News Column

Sanford Says 'Pork Barrel' Pigs Were 'Barbecued,' Aid Laughs It Off

April 3, 2013

Adam Beam, The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Remember those pigs former Gov. Mark Sanford brought into the State House nine years ago to protest "pork barrel spending" in the state budget?

Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday morning, fresh off of his victory in Tuesday's Republican primary in the 1st congressional district, Sanford said the pigs were "barbecued."

"Unfortunately, they were barbecued," Sanford said. "They were great little guys."

A Sanford spokesman later clarified that Sanford was joking, adding that Sanford did not eat the pigs. (An earlier version of this story said that Sanford did eat them.)

"The governor made a joke that apparently was lost on members of the media, who seem unable or unwilling to write about issues that voters actually care about," Joel Sawyer said.

Sanford pulled his pig stunt on May 27, 2004. Former The State reporters Jennifer Talhelm and Valerie Bauerlein wrote this in the next day's newspaper:

"With cameras rolling and lawmakers and lobbyists gaping, Sanford stood just outside the House chambers, pigs wriggling under his arms, pig feces on his jacket and shoes, and criticized House members for burying pork-barrel projects in the budget."

However, the stunt was not well received by state lawmakers, who would go on to cite it as an example for years to come of why the governor did not have a good relationship with the legislature.

Source: (c)2013 The State (Columbia, S.C.) Distributed by MCT Information Services