Gov. Mark Sanford expressed gratitude Wednesday that a House subcommittee decided not to recommend his impeachment and confidence that he will be cleared on the remaining five ethics allegations as well.
He defended himself as a steward of taxpayer dollars and said he's apologized repeatedly for his actions. He also thanked those involved in the decision.
"These last five, almost six months have been difficult for everybody involved," Sanford said in front of St. Philip's Church in downtown Charleston. He said he has carried a heavy weight since summer, when he disclosed his affair with an Argentine woman.
"There were days in the last five months when I could hardly get out of bed," Sanford said.
He called the subcommittee's actions a "historic set of decisions" and, unlike other appearances with the press since June, did not take questions.
He did not directly address the subcommittee's unanimous vote to recommend censure.
His focus now is on making his remaining time as governor as productive as possible, he said, citing several recent positive announcements about job creation.
"It is my goal and my aim to finish strong," he said, reading from notes jotted on index cards.
Sanford said he chose downtown Charleston as the venue to respond to the subcommittee's work because the people of Charleston and the Lowcountry helped launch his political career years ago when he ran for Congress as a virtual unknown.
He said that for all his stumbles and foibles, they understood "the degree at which I had been absolutely earnest in terms of trying to watch out for the taxpayer."
Sanford did agree to take one question. When asked about his wife's appearance Wednesday night on Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2009," he said: "Indeed she is. She has been real grace under fire. And I think it made a lot of people in the state and the country quite proud."
Asked if he planned to watch the show he said, "You'll never know," and walked off.