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Excerpts from Blagojevich’s statement: ‘I am just so incredibly sorry’

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich his wife Patti Blagojevich as they make their way mediarebefore departing from Federal Building after being

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his wife, Patti Blagojevich as they make their way to the media area before departing from the Federal Building after being sentenced to 14 years in prison. Wednesday December 7, 2011. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 9, 2012 6:22PM



“I want to thank your honor for giving me this opportunity. I have a tendency sometimes to speak before I think. I’ve had plenty of time over the past several months to do a lot of thinking, reflecting about all that’s happened and all the things that have led up to me being in here before your honor, not being anywhere near places I dreamed of and hoped I would one day be.”

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“I’m here convicted of crimes. The jury decided that I was guilty. I am accepting of it. I acknowledge it. And I, of course, am unbelievably sorry ... The mistakes I’ve made, in many ways have been terrible mistakes. And I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the people of Illinois, I want to apologize to your honor, to this court for these mistakes.”

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“If there’s any consolation I can offer to the people, to you and to myself, it is that I honestly believed I —

“Withdraw that.

“I never set out to break the law. I never set out to cross the lines. There is a line between routine politics, political horse-trading, campaign fund-raising, official acts and how you ask for political funds. It was always my intention in all the things I discussed back in 2008 to try to see if I could do those things on the right side of the line.

“I thought they were permissible. And I was mistaken. The jury convicted me. They convicted me because those were my actions. Those were things I said. Those were the things I talked about doing and discussed in conversations. I am responsible for that. I caused it all. I’m not blaming anybody.

“I was the governor and I should have known better.

“And I am just so incredibly sorry.”

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“I fought very hard. I fought as best I could, and I believed in what I was doing when I was fighting this case. I want to take this opportunity to apologize to you for fighting this case in the media.”

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“I also want to apologize for challenging the prosecutors as I did. I was very keen on your comments yesterday when you described how I saw it as a ‘duel’ and ‘a boxing match.’ You captured me. I saw it exactly that way, for whatever reasons — Alexander Hamilton, dueling with Aaron Burr like we were back in the 18th Century — I’ve read a lot about it. The boxing experience I’ve had. I did see it in those terms.”

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“You heard conversations, a lot people across Illinois and other places, the things I said on those tapes, the childish things, the immature things, ugly and petty things, self- centered and self-absorbed things. If this case was about being self-absorbed, I would have walked in and plead guilty immediately.”

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“I want to apologize to my brother. My brother’s a good man. I want to apologize to his family. I apologize for getting him involved in this whole thing. Had a happy, quiet, successful life in Nashville. He came up to help his little brother. And that happy world was dramatically changed for several years for him and I just want to express my apologies publicly to him as I’ve done privately.”

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“I want to now give my final apology to my family. My life is ruined. My life is in ruins. My political career is over. I can’t be a lawyer anymore. We can’t afford the home we live in. We’re trying to sell it. I’m in no position to earn a living for my children. … It’s a lot worse … because of what I brought on to my family. I want to apologize to my wife. I love her. She has stood by me in the worst of times, not only the best of times. She’s a loving wonderful person and wonderful mother. And, of course, I want to apologize to my children and explain this is not how we saw this.

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“Because of my stupidity and the mistakes and things I talked about, things I discussed, my children have had to suffer. I’ve ruined their innocence. Now when my kids go out in the world every day they have to face the fact that their father’s a convicted felon. Its not like their names’s Smith. They can’t hide.

“That’s something I’ve brought on myself. It’s a horrible punishment. It’s a responsibility and a burden I have to carry with me. I’ve nobody to blame.”

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“I accept the people’s verdict, Judge. They found me guilty.

“I never wanted to hurt anyone, most of all Children’s Memorial Hospital. I am before you now as a person convicted of crimes. I know as you make your decision you’re going to decide what you think is right and you think is just. I hope you can find some mercy to take into consideration all the things you have heard.”



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