December 31st, 2008
12:32 PM ET
6 years ago

Rush says Senate Dems risk following in Bull Connor's footsteps

Rush spoke at Blagojevich’s press conference revealing the Burris pick.
Rush spoke at Blagojevich’s press conference revealing the Burris pick.

(CNN) - A day after warning critics of Roland Burris’s Senate appointment not to “hang or lynch” the former Illinois attorney general, Chicago congressman Bobby Rush said Democrats opposing Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s move to fill the open seat risk finding themselves “in the same position” as segregation-era figures Bull Connor and George Wallace.

"You know, the recent history of our nation has shown us that sometimes there could be individuals and there could be situations where schoolchildren - where you have officials standing in the doorway of schoolchildren," Rush told CBS Wednesday morning. "You know, I'm talking about all of us back in 1957 in Little Rock, Ark. I'm talking about George Wallace, Bull Connor and I'm sure that the U.S. Senate don't want to see themselves placed in the same position."

Rush told CNN Tuesday that the lack of African-Americans in the Senate was "a moral outrage" that "should make most fair-minded Americans very, very angry."

Watch: This is a good decision,' says Rush

Congressional Democratic leadership said Tuesday they will oppose seating any candidate appointed by the scandal-scarred Illinois governor to fill the remainder of President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate term.

It is unclear whether the Senate – which can refuse to seat any incoming lawmaker that they believe was not properly elected or appointed – has the legal standing to block the selection of a sitting governor.

Rush said Wednesday that Blagojevich’s opponents “need to take a chill pill."

"We're still a nation of laws and I believe that Roland Burris and Gov. Blagojevich, they're on solid constitutional grounds” in his selection, he said. “I think the U.S. Senate will have to accept him."

It was the second day of racially-charged comments from Rush backing the embattled governor’s decision to appoint Burris, a former Illinois attorney general. If he were seated, Burris would be the only African-American senator to serve in the next Congress.

"I would ask you to not hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer," Rush said at the Tuesday press conference where Blagojevich announced the selection of Burris.

President-elect Obama has said he opposes the seating of any candidate selected by Blagojevich to fill his Senate seat.


Filed under: Illinois
soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. Pat

    Since Burris on 12/9 said that anyone that was appointed would be tainted and should not be allowed to serve - end of subject.

    December 31, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. virginia for obama

    OH! STOP PLAYING THE RACE CARE RUSH!!!!!!!!!

    I'M BLACK MYSELF AND CAN SEE THROUGH THAT MESS YOU'RE TALKING. YOU OR BURRIS DON'T AUTOMATICALLY HAVE A RIGHT TO THAT SEAT. . . . RUN OR IT JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE AND STOP LIVING IN THE PAST AND START MOVING FORWARD!!!!!!!!!!

    December 31, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. JB

    Why are Africn Americans slamming Rush for making this a race issue? Sure he added to it, but it was made a race issue more so by the IL congressman and the appointee, and yet, very few so called black bloggers are commenting on them. Words like lynching and hanging and statements like "if they don't seat me it is because of my color" are much worse than what Rush did. I guess if the one making race an issue is black, it doesn't count?

    December 31, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. JLS

    Where does the Congressional leadership decide who's welcome and who isn't? If you don't like the rules, then put a change onto the ballot. If the govenor by law is entitled to do what he has done, you must abide by it. If the democratic senators get sued, they're going to lose, you can count it. Harry Reid has enough problems to deal with, stop looking like a jerk.

    December 31, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Juan Grain

    Rush needs to go find that bottle of Mad Dog he was sucking on before he hit the mic yesterday. What is the deal, loosers come in threes now?

    December 31, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. jrzshor

    how does this idea fit in with state's rights?

    i would hope that the us senate cannot and should not (and the president) stick their pious noses into state business.

    to decide membership based on who we like or not, is what we did in my college fraternity.

    oh i forgot, us leadership is a fraternity.

    December 31, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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