TODAY   |  May 08, 2013

Mark Sanford: I’m trying to ‘earn folks’ trust’

Nearly four years after his very public fall from grace, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford is a newly elected Congressman. He talks to TODAY’s Matt Lauer about his political comeback.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> another major story we're following this morning, former south carolina governor mark sanford is an elected official once again, four years after a well-publicized scandal the republican won a selection election to fill the palmetto state's open seat . good morning.

>> good morning.

>> congratulations.

>> thank you.

>> here yesterday voters in your district made you a public official once again. do you see this as the completion of your comeback or is there more that you still have to do to repair your reputation?

>> well, i mean, i think this idea of redemption at large and political redemption i guess in specific is a process each day at a time. each day you go out and try to earn folks' trust. i let a lot of folks down in 2009 and i've been on a remarkable personal journey since then and hope my life will reflect that going forward.

>> for all the talk it would derail your chances of a comeback. is it possible voters wanted to be part of a story of redemption?

>> i don't know that i'd read that much into the tea leaves . i think i have an incredibly strong track record of watching out for people's pocketbook. i was rated any the tax union in efforts to do just that, i was rated financially as the most conservative governor in the united states of america , first governor to turn back stimulus money at a time when it wasn't popular so i have some well worn credentials in watching out for the pocketbook or wallet and that's something a lot of people care about. at the end of the day people care about how politics impacts their lives and i have a proven record in terms of trying to do something on that front particularly as it relates to financial issues. i don't know i'd read that much into the tea leaves with regard to my personal life .

>> if you head back to washington , democrats took shots at you, your own party walked away from you in terms of your support for your campaign, so who are your friends?

>> my friends are the voters who sent me up last night, you know, the taxpayers of the first congressional district who made the decision they did in the primary and the runoff and now the general election , as of last night and i'll have plenty of friends in washington , d.c.. you know, i look forward to working whether it's republicans, democrats, independents, you name it, a whole host of different folks in terms of trying to accomplish things that better people 's lives in the first congressional district and frankly turn the tide with regard to spending in washington , d.c..

>> before you go to washington you have to go to court in an appearance to face your ex-wife jenny over a charge you illegally entered her home on super bowl sunday, one of the stories, governor, reminds people of the past. what will you say in court?

>> well, i think that what i've already said it's a much more complicated story than meets the eye. i'm with one of our boys at a neighborhood super bowl party . my former wife is out of town. you make the decision as to whether or not you leave him there alone to watch the second half of the super bowl or don't you, so i think it was a much more complex story than meets the eye.

>> former governor mark sanford , now a representative-elect, congratulations.

>> thank you very much.