus it was, thus it is, thus it shall be.
CARVILLE: And well -- it's just going to keep going on and on.
KING: Yes. Well, also, the heart...
STEIN: The heart its reasons...
CARVILLE: Yes, right.
STEIN: ...that the mind knows nothing of.
CARVILLE: Yes, right. Right.
STEIN: The hearts has it reasons.
STEIN: And it's not just the heart. There are other parts of the body that have...
KING: It's the below the belt, too. Yes.
STEIN: ...that have their reasons.
STEIN: Look, I -- my heart breaks for this guy. He's a nice, decent, wonderful guy. But he acted incredibly crazily here. He should not be in a responsible political position at this point. And it's not good for the Republican Party to have him on their team.
KING: Don't you think many will advise him to step down, James, many in the party?
CARVILLE: Yes, I mean, look, there -- right. There's a lot of people -- I like the fact that he resigned as head of the RGA.
Boy, that solves everything, doesn't it?
I mean everybody knew who the head of the RGA was, raise your right hand. I mean, come on. Please.
CARVILLE: But -- I mean, that was -- I couldn't stop laughing when I saw that.
I don't -- I don't know him. I don't know...
KING: I'm resigning from the Boy Scouts. (LAUGHTER)
CARVILLE: Right. He's not -- he's not even particularly popular with the Republican politicians in South Carolina. I don't know what that says about the Republican politicians or Governor Sanford, to tell you the truth. But...
STEIN: No, no. He has a resa...
CARVILLE: ...I do know...
STEIN: ...a reputation...
CARVILLE: No, I'm sorry.
STEIN: Go ahead, James.
CARVILLE: Go ahead, Ben. I'm sorry.
STEIN: I think he has a reputation for being a renegade and for -- for picking fights. And so I think that's a -- a problem. He is a fighter and a troublemaker. And I think he -- he's just as well gone and maybe get himself pulled together.
KING: We've got to get Ben to run and see his LSU team.
STEIN: Thank you so much.
KING: But James is running to see his LSU team.
CARVILLE: I'll tell you...
CARVILLE: It's four-four.
KING: Ben is just running.
STEIN: I'm just running, yes.
CARVILLE: It's five-four now. Go Tigers. Go Tigers.
KING: Why do some men cheat and risk everything?
Doctors and sex experts are going to tell us, next.
KING: Folks, we should be getting -- we should be getting used to this, but today's events were a little extraordinary.
We welcome Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of VH-1's "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," author of "The Mirror Effect
How Celebrity Narcissism Seduces -- is Seducing America."
In New York, Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, author of "The Anatomy of A Secret Life. She's associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital Will Cornell School of Medicine.
And Robert Weiss, founder and executive director -- he's in L.A. -- The Sexual Recovery Institute.
Recover from what, Robert?
ROBERT WEISS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE SEXUAL RECOVERY INSTITUTE: From compulsive sexual behavior and sex addiction.
KING: And is this a classic example of that, would you guess?
WEISS: I wouldn't say that he's a sex addict, because I couldn't determine that.
WEISS: But certainly people who have a secret life and compartmentalize their sexual behavior are dealing with something they don't want people to know about. So there's something going on there.
KING: Dr. Pinsky, what's your read on this?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, "CELEBRITY REHAB": You know, that's really the question, is this a sexual addiction, the sexual compulsion that we've come to be used to with politicians these days, or is this really just a marriage that went bad and a guy that kind of got sucked into a relationship...
KING: And we don't know that.
PINSKY: And we don't know, yes.
KING: But Dr. Saltz, I want you to look at this and give us your comment.
We'll take another look at an excerpt from the news conference where he talked about his sons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY SCE-TV)
SANFORD: Let me first of all apologize to my wife Jenny and our four boys -- great boys, Marshall, Landon, Bolton and Blake, for letting them down.
One of the primary roles well before be a governor is being a father to those four boys, who are absolute jewels and blessing that I have let down in a profound way.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: All right. Dr. Saltz, what does it do to those boys?
DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST & PSYCHOANALYST: Well, this is extremely unfortunate. It is really devastating for children to have a parent commit infidelity.
In fact, what it often begets is children who grow into adults who also commit infidelity.
And it -- it potentially puts tremendous strain and may break apart this family. And as we all know, divorce has big consequences for kids. It has physical health, mental health consequences, alcohol and substance abuse potential consequences.
So, you know, unfortunately, he put his family at great risk. And the first step is apologizing. The first steps are giving up this other person and trying to work toward making tremendous amends.
It can be done, but it is a long road to hoe and it will be for the rest of the family.
KING: Why, Robert, do -- is the draw -- it's so powerful to draw someone like a governor into this kind of situation?
WEISS: I think it makes perfect sense that it would be a governor or someone like that who would be doing this, because people in power positions aren't, often, taking good care of themselves or the basic things they need to attend to, like their family lives. And so they get distracted by pleasurable experiences, drugs, alcohol and sex. And they're often running because they're not taking care of themselves. So it makes sense that he would drift into something, because he probably...
KING: More than, say, a mailman would?
PINSKY: Actually, I maybe could address that a little bit, too. Because the kind of person that seeks celebrity sleeps -- seeks this kind of status public life tends to be more on the narcissistic spectrum. And narcissism by itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it carries liabilities. People tend to feel special, entitled, they compartmentalize, like Rob Weiss says. And the fact is they may do things and really not perceive that they're having a consequence on other people.
KING: Dr. Saltz, why do you...
SALTZ: I think that...
KING: Why do you think they do it?
SALTZ: Well, I think, Larry, actually, politicians are often risk takers, in addition to being potentially narcissistic people. I think it works for them in their career. You know, they push the edge. They take risks. And that helps them in their profession.
But, you know, the downside of that is just that. They need the constant stimulation. They want it. They're willing to -- to push the edge.
This particular politician, as a matter of fact, made a lot of enemies and took a lot of risks and did a lot of things that were edgy.
SALTZ: And so I think, in a way, it's not surprising. And -- and this is why, I think, we're often seeing politicians doing this kind of thing.
KING: He spoke about his wife today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY SCE-TV)
SANFORD: I would secondly say to Jenny, anybody who has observed her over the last 20 years of my life knows how closely she has stood by my side, in campaign after campaign after campaign, and literally being my campaign manager and in raising those four boys and in a whole host of other things throughout the lives that we built together.
I hurt my wife. I hurt my boys. I hurt friends like Tom Davis. I hurt a lot of different folks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: He's feeling that now.
Was he feeling it in Argentina, do you think, Robert?
WEISS: You know, I'm really tired of hearing people making apologies five minutes after their actions.
I mean what are you really apologizing for?
I think it might be better to have the guts to stand up and say, you know what, I don't even know how to begin to say I'm sorry yet, so I'm not even going to start or try.
KING: Then don't say it. Don't say it.
WEISS: It seems a little bit about him, to be honest.
PINSKY: Well, I think that's part of what's going on here, that's for sure.
KING: Let's get a break and come right back with Dr. Pinsky, Dr. Saltz and Robert Weiss.
This is LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN ENSIGN (R), NEVADA: Last year, I had an affair. I violated the vows of my marriage.
JOHN EDWARDS, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In 2006, I told Elizabeth about the mistake, asked her for her forgiveness.
ELIOT SPITZER, FMR. NEW YORK GOVERNOR: I have begun to atone for my private failings. I'm deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me.
JAMES MCGREEVEY, FMR. NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: I engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man.
BILL CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Indeed I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The governor's wife issued a long statement earlier today. A bit more of what Jenny Sanford said. "I love my husband. I believe I have put forth every effort possible to be the best wife I can be. I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions, and to welcome him back in time, if he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance."
Your comment on that, Robert?
WEISS: I think it takes a little while to get humility and repentance, more than probably an hour or two. Sometimes you got to be kicked to the curb for a while before you can develop that humility, not because you feel bad about something, but because it's bad.
KING: Are they separated, Dr. Saltz? She said they are. He said they aren't.
SALTZ: It's interesting, Larry, it just goes to show that sometimes couples are clearly not on the same page about what's going on. Clearly, she wants to be separated, because she wants the space and time to decide whether she's going to be willing to think about accepting him back. Clearly, he doesn't want to be separated, because he doesn't want to pay the price here for what's really gone on.
KING: Politically -- before we talk more about what drives people. Dr. Pinsky, should he leave?
PINSKY: I am not in a position to make that kind of determination. These things all make me very sad, that people have to relinquish their careers because of ridiculous --
KING: Let's say you're a citizen of South Carolina?
PINSKY: If he is not able to regain the confidence of the people, yes, for sure, he should step down. No doubt about it. I don't know what the future holds for him.
Here's the thing that kills me about all of these cases; let's say this is just a marriage gone bad, and a guy who made some desperate choices that put his whole career at risk. People are not encouraged to step up ahead of time and go, we got a problem here; things aren't going well in our marriage.
They are encouraged to look perfect, be perfect, rely on aphoristic -- you know, sort of nonsensical interventions, as opposed to really getting help.
KING: This may seem simple Robert, but why not just a year ago come out and say, I'm having a problem in the marriage, and we're going to be apart for a while. Then you meet a woman. OK, you met a woman. It's normal. You're apart.
WEISS: I don't think you get a vote that way. That's the problem. You get a vote for being the solid married man, 24, 30 years of commitment.
KING: You are already governor.
WEISS: Want to get elected again? You got to look good.
KING: Never ends, huh? We'll be back -- we'll pick up with Dr. Saltz in just a moment. Don't go away.
KING: Dr. Saltz, I'm sorry, you were going to say something.
SALTZ: I was going to say, it's very possible, Larry, that the marriage wasn't really bad, per se, there weren't major problems, per se. This is a very common story. You know, you've been married a long time. You have A Very busy, active career. You're not putting in a lot of time to keep it active and alive.
It's a 49-year-old man, who is sort of saying, hey, I'm about to turn 50. Is this all life has to offer me? You meet a woman and you have this friend who you're attracted to. You know, when you or your spouse have a friend you're attracted to and you get more intensely involved with them, I say run away.
This is a risky situation, where -- if the head lights are coming down the road, move out of the road. These kind of relationships develop into an emotional attachment that then can turn into an affair.
WEISS: I just think when you're 49 years old, if you're getting bored with your marriage, go find something fun to do. Buy a cheap car to fix up or make some new friends or play some bad poker. There are a lot of choices you can make other than public humiliating your family.
KING: Governor Sanford spoke about the other women in the situation during his news conference. Here's part of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANFORD: I met this person a little over eight years ago. Again, very innocently. And we developed a remarkable friendship over those eight years. And then, as I said, about a year ago, it sparked into something more than that.
I've seen her three times since then, during that whole sparking thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: How on Earth, Dr. Pinsky, did he hide that?
PINSKY: Well, people can hide things very easily.
PINSKY: I'm sure he could have done it. I find it almost sort of comical to dismiss a close relationship. To Gail Saltz -- Dr. Saltz and I have a great relationship. Is our friendship going to spark something, Gail? Is that where we're going next?
SALTZ: Thank god, you're on the West Coast and I'm on the East Coast. But actually, what I'm saying is if you're hiding that relationship from your spouse, if you're basically excited to see that person, and you don't include your spouse at all, and you're meeting, and you're not really telling your spouse --
PINSKY: Exactly. It's back to what Dr. Saltz -- it's what she was saying, which is don't put yourself in these situations which can be harmful. We don't coach people that way. You don't say, go hang out the way you want to. No, look, you put yourself in situations -- if you're not attending to your primary relationship and nourishing it the way it needs to be nourished, and you're spending time somewhere else, it diminishes the primary intimacy, and it has risk associated with it.
KING: Robert, what about the sexual drive? Isn't that a commanding drive?
WEISS: I say play golf or buy an old car, really. But what comes into this question that you're both talking about is entitlement. I think that when people work too hard, don't take enough time with their family, don't focus on the things that fill them up emotionally, they start to feel, you know, I deserve this. Look at all the good things I'm doing for the people of the state.
PINSKY: They rationalize it. Look, this is a very powerful drive, a very human instinct. There's no doubt about it. Guess what, let's contend with it. Let's prepare for it. Let's not pretend it's not there.
WEISS: Talk about it.
SALTZ: How about make it better with your wife.
KING: Robert, what percentage of people are addicted to it? Michael Douglas, the actor, was addicted. Got it cured.
WEISS: I think David Duchovny came out just last fall, said I am a sex addict. I have this problem. About three to five percent of the population, Larry, are sexual addicts, male and female.
KING: Is it as a tough addiction to help as cocaine?
WEISS: It's harder than drugs or alcohol.
PINSKY: It is harder.
WEISS: You can stop drugs and alcohol. You can say I'm done with that. We don't want people to stop having sex.
PINSKY: I just did a documentary for VH-1. We documented the sexual addiction treatment process. It is going to show in the fall. It was profoundly deep, profoundly difficult, and requires daily, on- going intensive --
KING: Dr. Saltz, do you agree, sexual addiction is tougher than, say, tobacco addiction?
SALTZ: Absolutely. Sexual addiction involves networks in the brain just as these drug addictions do. As they're bringing up, the difficulty is you want people to have an active and normal sex life. So you can't say to them, like alcohol, don't ever touch this again.
It's very complicated because it involves relationships. You want people to have those type of relationships in their life. It's very complicated. It's very destructive.
KING: More in a minute. Don't go away.
KING: So I don't get in trouble with my friend Michael Douglas. I remember that story pretty well. What, in essence, was his situation?
WEISS: Michael Douglas went into a treatment center for unknown and undisclosed issues, and then he was outed, basically, as having gone there for sex addiction.
KING: Did he ever comment on it? I thought he did comment on it. He did not, to your knowledge?
PINSKY: No. WEISS: But Duchovny certainly did.
KING: Duchovny did. If Michael had never commented, I apologize to Michael. We want to read another short excerpt from the emails that the state newspaper reports the governor sent to his mistress in Buenos Aires: "we are in a hopelessly -- or as you put it impossible -- or how about combine or simply say hopelessly impossible situation of love. How in the world this lightning strike snuck up on us I'm still not quite sure."
And again, that has been authenticated by some people and not authenticated by others, regarding that e-mail. What does it say to you, Robert, that statement? Sounds sincere to me.
WEISS: The intellect and the emotions run on different tracks. You can be a real smart person and say, I'm never going to do anything like this. And emotionally, there you are and you say, how the heck did I get there? This is impossible.
KING: Dr. Saltz, he's in love.
SALTZ: You know what, this is one of the painful, painful points of having an affair. Often, you do fall in love with this person you're having an affair. You can't have the affair and your spouse. And you can love them both. So no matter what happens, at the end of an affair, anybody who is thinking about having one, don't, because you're going to be in terrible pain, terrible pain, because ultimately, he has to give this woman up or he has to give his family up.
KING: You can love them both, Dr. Pinsky?
PINSKY: No, you only get to one love at a time. That's the way it works.
KING: She said you can love them both.
PINSKY: That statement smacks of an idealized, romantic, sort of overblown experience that he was having. He, it seems to me, was sort of hiding out in that relationship, from something else, I don't know what. It's not OK. It's not healthy. He needs to deal with his problems up front.
I always tell couples, look, his kids, we all agree that's what's important here. On behalf of them, commit to this relationship, and let's go do the work that's necessary to regain intimacy and restore this marriage. I rarely see hopeless sideways. Didn't you say 80 percent of your couples --
WEISS: We treat people who sexual act out. The vast majority of couples, almost 80 percent, stay together, despite this kind of really brutal tearing apart.
KING: Isn't that the hardest thing, to forgive?
WEISS: I don't think it's ever forgiven, Larry. And certainly trust is never restored. It's like a plate; you can break it and glue it back together. It's going to have the crack, but the plate you can use.
KING: Why would you live in a non-trust situation?
WEISS: People have more in common together than just their sexual lives. They have children. They have family. They have community. They have relationships. They have a life.
I had a woman say to me in treatment the other day, yes, my husband had an affair, but I'm not going to blow up my life because of what he did.
KING: We'll be back with more of this outstanding panel. Don't go away.
KING: I brought this up during the break. Can a single person be a sexual addict if he or she is not hurting anyone?
WEISS: Sure, we have lots of men in treatment who have SRI, who are compulsively masturbating to pornography, and basically spend their live alone. The problem is, Larry, we're social beings. We're meant to connect to other people, not to sit in front of a screen loosing yourself.
KING: Is this addiction curable, Dr. Pinsky?
PINSKY: It's treatable. Like all addictions, it's a chronic addiction. It's a chronic disorder. Rob and I were just talking during the break that to really comprehensive treatment, true bona fide sexual addiction takes about five years. It's an intensive process.
KING: What about the woman who is addicted, Dr. Saltz? Is that an entirely different problem from the therapist standpoint.
SALTZ: A woman who has an addiction?
KING: Yes. Women who are sexually addicted?
SALTZ: No, I don't think so. It's much less frequent.
KING: Same problem.
SALTZ: Yes, it's the same kind of problem.
WEISS: Most of the women that we see usually have more -- they have more trauma, more physical or sexual trauma than the men. It's a lot harder for women to go out and have a lot of sex. You know what we call women who have a lot of sex. It's a lot easier for a guy to have a lot of sex, because, you know --
PINSKY: A lot of women come into sexual addiction through love addiction. They have these very intensive, overdone relations.
KING: What does he do now, Dr. Pinsky?
PINSKY: That's the 30 million dollar question. Is he going to remain governor? Is he going to step up and commit himself to his family? Will his wife allow him to regain his marriage?
KING: She doesn't own him.
PINSKY: Will she let him back in, is the question. I suspect that if she keeps him closed out, it's really going to close out his career, as well. What's he going to do with the woman in Argentina?
KING: Maybe, Dr. Saltz, he should leave the office?
SALTZ: Well, I think there are politicians who have stayed in office despite this. I think this is unfortunate for the public, in the sense that we want there to be leaders that we can respect, that we can admire, that we feel they're talking about their morals and keeping those same morals. So I think this is very unfortunate for the country in that sense.
But what bothers us the most is hypocrisy. So the fact that he came forward and he was very clear about what happened, and he hasn't been lying, at this point at least, bodes that perhaps he's going to be able to stay in office. I think the bigger issue is, frankly, his disappearance for five days.
KING: The next few days, that will be big. Thank you all, outstanding panel.
The turmoil in Iran continues. CNN reporter Reza Sayah has just returned from there. Is there something he can tell us now he couldn't tell us when he was there? He's only been back a few hours. He'll have his first interview with us next.
KING: He's one of the better correspondents on the international scene. He's Reza Sayah, our CNN international correspondent. He's in Atlanta. He's just back from Iran. Why did you leave now?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, Iran has been on a campaign to snuff out the international media. Of course, we were banned on Saturday from doing any reports. And suddenly on Tuesday, they called me in to have a meeting with an intelligence official. And the intelligence official told me that we have evidence that you've been working, that you've ignored the ban.
They couldn't substantiate it, but then they gave me a blank piece of paper and a pen, and they said, we want you to write that you will not do any more reports while you're in Iran, unless they're positive reports. If you don't sign this agreement, you're going to have to leave in 24 hours. If you don't leave in 24 hours, we're not going to be able to guarantee your safety, and we won't guarantee that you'll ever come back and work in Iran. Obviously, this was a highly unusual request. We talked to the bosses and the decision was very easy, Larry. Based on that unusual request and what seemed to me a threat, we made the decision to leave. I was very disappointed as a journalist. I wanted to be there and cover this very significant story, that's not over yet.
But I think it was the right decision to leave, and looking forward to going back soon.
KING: Good thinking. What can you tell us now that you couldn't tell us 24 hours ago?
SAYAH: Well, the government doesn't want the pictures to come out. They don't want the story to come out. And at the same time, they have their own state-run media trying to downplay what's happening. What I saw is plenty of evidence of human rights violations.
We saw the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles. We saw that over and over and over again in Iran. And the concern is these Basij, these riot police, there's no evidence that they're going to be held accountable. They've taken it up a notch over the past four days.
Now there's evidence that they're opening fire. People are dying, in the name of law enforcement. But what we witness there had is nothing less than thuggery, Larry. But as brutal as it's been, it seems to be effective. We've seen less and less of these clashes.
KING: Our Twitter -- We Twitter. Here's a Tweet coming out of Iran. "If you see you're about to be stopped, hide your cell phone and go back for it later." Want to comment on that?
SAYAH: Well, they're doing random searches now. And if -- keep in mind, these are plain clothes Basij. They don't have any identification. They're not accountable to anybody. If they see you, if they see that you're young, have Western clothes, they're going to assume you're a protester. And they do random searches.
If you have a camera in your pocket, a cell phone, you're in trouble. If that cell phone or that camera has pictures of a protest, you're in deep trouble. There was somebody walking in one of these major squares, he had a piece of paper. It had English writing in it. They took him in for questioning.
So this is an aggressive crackdown that came out after the Friday message by the Supreme Leader, where he said enough is enough. No more protests. It doesn't matter if it's peaceful. It doesn't matter if it's silent.
They have cracked down. But there's plenty of evidence that the rights of these people that are marching peacefully is being violated. And no one is really there to hold the government accountable or question them, Larry.
KING: Another Tweet, Reza, "never, never shall Iran rest until these savages have been driven out and Iran is free." SAYAH: Well, we did see a lot of savagery there. And when it comes to the protesters, Larry, there's huge numbers. They're outnumbering them, but they're not out-muscling them. They don't have the clubs, the steel rods, the motorcycles in packs of 50, and they're getting hurt out there, and some of them are getting killed.
So it's going to be interesting to see how long they can keep this up. There's been a lull for about four days. I got the sense when I was there that it was a combination of exhaustion, eight days of intense protests and rallies, and at the same time, this crackdown that started on Saturday when you had several people killed. So it's going to be interesting to see if there's going to be a different phase, a different strategy that's not these protests, because the government is coming down hard and we'll see what the next step is on the part of the protesters.
KING: We're running close to being out of time. Do you want to go back?
SAYAH: Definitely. It was difficult. I literately felt sick to my stomach leaving Iran. This is a huge story. There's a lot at stake. And there's people who want their voices to be heard. And it's our job to give them that voice. And nobody's there right now to do it, Larry.
KING: Any forecasts as to how this is going to come out?
SAYAH: It's going to be unpredictable. It depends on Mr. Mousavi. The protesters have said we're there for you in great numbers. It's time for him to step up, to give some sort of guidance and leadership. Without it, I can't see these protesters taking on these forces, these riot forces, the Basij, for much longer.
KING: Quickly, do the protesters talk about America at all?
SAYAH: Of course they do. There's been a number of times where they've taken me aside, and said, we want President Obama to listen. It's not going to be enough for our leaders to do something. We need the U.N. to do something, president Obama to do something. But what a tight rope he has to walk.
KING: You're doing great work. Thanks, Reza. Reza Sayah. Thanks to all our guests. Tomorrow night, Elizabeth Edwards. Now, live from Paris, my man Anderson Cooper. Anderson?