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Jenny Sanford: I'm willing to forgive

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  • NEW: "No question that Mark's behavior is inexcusable," Jenny Sanford says
  • Gov. Mark Sanford not resigning, office says
  • Nearly half of South Carolina's 27 GOP state senators call on Sanford to resign
  • Strategist says that politically, Sanford is a "dead man walking"
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COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) -- South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford said Thursday that although she is willing to forgive her husband, "it is up to the people and elected officials of South Carolina to decide whether they will give Mark another chance as well."

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has no plans to resign, his office says.

Jenny Sanford says her husband must rebuild trust with his family and with South Carolina.

"There is no question that Mark's behavior is inexcusable. Actions have consequences, and he will be dealing with those consequences for a long while. Trust has been broken and will need to be rebuilt. Mark will need to earn back that trust, first and foremost with his family, and also with the people of South Carolina," she said in a statement.

"The real issue now is one of forgiveness. I am willing to forgive Mark for his actions. We have been deeply disappointed in and even angry at Mark."

After disappearing for nearly a week, the South Carolina governor admitted last week that he'd been in Argentina with his mistress. Sanford later confessed that he'd seen his mistress several times in the past year and that he'd also "crossed lines" with other women.

"Mark showed a lack of judgment in his recent actions as governor. However, his far more egregious offenses were committed against God, the institutions of marriage and family, our boys and me. Mark has stated that his intent and determination is to save our marriage and to make amends to the people of South Carolina," Jenny Sanford said.

Earlier Thursday, a review of the Republican governor's travel records showed no misuse of public funds in his travels, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Reggie Lloyd said.

"The governor was cooperative. ... He provided that information to us that would answer the question of, 'Was there an improper use of public funds?' And we're satisfied that there was none," Lloyd said, adding that a report will be forwarded to the attorney general and the state ethics commission.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, a Republican who plans to run for governor in 2010, called for an investigation into Sanford's travel records after the governor admitted that he had visited his Argentine mistress more times than he previously disclosed.

Sanford's office released his travel records after the Law Enforcement Division announcement.

"We're pleased that SLED has concluded its review, which confirms what we've said from day one," communications director Joel Sawyer said in a statement. "No public money was used in relation to the governor's admitted marital infidelity. This issue is behind us once and for all."

Sanford paid back the state for the Argentina leg of a state-funded missions trip last year because he saw the woman he had an affair with on that trip.

In the week since Sanford admitted to his affair, nearly half of the state's 27 Republican senators have called on him to step down.

Despite the growing chorus, Sanford has no plans to step aside, his office said Thursday.

"He remains committed and determined to repair the damage he has done in his marriage and to building back the trust of the people of South Carolina," his office said, noting that he'll be spending the holiday weekend with his family in Florida.

Republican strategist and CNN contributor Bill Bennett said that politically, Sanford is "a dead man walking." Bennett joins anti-Sanford chorus

"He is embarrassing himself. There is the old notion of indecent exposure -- usually that refers to somebody showing some skin they shouldn't -- and there's another form of indecent exposure: He is telling us way too much," he said. Video Watch Bennett discuss the political drama »


Bennett also suggested that the GOP can easily fill the gap Sanford would leave.

"We have other people," he said. "We have other people who are not only fiscally interesting and sound but also can keep their lives together."

CNN's Peter Hamby and Kristi Keck contributed to this report.

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