December 11th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
6 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. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    THINK ABOUT IT; IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE FOR BLAGOJEVICH TO ATTEMPT SELLING THIS SEAT TO A DEMOCRAT A REPUBLICAN WOULD MOST LIKELY BE A TARGET. BLAGOJEVICH KNOWS REPUBLICANS ARE DESPERATE TO GAIN SEATS MORE SO THAN A DEMOCRAT. THINK ABOUT IT.

    December 11, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Belle

    Hmmm TV station in Chicago has film of Obama meeting with Blagojevich in November and reported they were meeting about the Senate Seat.

    Axelrod says Nov. 23 that Obama and Blagojevich were in close contact.

    Obama says he never met with the Governor.

    Alexrod says he mis-spoke.

    All this mis-speaking is giving me a headache.

    December 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Ken from missouri

    I hope everybody is happy with Pres-elect Obama answer because it was the truth even Gov Idiot said that all they would give him is thank you and that was on a wiretap so I'm sorry to break your heart that he was not guilty but we have to look at the evidence ,besides this not like the republicans they are gay,and like young boys.
    So can we let Pres-elect Obama focus on our economy and focus on the people who actually are guilty in this crime.

    December 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Dr. Stoner

    MAYBE, MAYBE NOT. only time and the light of truth will say for certain.??????

    December 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    Obama isn't even sworn in yet and the media is already trying to link him to scandal. It is clear that Obama has nothing to do with this mess.

    December 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Peggy

    Oblivious

    And how come the American people cannot see you as one BIG DOG DUNG? GO GET A LIFE AND STOP BEING A SILLY NUT

    December 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Aida

    Ah, Illinois politicians. . .same, same, same.

    Keep spinning Obama, you will soon be caught in your own web.

    December 11, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Earthchild

    Can we stay focused on the economy!

    December 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Fritz

    Obama/Blagojevich is a non-issue. Blagojevich himself complained that Obama refused to give him anything. Blagojevich's line: "They're not willing to give me anything except appreciation." Case closed.

    December 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Curiosity

    Something curious about Chicago, Illinois (?)

    December 11, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Ian

    It all depends on what your definition of "is" is.

    December 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Karin

    NOW journalist and law enforcement officials want to "investigate" possible corruption in gov't? Where were they in 2000, 2003, 2004...anytime Bush (Cheney, Rumsfeld and the lot) made a decision about the econmy, War in Iraq, wire taps...everything they've ever done. ????

    December 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Jack

    The election is over all you republicans you lost,now get on with life. At least President Obama didn't steal the office or get appointed by his father's Supreme Court.

    December 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Seth

    In a political corruption scandal you want the felon/criminal on tape saying that you wouldn't join him in his criminal enterprise.
    When Gov Blago on tape said that, Obama wouldn't pay-for-play I said to my friends, we finally found an honest politician for President.

    December 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Belle

    What, you think Obama would admit he is surrounded by crooks?

    He wasn't aware Ayers bombed anything...then he never met with him...oops served on two boards with him...must have forgot...(I think I would remember doling out $50 Million, but hey, that is me)...University Library refuses access to CAC papers...they shared offices on the same floor in Chicago...Ayers was Chairman of one board, and Obama the Chairman of the other board...but didn't know each other...lived two blocks away from each other...but Obama didn't know him...oh wait...though he was rehabilitated....

    Obama sat in on weekly meetings with Axlerod, Blagojevich and helped get Gov. Blag elected in 2002...Obama WROTE the legislation that reduced the non-corruptible Health Board of 15 members to the REZKO corrupted health board of 9 members...that Gov. Blago signed into law...Rezko donated heavily to Gov...to Mayor Daley...to Obama...

    Obama writes 4 bills that benefit low income housing developers...Rezko and Davis get millions...Obama worked for Davis...Obama knows Rezko 17 years while telling everyone he barely knew Rezko. Rezko is on Obama's 2004 US Senate Finance Committe...Michelle is hired by the City of Chicago, and both Obama and Michelle work in the SAME law firm as Ayers' wife, R. Dohrn.

    Yet Obama did not have a clue anyone was corrupt....did not have a clue Ayers was not remorseful for the bombings...wrote a glowing recommendation for Fugitive Days....

    Gosh...certainly is No-Drama Obama, right?

    December 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Ms. B in California

    Why do people insist on saying that Obama knows everything? I mean, can the man get in office first?

    December 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Belle

    What, you think Obama would admit he is surrounded by crooks?

    He wasn't aware Ayers bombed anything...then he never met with him...oops served on two boards with him...must have forgot...(I think I would remember doling out $50 Million, but hey, that is me)...University Library refuses access to CAC papers...they shared offices on the same floor in Chicago...Ayers was Chairman of one board, and Obama the Chairman of the other board...but didn't know each other...lived two blocks away from each other...but Obama didn't know him...oh wait...though he was rehabilitated....

    Obama sat in on weekly meetings with Axlerod, Blagojevich and helped get Gov. Blag elected in 2002...Obama WROTE the legislation that reduced the non-corruptible Health Board of 15 members to the REZKO corrupted health board of 9 members...that Gov. Blago signed into law...Rezko donated heavily to Gov...to Mayor Daley...to Obama...

    Obama writes 4 bills that benefit low income housing developers...Rezko and Davis get millions...Obama worked for Davis...Obama knows Rezko 17 years while telling everyone he barely knew Rezko. Rezko is on Obama's 2004 US Senate Finance Committe...Michelle is hired by the City of Chicago, and both Obama and Michelle work in the SAME law firm as Ayers' wife, R. Dohrn.

    Yet Obama did not have a clue anyone was corrupt....did not have a clue Ayers was not remorseful for the bombings...wrote a glowing recommendation for Fugitive Days....

    Gosh...certainly is No-Drama Obama, right?

    December 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Amy

    So Obama denies these allegations, and he gets blamed for looking guilty. He keeps quiet, and he looks guilty because he isn't denying anything. Which is it?

    Like I said before, people will do or say anything to try to show that Obama is corrupt, without full evidence saying so. It all comes down to the fact that some people cannot stand having a black man for President.

    And, I hear Obama will use his middle name during his inaugaration. Good for him! Intelligent, non-racist people know that just because someone's middle name is Husieen doesn't make him a terrorist. But I guess for some people ignorance is bliss.

    December 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Tim Weiss

    I'm sorry, but you people who are saying, "How could Obama not know whats going on around him!?" are simply ridiculous. Are you serious? What Blagojevich did was to try to sell Obama's seat for his own personal gain. His own PERSONAL gain. He was working on his own to further himself.

    Saying Obama was involved (I honestly don't know how that is possible) to me is like saying Iraq was involved in 9/11... We all know that's just not even remotely true.

    December 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Irritated in Fl

    Yeah, scandal and controversy surround Osama but he's NEVER involved. And if you believe that.....I got a bridge to sell you in Africa.

    December 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Mike in Fairfax

    And he had no real contact with Rezco, never heard Wright say anything untoward regarding the USA or white people, Rezco did not donate do his campaign. Okay, he did, but not much. Oh wait!! We need to give this $187,000 to charity. We had no idea it came from Tony. He saw Ayers walking down the street once. Oh we served on a board. Oh yea! I went to his house once.. didn't realize you were talking about THAT guy! Oh, yeah, I DID write a blurb for his book, but I didn't read it. And the media replies "he said he doesn't know/Didn't do it/etc... So he must not have". Give me a break.

    December 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. WENDY

    Even if Obama had nothing to do with this,he will forever be tainted anyway.Sickening.

    December 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Truth Hurts

    People,

    You need to get your facts before you start kangaroo court!! The prosecutor has said Obama and Jesse is not involved in this corruption scandal. A police official has already reported that there is no evidence, wiretaps or bugs suggesting Jesse or his people made a deal. They said there is no evidence that he knew what was going on. Yes, Jesse met with the Governor for 90 minutes discussing

    Jesse creditials about the Senate seat. And the prosecutor also said that people need to stop coming to a conclusiong that Jesse is involved because the FBI wants to talk to him. It is just like a murder case, when the police wants to talk to witnesses but it don't mean they are a suspect. I know conservatives and haters would love to bring down Obama and Jesse but they are smarter then that!!

    December 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Ernie

    There is sooooo much about Obama that America does not know. He will say anything to win and cover his butt. Whenever we can not pronounce half of the names in the American government, we will know that it is not America anymore.

    December 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Bridgette-PA

    OBAMA HATERS.....Haven't you had enough? When you learn that no-one can "touch" OBAMA. He is as clean as clean can be in politics! If he were to ever be charged with some type of corruption, it would have happened by now! You are hateful idiots and your mouths are dripping with saliva for anything that could possibly damage Obama's image, EVEN IF YOU MAKE IT UP! Get lost...and get a life.

    December 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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