Sanford talks impeachment; calls wife 'fascinating'

By Hatzel Vela  bio | email | Twitter

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford thanked the lawmakers who decided against the possibility of impeaching him and says his supporters helped him through a tough time.

"There were days in the last five months when I could hardly get out bed. I didn't know exactly how to put the foot next up in front of the other," Sanford said during a press conference Wednesday with St. Phillips Church in the background in Downtown Charleston.

Sanford talked to the press shortly after a legislative committee in Columbia opted to formally rebuke him for his use of state airplanes and his summertime affair. The decision came after the panel defeated a proposal to recommend impeaching him.

A panel considering whether to recommend ousting the two-term Republican said questions over his trip to see his Argentine mistress and his use of state planes did not merit removal from office.

The governor still faces 37 civil charges when a State Ethics Commission panel meets next year. Fines could total $74,000.

With a year left in his term, Sanford said he will continue to be a good steward of tax payer money.

Sanford admitted to his moral failures and said he has apologized repeatedly, but cannot and will not give in to accusations he misused tax payer money.

Sanford reiterated that compared to other governors, his travel budget has been lean. He said his goal is to be as productive as possible.

Already, Sanford may be running into a few distractions.

His wife, Jenny, was featured as one of Barbara Walter's Most Fascinating People Wednesday night.

When asked what he thought about his wife gaining such title, he said, "Indeed she is...and she's been a real grace under fire and I think has made a lot of people in this state, in this country quite proud."

©2009 WCSC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.