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. carlo

    He needs to step into the 21st century and get out of the past. Times change and most people change, with the exception of a few bigots who will never control anything in America.

    December 31, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. John in Ohio

    Bobby Rush is a moron.

    December 31, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. ANAG LOS ANGELES, CA

    wow they're really playing the race card. He should not be allowed anywhere near that seat I dont care if he's white, black or Latino

    December 31, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. the idiot

    Dumbrounded, don't know what to say here. Just a wreck, nothing to look at, keep moving. Just Bobby Rush at his most elegant.

    December 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Fara

    As an African American woman I find Rush's comment to be outrageous! There are TRUE racial injustices happening in this country and for him to be using the race card willy nilly like this is insulting to ALL blacks.

    December 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Arizona Ron from Tuscon

    Why bring race into the matter? This IMO is an insult to the Little Rock 9. The Senate made clear it's intentions, but yet Blajo still insists on making an appointment?

    December 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. jay

    HAVE AN ELECTION AND LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE

    December 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Micah

    What a terribly hateful and cynical thing to say.

    We're past all of that Bobby. Which means we're past you.

    December 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Adam

    I don't think this a racially motivated thing but I think that Burris seems like an honorable man. Why should he be thrown under the bus? So what if he's a pawn for Blago?

    Democrats are in self-destruct mode. Why not seat him?

    December 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Arizona Ron from Tucson

    Why bring race into the matter? This IMO is an insult to the Little Rock 9. The Senate made clear it's intentions, but yet Blajo still insists on making an appointment?

    ****I misspelled Tucson****

    December 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Get a Life

    Bobby Rush, an ex-black panther, current politician from Chicago using the words lynch and hang? Why doesn't it surprise me? Now if the skin tone were reversed and these words were used; well, you can just imagine. Thanks liberals, it's because of you these morons even have a voice!

    December 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. richard rohde

    Huh?

    December 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Michael Spiegel

    It's not that the US Senate "don't want to be in that position." It's that the US Senate does want senators who can speak English correctly.

    Rush played all the race cards, but will be trumped by the truth card.

    December 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. California Gold

    That's RICH. : '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." Rush and Burris both fail to understand the "moral outrage" that has made "most fair-minded Americans very, very angry." is the fact the Governor Blagojevich is OUT ON BAIL and carrying on as if the rest of the world doesn't matter. We don't accept Blagojevich and we reject his actions.

    December 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. gopolis

    I really cant believe this clown Rush. its not a racial thing and I wish he would not have tried to make it that. It weakens every valid racial point anyone can make in the future and it just goes to show liberals can be just as manipulative as conservatives when they want to

    December 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. southerncousin

    And this man represents what state and what city in Congress?

    December 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Junglista

    Oh good lord. This is not about race. This is about the corrupt actions of the governor.

    December 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Ray Fisher

    This is exactly the type of rhetoric which created so many undecided voters this year, fearing a "Black" takeover of government. Americans supported President Obama on the promise that this would not happen because he has the best interests of ALL Americans at heart not just black Americans. I hope and expect President Obama to stand by his words and unify our nation without resorting to racial bias as the consequences would be lethal to All America!!!

    December 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Beverly, NYC

    Mr. Rush you forgot to evoke "high tech lynching" ( Clarence Thomas) in your diatribe. Not seating Mr. Burris does not rise to the level of denying non-whites basic civil rights. You're really reaching on this one. And Blago is playing the race card in the most disgusting way.

    December 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. BUSH BEGONE AND NOW 75% OF AMERICANS AGREE, FINALLY!

    Since, Obama was voted into the Senate, his district maybe predominately black and I can see and understand the arguement for replacing a black senator with a new black senator to represent the district.

    However, even this socialistic, liberal, lefty wing-nut Southern white man has to call Rush out on this very obvious "playing of the race card".

    The Senate may want to nullify seating Burris but to suggest, in this case, the color of his skin, is the reason why, is frankly beyond ridiculous!

    December 31, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Maryland Democrat

    This is not an issue of race. The Senate made their statement before Blagojavich had made any appointment. They need to stand up for what they say. It should not matter what race the appointee is, the point is that he was appointed under the cloud of this scandal. No person, black, white, or otherwise should be treated differently.

    December 31, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Linda32

    Seems like Rush needs to take his own advice and "take a chill pill". This is not about black or white and to try and make it so shows how behind the times he is. As an African American I do not want anyone appointed by Blagojevich, anyone. If Blago will cared about his government he would have relinquish this duty to the Lt. Gov.

    December 31, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. JDM

    Blagojevich got caugth selling a senate seat. Now those whom want this seat will look the other way and use "The race card" to get the seat. Old School!
    However, the race card will not work this time. It has lost what little power it had when OB got elected. Sorry, you got to work and get elected. Blagojevich name is trash and no one should try and attach themselve to this guy. New School!

    December 31, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. CHANGE.COM

    Bobby Rush: you are a sorry person to throw the race card in the midst of this drama. You couldn't even enunciate African American properly at that ill-fated press conference with your stooge, Gov. Blago. Now you are really off the top with your historical reference. You should be ashamed of yourself. America just elected an African American for President, and you come out to dare the senate to refuse to sit an African American in the US senate? I am black, too, and am deeply offended with your comments and thinking. No wonder, before Obama, no one of your angry generation could go this far. You are a pitiful angry idiot of a human being. You really need to take some prozac and chill, man. better yet, don't show your face again. And please, take Burris with you, okay. He is as stupid and dumb as you are.

    December 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Mick

    Knock it off Rush. Your killing me with this race card stuff. There's a time call it, but this is not it!

    Fellow AA professional

    December 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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