December 31st, 2008
11:56 AM ET
5 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. Veteran in Kansas

    Let us see,

    1. The Governor has the responsibility to appoint a replacement.
    2. The Sec of State has the resposibility to approved the replacement, note, he does not have the power to deny the appointment, only to confirm the appointment.
    3. The Senate can only deny seating a senator based on not meeting the qualifications outlined in the Constitution.

    Like it or not Blagojevich is the governor, the state legislatures have no say basically in the matter, nor does the Sec of State, nor does the Senate. He has made his appointment, that is in fact the end of it. It seems a lot of people have been calling for the rule of law to be reestablished in this country, does this mean the only time you want the rule of law to apply is if you agree with it.

    Deeds done, get over it.

    December 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. chuck

    Representative Bobby Rush-D-Illinios is a goon to transplant lynching into this would-be denial of Burris by the all white Senate. Blagojevich is the politician of all politicians, the fungus on the fungus, always thinking one step ahead and out-manouvering at all times. He knows that making this appointment helps him in the eyes of the public. Especially now the black public that will forget about Blagojeviches problems and embrace this new black candidate wholeheartedly, no matter the circumstances of his acceleration to office. Now we are supposed to believe that Blagojevich is Florence Nightingale and has had nothing but the interests of the minority on his mind this whole time. FAKE!!!! Now he gets to sit back and watch the story of his arrest take a new refocused turn onto Burris. He did nothing but create havoc for our 50 senators. Now these senators are the bad guys if they turn down a black man. Blagojevich has gone ahead and played his ace in the hole- except this ace is stolen from another deck of cards.

    December 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. EW

    Burris will never get elected in 2010 and he'll be a lame duck in the Senate. No Senator will take anything he does seriously.

    December 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Get a Life

    Of course not, he's a black politician from Chicago.

    December 31, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Hector

    as Rev. Wright would say this is the democrats "chickens coming home to roost" LOL

    December 31, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Mike Dallas

    Folks, try and stay current, the Illnois legislature has already stated the special election will NOT be held due to the cost. The cost estimate was 13 million.

    Illnois said the state could not afford the cost.

    So, debate, but within the given parameters.

    December 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. John in Ohio

    I support Obama, Reid, and Durbin's actions in all this.

    Blago is tainted. His pick is tainted. Burris shouldn't have accepted what Blago offered. By doing so, it makes one wonder what he paid Blago in order to get the seat.

    So what if Blago hasn't been convicted yet? If a day care teacher got arrested on suspicion of child molestation, and there were tapes of him talking about how much he wants to molest children, would you want him to babysit your kids until he's convicted and jailed? If so, you're a moron. Blago is an arrogant moron. Burris is an oblivious moron. Bobby Rush is a race-baiting moron. I realize I'm beating the word moron to death here, but crook has already been beaten to death.

    December 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. CHANGE.COM

    Ronald Burris should never have accepted this appointment anyway. And, for the congressman to come out and dare the senate not to sit an African American senate pick from disgraced Blago is outrageous as well as playing the race card. The same race card Ronald Martin played on CNN last night. Need I remind you that I am African American, too? To me, Burris lost all hi scredibility the moment he accepted the appointment, which should never have been made anyway. Blogo is behaving like former Detroit Mayor Kirkpatrick. This guy is honestly crazy and needs psychological help. So does Ronal Burris, whose service is no longer needed. Happy retirement Burris. And, to you Blago, prepare for your prison time, man.

    December 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Enforcer

    Put this Elvis look-alike in jail without bail due to the seriousness of the charges against him.

    December 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Credit Card Republicans

    This is a done deal.Buress will keep the seat,somethings never change,havent you heard?This bs makes Caroline Kennedy more than qualified to have a seat,untainted,smart and for the people,not owing anyone a favor for anything.In the mean time what really happened to Mike Connell.Google it and see how this story has been buried.

    December 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Mike- Missouri

    He needs to decline! I know he is old and would like to have but what Blagovevich did was not very good. People should vote who they want in the seat now.

    December 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Linda32

    Burris has run 5 times for Gov, Senator, Rep and lost. Apparently the people of Illinois do not want him.

    That said, it is beside the point. Blagojevich should not have appointed anyone. He himself said that the people of Illinois need a working gov, will with him in the position, they are not getting that.

    December 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This isn't totally about Burris it's about the integrity of the Democrat party being compromised by Blago and his arrogance. Burris should recognize this, not accept this appointment and be working to help remove Blago from office.

    December 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. Jean2

    Burris allowed himself to be played in the Gov. political game. Does he want the seat that badly that he does not trust his own abilit? Why??.

    I am African American and I find some of Mr. Rush statements apalling. Most of America seems to moving away from raceism why keep feeding it?

    The whole Gov. crisis seem to be the result of power being misused.

    December 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. RSL of Illinois

    "Legal" and "ethical" are NOT interchangeable terms. The governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojovich, has a constitutionally protected legal right and duty to appoint the successor to Obama's seat, regardless of the ethical considerations surrounding the situation. Absent the tarnish of Blago's unprincipled and self-serving conduct, Roland Burris is now and always has been an ethically solid and worthwhile candidate for the Senate seat, and will honorably hold that place until the next scheduled election. Accepting the appointment allows the State of Illinois to move past this particular issue and focus on other neglected state business, which is far more important than punishing Blagojovich's infantile behavior in forcing his will in this matter.

    December 31, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. Dem in FL

    The fact is, Burris, you accepted the seat despite knowing the current governor that appointed you is undergoing investigation. While it may be true that you have no connections with the case, you accepted the appointment which leads to suspicion that you can overlook all the charges and still believe that there is nothing wrong with your decision. Also that you allowed Rush to bring divisiveness to the table, going on about how there are no more African Americans in the Senate. I will say that you may not be connected with the investigations of Rod Blagojevich but I do not think that you are a worthy choice of Barack Obama's seat because of your reaction to this you go against everything he stands for!
    Burris is not the only qualified Afircan American to replace Barack Obama in the Senate. I would much rather have one that is honorable and shows integrity than one who may have the right experience and ideas. Rod Blagojevich should NOT be the one to decide the appointment.

    December 31, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Mike- Missouri

    BUSH BEGONE – Just read your "post" and u are correct on that one!

    However, I think he should reconsider! Yes, I agree Palin should have been replaced while under investigation as well – and the huge banger is she should have been replace with someone with more Intellect! But the media love it when they realized she was dumb as a shoe!

    December 31, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. chad

    The Black Congressional Congress will fall all over this race and lynching argument and embrace Burris with open arms. They will not be able to see, hear or think clearly now that someone has cried race. No matter how transparent the moral thing to do is revealed. Race and lynching will cloud all rational thinking.

    December 31, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. zuq

    Enough of this already. Throw Blago in jail. This guy is a crook. He was being watched prior to this event.

    I can't wait until 1/20. OBAMA Baby!

    December 31, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Bill DeSoto, Texas

    If the Governor had appointed Mr. Burris to start with we would not be having this discussion.

    December 31, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Rick

    If he had any morals, he'd turn this down.

    December 31, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. alan j.

    Sorry, Burris
    You pretty much disqualified yourself by hopping into bed with Blago.
    Lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    Legally, Blago is innocent until proven guilty.
    Politically, you are a moron, none the less.

    December 31, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Old white lady in Birmingham, AL

    The Govs problems maybe should not affect Mr. Burris but they do. Get with reality here. It was a mistake to accept the position under the cloud that exists whether you did anything wrong or not.

    Oh I agree they should find someone younger.

    December 31, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. j

    If he really wanted to do the right thing, he wouldn't accept the appointment and call for a special election instead.

    December 31, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. SDR

    So there are not any blacks in the Senate. Why is that?? Either none ran for office or none were elected. So, when given the opportunity, a black is to be placed in office just because there aren't any at the moment? How about you name the most qualified not someone with skin color just for the sake of skin color. And the person doing the naming should be someone that everyone can trust. Blago is not that person at all anymore. And anyone that would go along with him is doing nothing more than helping keep the pot stirred just like Rep. Bush is doing. I say they are all in it together to keep the issue in turmoil and to distract from the Blago problems.

    December 31, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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