Blago: I Won't Step Down

By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2008 2:26 PM CST
Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks at the State of Illinois Building Friday, Dec. 19, 2008 in Chicago. Blagojevich says he is not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing and plans to stay on the job.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – Rod Blagojevich proclaimed his innocence at a jam-packed press conference this afternoon, vowing to "fight until I take my last breath," the Chicago Tribune reports. "I'm not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob," the embattled Illinois governor said in his first substantive public comments since he was arrested last week on federal corruption charges.

"I am dying to answer these charges," said Blagojevich, who took no questions. "I am dying to show you how innocent I am." Reading from a prepared statement, he went on to quote from the Rudyard Kipling poem "If," reciting a handful of lines beginning, "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you."