December 11th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama says his office had no role in governor scandal

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal conspiracy charges Tuesday.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal conspiracy charges Tuesday.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama Thursday said no one in his office engaged in dealmaking with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich over who would succeed him in the Senate.

FBI agents arrested Blagojevich on Tuesday on federal corruption charges related in part to the selection of Obama's successor as a U.S. senator. Federal officials said Blagojevich was looking to sell or trade the position.

Obama said the vacant Senate seat is not for "any politician to trade," and he said he had never spoken to the governor on the subject.

He said he was confident that "no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat." The Senate seat "belongs to the people of Illinois and they deserve the best possible representation," he said.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. CAMRY

    I know a lot of people are VERY DISAPPOINTED that Barack is not involved in this mess.

    December 11, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. demwit

    I KNOW NOTHING!!

    December 11, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Senate Candidate 13

    But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.

    While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

    Oh this just keeps getting better... nice to see Obama and Axelrod are on the same page.... LOL

    December 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Phoenix

    President elect Obama, I am going to continue praying for you because its amazing to me how the focus shifts from Blagoveich to Obama. Let me show you how a true president behaves, he not only addressed the problem, but he continued to make appointments. That's called multi tasking.

    December 11, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Let the barrage of hateful comments toward Barack start in 3 2 1. . .

    December 11, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. BB

    Campbell Brown and her big mouth still won't be satisfied. Be glad when she pops that baby. Maybe she won't come back to work. I've started just turning her and her asinine opinions off. She sucks.

    December 11, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. the kid

    thats what Bill Clinton said when he got caught playing around in the oval office with M L . This is just the start of Pandoras Box there will be alot more coming out of this , Obama can't tell the truth if it jumped up and bite him in the a–

    December 11, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Dave

    YEA! If you believe that then...............................

    December 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Where am I?

    Obama had no knowledge of Wright, Ayers, Rezko, or Blagojevich.
    For a smart guy, he sure is oblivious to what's around him.

    December 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Clinton Fringer

    O what a tangled web we weave........when first we practice to decieve.

    December 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Chris

    Mrs. Clause knows Mr. Clause therefore Mrs. Clause IS SANTA!!

    McCain knew Obama thus McCain IS A DEMOCRAT!!

    My last name is Spanish and I know someone Jewish, I MUST be a Jewish supporter from Spain!!

    This "dot connecting" has to stop.

    December 11, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I believe him. If he had any role in this, the FBI would have caught him on tape. That is the closest thing to proof of innocence that you can get.

    December 11, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Cori from Colorado

    I know Obama can't comment on this situation because it's under investigation, but c'mon, we just want to know the truth about those involved. It's obvious at this point that people were involved, but no one wants to tell. I truly don't blame them, no one wants to get caught up in political scandals, especially if you're the new incoming president who's hasn't even taken office! Talk about a bad first impression.

    December 11, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. CanIcallyouJoe

    If he says he wasn't involved and there are no solid connections to him other than the fact the crook was auctioning the senate seat he used to hold, then I am obliged to believe him. He hasn't done anything to destroy my trust yet.(i.e.: WMDS, Osama BinLaden, Patriot Act, Surge, Election Fraud, Housing Crisis, Katrina, Libbey...)

    I know that in the past the two have met, and have had a discussion, but if one has a conversation with a gay person, that doesn't make one gay as well – so having a conversation with a crook does not make one a crook as well.

    We Obama supporters are watching closely. We support Obama, but after Bush, we are just too far gone to have full trust in any politician.

    I'm sure the Republican attack dogs are having a field day with this, tough.

    December 11, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Greg PA

    It is claer that Obama Had to know what was going on and decided to stay out of it. That was a good call. But if he had any Idea about this he should have spoken up. That said, I hope Obama can stay out of this. The last thing this counrty needs is a scandal.

    December 11, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. sam

    Would like to know who the realtor was who handled the Obama/Rezko real estate deal. Could it have been the governor's wife?

    December 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Simmy

    I believe you Mr. President-Elect. There is no convincing right wingers, desperate for something to take the spotlight off their miserable showing this past November. Those of us who are for uniting the country not dividing it, will move on. Next please? 1.20.09!

    December 11, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Realist.

    Of course he has nothing to do with it. Obama has kept this guy at arms length. Trying to pin this on Obama by the Republicans is not suprising. That's all they have left. It must have been a tough State for him to navigate without getting tared with all the craziness going on in that State. I am sure the same thing is happening in other States. After all, no one blamed Ted Stevens corruption on Sarah Palin, at least not from Obama's camp.

    December 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Jozee

    I can't see how the press has linked Obama to this mess that Gov. Blago has made for himself. Sure, it makes for juicy news stories (Thanks CNN), but because Blago and PE Obama live in the same city, breath the same air, and are politicians, does not make them of the same ilk.

    Obama must be judged by his own character, not the character of someone else.

    ONE NATION

    December 11, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    I was unaware of any of the controversial statements made by my spiritual mentor. lol lol. We're not that stupid Obama! Why did you say you didn't talk to the governor while Axelrod said you did talk to the governor about the sentate seat? Who's lying?

    December 11, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Southerner

    Of course his "office" didn't have anything to do with it. Notice he doesn't actually come out and say that HE PERSONALLY has had nothign to do with it.

    December 11, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Justin, ny

    theres been no evidence to point to the contrary.

    December 11, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Vic

    I hope this governor goes to prison where he belongs.
    He and Ted Stevens of Alaska and any other crooks hiding behind their government seats.
    A clean sweep is in order.

    December 11, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Earl, Chicago, IL

    So far there is no evidence linking the two, but it would be naive to think that Obama had no idea what was going on. To think that Obama had no discussions with Blago about a possible replacement is absurd.

    December 11, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    And that is that...

    I will take Obama at his word and so should the media!

    Let's give Obama a chance to lead this nation before we begin to critique him. The man hasn't even been sworn in yet and we are already jumping to unwarranted conclusions!

    December 11, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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