2007_04_corzinerelease.jpgNJ Governor Jon Corzine left Cooper University Hospital this afternoon, after spending over two weeks recovering from his April 12 car accident. Pushed out in a wheelchair by his children Jeff and Jennifer, the governor spoke to the crowd outside:

Via the Star-Ledger

: "I understand I set a very poor example for a lot of young people, a lot of people in general. I hope the state will forgive me."

Via the NY Times: “I set a very bad example...I hope the state will forgive me. I will work very hard to set the right kind of example...I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support I’ve been given from people around the state...I don’t think people realize just how much people care and show their support. There is nothing more important in life than those people who care about you all the time in the moments of joy and the moments of pain.”

He also thanked the hospital staff and became verklempt as he spoke. Corzine, who lost half his body's blood and broke many bones, became a magnet for criticism as it became clear he wasn't wearing a seat belt as he sat in the front seat of an SUV. The SUV was also traveling 91 MPH, but he wasn't headed to a pressing emergency - simply the talks between Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team.

Corzine, who is footing his own hospital bill, won't be resuming day-to-activities for a while. And the NY Times reported that the governor's motorcade traveled from the hospital to the governor's mansion at a "pace of about 70 miles per hour, even though the posted limit is 55 on the stretch of Interstate 295." While that's speeding, that sounds pretty standard for 295 - and we bet Corzine was triple-buckled in with styrofoam peanuts around him.

Photograph of Governor Corzine by Mel Evans/AP