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Mark Sanford Explains His Change Of Heart On Three Term Limit Pledge

The former governor is now running for a fourth term after previously pledging to serve only three. Sanford said his change of heart came after a conversation with his former chief of staff.

Posted on May 7, 2013, at 2:22 p.m. ET

When first elected, Mark Sanford vowed he would not serve more than three terms. After he left Congress, Sanford wrote a book, The Trust Committed To Me published by the U.S. Term Limits Foundation. Sanford abided by his self-imposed term limit vow when he choose to run for governor after he left office in 2001.

Here's Sanford arguing, in 1997, that three terms should be the maximum a member of Congress can serve.

Sanford's response to BuzzFeed:

"Life is a great teacher. You can call Scott English, he's my former chief of staff. He called me before this thing started and he said 'Mark, Please. Whatever you do, I know you are a term limits guy, but please make them longer than you did the last time. We were on the cusp of doing some interesting things there in your first term.' I think there is a real value in knowing an exit point. But if you think this is the rest of your life, it makes each political decision far weightier.

I talked about it with some people that mattered to me like a Scott English who was there for my three terms in Washington DC and his point was look, if it's good enough for Jim Demint its good enough for you."

Kate Nocera contributed to this report.