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. Sandy

    I think the Obama camp helped get this silly governor busted.

    I'm still amazed at some of the people who are governors.

    December 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. ApplePie

    To Bush
    On Evolution and Christianity, I do believe that God did use EVOLUTION to populate the ANIMAL/FISH Kingdom and those laws did apply to them, specifically on 'survival of the fittest'. However, God did not use EVOLUTION on the human race. He PERSONALLY CREATED Adam and Eve, Himself and gave them, brains to think for themselves, to do good and oversee all earth's creations. Last, the theory of evolution has been proven to be wrong. Scientists who worked with atoms and who studied BIG BANG, found out that the ENERGY is there, but it requires someone to intervene, thus God touched off the BIG BANG. It just didnt happen.

    December 11, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. REG in AZ

    Re Blagojevich: It amazes me that people allow themselves to be manipulated by their biases to accept, vote for and even support these individuals, never questioning the obvious personality and character shortfalls and instead even faulting quality candidates who just don’t match their personal biases, and then they become shocked and offended by the resulting performance and problems as if they shouldn’t have expected it. Voters really need to be more objective and rational, checking their biases, prejudices and emotional attachments, before attempting to discern which individual will truly do the best job. That probably could be better achieved by more honestly independent thinking voters and less by those who are aligned with some predetermined bias. The candidate’s personality and character really does matter, for sure more than what they say and very likely even more than who supports them. For one thing, we really need to stop electing these sociopaths.

    December 11, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Bill

    Just like he didn't know what Ayers, Wright, Rezko, etc., were doing or saying either. He is either does not have the judgement to tell honest people from crooks, or he is a crook himself. Remember he worked on the Blago campaign so he can't claim he didn't know him too well.

    December 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Obamacrat

    I think this whole scandal will make everyone take a closer look at this strange process of allowing one person (the governer) to select someone for a position that is normally decided on by millions of voters.

    December 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Rave

    This guy is a disgrace. Why is he still in office?
    Mr. Obama, please make sure this guy is no where to be seen in politics again. He deserves some jail time too for misusing his powers.
    Now, I really believe Mr. Obama is not connected to any of these thugs.. Atleast he will realize, what's going on behind his back. Stop this corruption Sir... I know you will do it

    December 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. karen-phoenix

    Everyone should have heard what Obama said!!!! Some people get in politics for self and others for to better America! Read Obama's book, "Audacity of Hope" and you will realize this man has dreams for the American people! He is honest and pretty pure!!! I was raised in Chicago suburbs and now live in AZ–Graft here too. Would love to see an Obama out here to clean this state up!!!! I've been a rep for 40 years and donated too and voted for Obama because he is honest and wants whats best for American!! Also, remember Obama was raised in Hawaii and it is more a state of dreams and visions and thank you GOD that Obama is going to be our president at this critical time in history!!!!

    December 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Mike H.

    There may well have been no deal-making. But the fact remains that Obama's entourage was in contact with Blagojevich and advised him that Ms. Jarrett was the President-elect's choice for the vacant Senate seat. That much is clear from the FBI tapes of Blagojevich's phone taps. Obama, at the same time was saying publicly that he was staking no role in the selection process for his successor.

    Who was that Obama rep(s) and what was said? It appears from the tapes that Blago may have made a pitch for a quid-pro-quo to the Obama emissary which was rejected. If so, why didn't Obama's camp immediately blow the whistle on Blago?

    There's also the matter of Obama's senior advisor, Axlerod, telling the press on Nov.23 that Obama had been in direct touch with Blago about the question of his successor. Now we are told that Axelrod–who has been virtually living in Obama's pocket since the campaign began–mispoke. Too cute for words.

    I'll bet that the press, being totally smitten with Obama, will make little attempt to follow up.

    December 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Andy

    Yeah and Nixon knew nothing of Watergate. Politician never know of wrong doing until they are caught. Let's see how much the media will dig into this, considering it's democrats involved, they will probably wash the whole thing over.

    December 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    Much to do about nothing! OBAMA and his TEAM break this issue to the FEDS and I am sure in the end and finale' of it all OBAMA will come out smelling like a rose and that righteous light will again burn brighter and the MSM and Brown with her GOP bandits in tow will all look too smug and out of step in the end. OBAMA FOR AMERICA-TRUTH WE CAN BELIEVE IN.

    US ARMY FOR OBAMA!

    December 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. ApplePie

    North Dakota tops analysis of corruption

    Yahoo! Buzz Digg Newsvine Reddit FacebookWhat's this?By John Fritze, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON — Its largest city is legendary for machine-style politics and its elected leaders have been under investigation for years, but by one measure, Illinois is not even close to the nation's most-corrupt state.
    North Dakota, it turns out, may hold that distinction instead.

    December 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. G. Horne

    Illinois Politics:
    Looks like Obama will get enaugerated just in time for his impeachment.

    December 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Typical Republican

    "had no roll" That's exactly what they all say. That just proves that he DID have a roll. This must mean that Obama runs the whole corrupt Chicago machine. Which then means that Sarah Pailin was right: Obama is a terrorist bent on destroying America in order to bring about a huge secular progressive war on Christmas.

    Oh my God it is all so perfectly clear now!

    December 11, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. ApplePie

    Who wrote these messages?

    his is just a partial list of Bush scandals. Halliburton's Corruption; Iraq's Decline; Abu Ghraib Prison Torture; CIA Pre-9/11 Intelligence; Failures; HHS Deceptive Ad Campaign; HHS Scully Scandal; Government-wide Accounting; Problems; Sex Education Misinformation; CAPPS II Failures; Real Costs of the Iraq War; US Attorney Firings; Walter Reed Army Hospital Neglect; Mishandling North Korea nuclear issue; Outing a CIA Agent; Lying to the American People; Hurrican Katrina; Warrantless wiretapping; Selling government to K Street lobbyists; Duke Cunningham, a corrupt politician steered money towards office supplies for Cheney; And there's much, much more.

    I'm sure to all of this you lying scandalous repugs would just say (in the words of your hero) "So"?

    December 11, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Melinda

    And I have a bridge for sale...

    December 11, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. EVERYMAN

    He should have used EBAY!

    December 11, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Liar-Elect

    I don't believe him. Let's hear the tapes.

    December 11, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. G. Horne

    Illinois Politics:
    Looks like Obama will get enaugerated just in time for his impeachment.
    G Horne

    December 11, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. kingtech

    A suggestion on how cnn.com can save space on the top of its home page: Simply combine the politics and crime sub-menus. Until the voters get serious about booting the bums out, there will always be substantial overlap between the topics.

    December 11, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Mesa Mick

    What's the difference between Blago's extortion attemps for the Senate seat and the extortion threats to BoA?

    Ideas anyone?

    December 11, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    That's that!

    I will take Obama at his word and it is now time to MOVE ON!!!

    December 11, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. Tom

    Jack, Wolf, Regarding contact with Blagojevich about Senate seat....

    Either Obamas advisers are liars and can't be trusted or Obamas a liar and can't be trusted! Which is it??

    December 11, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Laura

    "Obama says his office had no role in governor scandal". Duh...so did the prosecutor who made the charges against Blago.

    December 11, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Sweetie

    As we discovered during the race he denies first, then when proof is presented he brushes it off his shoulder like it was not important, and then when outrage is expressed he comes "clean", admits to some of the truth then throws the person under the bus!

    He can't be the only "Clean" guy with so many known "Dirty" guys as his friends!

    December 11, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. rudy ray

    yeah right

    December 11, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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