Blago's Defiant Press Conference

(CBS)
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich just gave a press conference in which he railed against the Illinois House that today voted overwhelmingly to impeach him over corruption charges.

The defiant governor said the vote was a "foregone conclusion" and said the House had first discussed impeachment "back in the summer of 2007 when they failed to pass a budget and we were facing a government shutdown."

He then attacked the House for not working with him for the best interests of the people of Illinois.

"From the moment of my reelection I have been engaged in a struggle with the House to get things done for people," the governor said.

Blagojevich criticized the House for not passing programs that he supported and not working with him to expand health care, but did not address the primary charges against him, including the allegation that he tried to effectively sell President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Before Blagojevich went before the press, about 10 people walked to the side of the lecturn; the governor referenced the group as he talked of his accomplishments and railed against the House.

"The House's action today and the causes of the impeachment are because I've done things to fight for families who are with me here today," said the governor.

"I would suggest that while [The House is] busy trying to throw me out of office, they may actually want to stop families from being thrown out of their homes," he added, noting that the chamber had yet to pass a housing bill that had cleared the state Senate.

"I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing," Blagojevich said towards the end of his remarks, which lasted a little more than 10 minutes. The governor added that he is "confident that at the end of the day I will be properly exonerated."

"I'm going to continue to fight every step of the way," he said.

Blagojevich closed by quoting a British poet, echoing comments he made earlier today when approached by reporters following his daily run.

"I'm inspired by it," Blagojevich said of the poem, which was written by Alfred Lord Tennyson. He said Tennyson's words reminded him of his situation, and then read the poem to the assembled audience.

"Though we are not now the strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are," said Blagojevich. "One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and by fate, but strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find. And not to yield. Thank you."

CBS Evening News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer said that Blagojevich's theatrics are unlikely to save his job.

"Well, I tell you, when you saw him stand up there and reciting that Tennyson poem, you began to wonder if maybe he was going to lay the groundwork for pleading insanity in this case," Schieffer said. "But this is some serious business here, and now that it looks like he's going to be removed and after you saw that vote, it's almost certain that he will be."

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