In his eighth and final State of the State address, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina offered what he said would be his last apology for his affair. "After this speech, those of you who have grown weary of my apologizing, rest easy, because I won't do it again," Sanford said in his Wednesday speech. "I am compelled to say that I'm sorry, one more time, for the situation I created."
Sanford thanked his wife, Jenny, who has filed for divorce, for "her truly phenomenal grace that she showed the world and the state in the storm that I brought to our family and the state at large."
He used some time in the speech, which lasted a little less than an hour, to sum up his accomplishments in seven years in office, including changes that have saved money, preserved land or increased public access to records, as reported in The State
His modest goals for his final year in office included reforming the state's unemployment agency, restructuring state government, and imposing caps on state spending. Sanford urged state residents to oppose a national health care bill, which he said could add thousands of new people to state-funded health care and cost the state $1 billion in the first decade after its passage.
Sanford referenced Scripture, saying a speaker at his inauguration gave as advice the words of Micah 6:8, which asks to "love mercy, do justice and walk humbly."
"I never got that charge quite right in the following four years," Sanford said. "I don't know that I ever will."
In the Democratic response
, House Democratic Leader Harry Ott criticized the spending of the Republicans, who control the state House and Senate. "The Republican government spends more today, as a percentage of what you and I produce, than they did in 2000 when Republicans gained complete control of the State Legislature," Ott said.