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S.C. Gov. Sanford: 'I'm doing what I think to be right'

Gov. Mark Sanford says he knows his opposition to using $700 million in federal stimulus money for schools and law enforcement is a political loser.

The fight with legislators over the issue also is keeping him from pushing other causes that he wanted to champion during his last two years in office, the Republican governor said Friday.

In an interview with The State newspaper, Sanford:

Said it could take 18 months to resolve the debate over whether and how to spend the $700 million. A deal will be cut only when Senate budget writers are "more flexible."

Denied that he — a multimillionaire — is out of touch with South Carolinians suffering hard economic times.

Said Reggie Lloyd, his appointee to run the State Law Enforcement Division, was mistaken when he said Thursday there would be “devastating” consequences for public safety if his boss — Sanford — rejected the federal money. Sanford added that Lloyd’s job is secure.

Strongly denied he is running for president, though he would not rule out the possibility.

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