December 31st, 2008
11:56 AM ET
9 years ago

Burris: Charges against Blagojevich shouldn't affect him

Roland Burris said Gov. Rod Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty.

Roland Burris said Gov. Rod Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty.

(CNN) - The man appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat said Wednesday his appointment to the position is legal, despite the charges against the governor.

WATCH: Burris on American Morning

Former Illinois Attorney Gen. Roland Burris said Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty, even though his behavior "is reprehensible."

"I don't look upon the governor's problems as my problems. I look at the governor's problems as his problems," Burris said.

Blagojevich faces allegations of influence peddling, among other charges.

The governor, a Democrat, on Tuesday named Burris to serve the last two years of Obama's Senate term.

Obama said Tuesday it is disappointing that Blagojevich ignored warnings from Senate Democrats about appointing a successor to his Senate seat.

Senate Democratic leaders have said they will block the appointment and are urging the governor to step down after his arrest on corruption charges - a move Obama endorsed.

"Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat," Obama said in a statement.

"I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Gov. Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it."

Full story

Filed under: Popular Posts • Rod Blagojevich • Roland Burris
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. Will

    As I watched the Burris appointment press conference yesterday, I was a little confused about your title, "Obama recplacement slams Blago." Quit trying to sell the news and just report it. I'm neither a Burris or Blago supporter or detractor, but I'm pretty sure Burris didn't slam Blago. As I saw it, Burris tried to stay out of the crossfire. This is a pretty charged situation, I'm fairly certain we don't need extra commentary in your headlines to the tell the facts.

    December 31, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Samuel

    Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may be INNOCENT of the charges after all. At the moment he is the governor of Illanois and he has exercise one of his duties.

    What is wrong with America?

    This man is a target of horror politicians in Illinois. He is a good man. He will prevail and they will be shamed.

    December 31, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Mike Pittsburgh

    I don't agree with the appointment, but Illinois State Law says Blagojevich has the power to appoint the guy. Last time I checked, the law hasn't been changed. If you just decide to ignore existing law after the fact when it doesn't suit your purposes ... well, you'd be like the Florida Supreme Court in 2000, who decided they wanted to recount the ballots a fourth time changing the counting rules state-wide because Mr. Gore lost the initial vote, the first recount, the second recount ... gave everyone something to cry about when the US Supreme Court overruled them.

    December 31, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. B.O.FAN

    This guy Burris should not have accepted the nomination period knowing the situation going on. He is as stupid as the governor who appointed him. Coming on TV with stupid arguments.
    Let the people of Illinois decide whom they want to put in the senate with the special election. I don't care is it's an african american or a caucasian. Let the people decide period.

    December 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Tanya

    Obama, let Burris be seated. Burris has nothing to do with what's going on with Blagojevich. I'm a fan of your's obama. What happened to change! Now about Blagojevich – He just might be the kind of person you want....after all he's pretty persistent and nothing deters him. I do think he deserves to be punished but in a light way! Everyone in their life time has probably tried to sell a ticket maybe even to a show at one point in their lives. It's just that he got caught!!

    December 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. L.K.


    Anytime you do a story featuring the antics of Rod Blagojevich, precede it with the theme from the "Twilight Zone" with the Rod Serling voice over. I'm sure I'm not the first with this idea.


    December 31, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Apples for sale

    If Blago keeps it up ,he too may run out of gas before he can get his plane to the runway,like Mike Connell did before he was due to testify for rigging the 2000 and 2004 elections.

    December 31, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |

    I'm puzzled as to why did Burris allow himself to be used like this.
    Then to go to the media and talk about the constitution, etc. Did he not believe all those people calling for BLAGO THE LAWLESS to step down? Though his career has been stellar, this is not the way to end it. He should have told Blago to find himself another sucker. I know Blago is trying to find one "i" that was not dotted and one "t" that was not crossed. It's like the Rodney King beating: DON'T BELIEVE YOUR LYING EARS! We need new laws that say that if any politician has the stench of criminality – indictments, etc., pending, he should forfeit his position. Like when you make a contract; once one of the aspects of the contract is breached, the contract is void.

    Any politician who finds himself under criminal investigation should automatically lose his position or power, until the matter gets straightened out. You let the people down when you turned to crime.

    He's on the Constitution and calling it rain. Blago knows he was wrong. He's just shamefully lawless. Sorry, Mr. Burris. You should have told Blago to find himself another sucker, because you sound like a mad man trying to justify your stepping in. Dang, were you that desperate after all your years of public service?

    December 31, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Are you people stupid or what?

    Don't you know Blago made a deal with Obama that if he appointed a black to Obama's seat that Obama would eventually pardon him.

    You'll know this is the truth because Burris will not be rejected by the Senate and will be allowed to serve.

    The people are hoodwinked again.

    December 31, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. ran

    We do not need another Senator who is more concern with power over truth and justice. How could any person accept, given the toxic nature of this Gov.? The IL Supreme court should make the appointment and if they pick this guy then so be it.

    December 31, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |

    @ Former Obama Voter


    Yeah, right.

    You're a Republipuma or straight up GOP.

    The bloggers here know it.

    So shuttee already. No one believes you.

    December 31, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |

    He will sue and the Supreme Court will use the 1969 precedent for Powell vs McCormick which stated Powell could be barred only if he did not meet the 3 Constitutional requirements.

    Burris meets the 3 requirements.

    One his behalf, I see a lot of Burris bashing for accepting, however, I do not recall anyone on the right calling for Palin not to accept the VP nomination when she was ACTUALLY under investigation for abuse of power! By all accounts Burris in not accused of anything, and certainly not under investigation. What I do remember is pissin' and moanin' from the right that "she is innocent until proven guilty", the MSM is sexist, the Left is so "vicious" with the attacks on the half-wit(oops, old habits are hard to break) Palin.

    A bit hypocritical, again...

    December 31, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. Leslie

    If Burris is too stupid to see that his appointment is tainted, should he really be considered qualified to be a U.S. Senator?! Good grief...

    December 31, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. t

    Why would he accept the appointment knowing what is going on?
    I think he just wants to be part of this, no matter what.

    December 31, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Fernandez

    It is interesting to note that the Senators have time to spend on Blago than on the problems facing this country. If there is crime committed here let the Attorney General's office handle it. Why duplicate our efforts, these guys in Congress must have a lot of time on their hands. I think we should vote the whole bunch of them out of office.

    December 31, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. JB

    When is it going to become acceptable for whites to express outrage when blacks use race to their advantage? Simple question, but the words lynch, hang and "if they don't appoint me it will be because of my color" are all reverse racism. We all know it, but people are afraid to acknowledge it. When will that African American who isn't afraid of his own race take a stand against this sort of stuff? It is underhanded and truthfully furthers our racial issues. This guy could have been purple and Harry Reid and congress would have done the same thing. Whites know it, blacks know it and browns know it. So cut it out!!! And just to head someone off, before they respond. Slavery doesn't justify an out and out lie of claiming he wouldn't be appointed because of his color.

    December 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. red

    poor guy......we need a young senator for god sake !!!!!

    all these old old old old folkS got to go!!!!!!




    December 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Laura, Boston

    @John in OH....It wasn't up to Obama to give his seat to anybody. Only the governor of IL has that authority and like it or not Blago is the governor of IL.

    Why in the world didn't the Legislative body in IL move faster to hold a special election. Why? Because they were afraid that a Republican could win Obama's seat. That was too much a risk for the dems so here we are.

    December 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. M Paul

    President Bush named many people after his re-election in 2004 while we all know that he lied to the american people about the war in Irak. HE LIED and HE LIED but he named secretary of State and others. Why? Because, he was still president! I didn't see the outrage... he even named some folks two weeks ago... didn't see the outrage...
    Obama should stay out of this! The governor doesn't like him.

    December 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. russo

    It would if governor were to appoint anyone else. What a slimebag politician? He changed his tone in two weeks. The refusal to seek Burris even with extra-legal act is worth it. Obama favorite Jess Jackson JR was caught up with corruption with Indian businessmen. Illinois really need to have a urgent special election to find their senator.

    December 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |

    This guy is an idiot and should be banned for ever running for any gov position EVER

    December 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Penn Voter

    If Illinois' voters wants to find politicians that are not part of the Chicago Machine, they need to look out of state.

    But wait, we elected someone from the Chicago Machine to be our President !!!!!! What does all this mess say about "Him Over There" ?

    December 31, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    A very good choice Former Illinois Attorney Gen. Roland Burris

    December 31, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. Steve, Columbia SC

    I am stunned that Mr. Burris would accept a tainted selection from the governor.............the politics of the State of Illinois needs a serious cleaning up.

    December 31, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. John From Illinois

    Mark these words. First, the people of Illinois want a special election. The corrupt Illinois Democratic Machine will not allow it. Now that Bobby Rush, white-hating racist and Black Panther criminal has pulled the race card, Burris will be seated. That idiot Reid and the Democrats do not have the backbone to stick to their pledge not to seat anyone appointed by Blago because of the now played race card. Burris is 71 years old and this is his last political hurrah after several failed election campaigns. Burris will walk away after the term is finished and Rahm Emanuel will resign as Chief of Staff and run for the senate seat; remember Emanuel already has expressed his interest in being the Illinois senator. This BS is how the corrupt Illinois Democratic Machine works. Notice how the Machine keeps dragging its feet to do anything so they can all burn out their shredders to cover their tracks? Don't you all find it amazing how Obama has strong ties to everyone involved in all this BS?

    December 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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