"Women understand the conservative issues as well as any man. We run our households and our families, and we don't live beyond our means," Sanford said in Charleston at a Republican lunch featuring former South Carolina first ladies.
Thursday's lunch was one of Sanford's last public appearances as South Carolina's first lady, the Washington publication Politico reported Saturday, noting Sanford is about to begin divorce proceedings against her husband, Republican Gov. Mark Sanford.
Jennie Sanford, a former investment banker, reportedly is considering her own run for public office after the divorce, Politico reported.
The first lady is publishing a memoir and has greatly increased her political profile since her husband admitted to an affair last summer.
"We need more women and more true conservatives involved in all levels of government to bring common sense and efficiency to our big, bureaucratic government," Sanford said in her speech.