Gov. Mark Sanford's response to Speaker Bobby Harrell

"I've spent the last several weeks talking with South Carolinians from every walk of life across this state, and I can tell you what they're not interested in - they are not interested in the latest political gossip here in Columbia.

So while I do appreciate the Speaker's concern about us being focused on the job at hand, I'd respond by saying that not only are we focused, but it strikes me that I'm more focused than I have ever been - given that there's no Chairmanship of the RGA, no national media appearances and no speeches across the country on spending.

That said, let me once again be unequivocally clear: while it would be easier to simply move on with life and not contest the sensational charges against our administration, it would be wrong. It was for that reason that I think the Speaker was originally right in his view of a couple of months ago that people should withhold judgment until after the Ethics report. It's unfortunate that he, by this action, seems to have joined the ranks of some others who would attempt to politicize what has gone on.

As well, I believe that given the constitutionally weak state of the governorship in South Carolina, it would be wrong to simply go back to the farm and take refuge given the implications for future governors.

So I'd humbly request the Speaker and his fellow legislative leaders put aside a whole lot of politics and look past media accounts, and indeed join with me in working for South Carolinians as our state faces real challenges going forward."