December 31st, 2008
12:32 PM ET
5 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. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    IF BLAGO HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT, IT'S DIRTY.

    Illinois ought to hold a special election.

    December 31, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. malabar

    triple your feedback- add sarah palin to the title!

    December 31, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Western Voter

    That is a breathtakingly crude use of the "race card." Give us a break. There is every need to at least question and scrutinize this so-called appointment.

    Burris should have considered not even allowing himself to be appointed by such a tainted Governor in such a tainted process. Blago and Burris should both step aside and allow a process with integrity to produce a Senator...who might well be Burris but without the scent of possibl scandal.

    December 31, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    .... the Senate don't want to see??? it don't???

    another uneducated dope in politics....

    December 31, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Old white lady in Birmingham, AL

    I among only 10% of white folks in Alabama that voted for Obama and this is ridiculous. Blocking the appointment has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with the Gov., who cannot be trusted.

    December 31, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. chad

    Bobby Rush has conveniently looked the other way while the children stole the candy. Wake up Bobby.

    December 31, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. CHANGE.COM

    Only a crook will accept an appointment from a crook. And, only a crook will come out and defend another crook. While play the race card, Bobby? You are a despicable human being for making those racial comments. As an African American, I've always wondered why many of your angry generation always have to play that race card. Why can't we be Americans first? I hope and pray that someone challenges you for your house seat so you can permanently go and sit down and chill on your race bated, hate-filled pills.

    December 31, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. richard rohde

    At the risk of being called an idiot. OMG

    December 31, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Credit Card Republicans

    Rush is the same scumbag that started all this Messiah stuff.He wants to be thought of as the Messiah.I cant wait till they enact the Fairness Doctrine and really get his unders in a bunch,the lying hypocrite.

    December 31, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. JL

    Rush......................................"shut-up" and sit down. PLEASE, this is NOT a Black/White issue at all is corrupt/greedie issue. The man is a crook, pure and simple, no one trusts a "crooks" nomination NO ONE!

    December 31, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Willy Brown

    Matter of time and they will be gone.

    December 31, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. adods

    What is it with people named Rush? Bobby Rush sounds just as misguided as his right wing counterpart Limbaugh!

    December 31, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Mike

    (Senators don't represent districts, they represent entire states.)

    December 31, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Don

    Rush's comments are offensive and racist. I'm sick of this professional victimology that says that if you disagree with a black person, then you're racist. It's disgusting. This has nothing to do with Buriss' race.

    December 31, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. chuck

    Wrong Mr. Rush. When a Governor is about to be indicted, you do not accept an appointment from him no matter what your color. Get the race card out of this. Mr. Rush should be ashamed of himself. He is only hurting the Democrats who want this to be as fair and open a choice as possible. This is not a RACE issue. Period.

    December 31, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Peter

    Anyone with an IQ three points higher than a brick can see through this nonsense.

    December 31, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. James, Ho. TX

    Bobby Rush, Raymond Burris: He who follows never gets to Lead !

    December 31, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Paul

    If Burris is the right person for the job, he won't need Blago's corrupt processes to get him into the Senate. It's too bad that Blago chose to drag Burris into his mess.

    December 31, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Steve

    If Burriss had half a brain and was even remotely politically saavy, he would have cozied up to Lt. Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn. Blago was warned that no appointment would be honored, by EVERYONE from Obama to Reid yet he ignored it. Burriss will go the way of Blago, and that road will lead to Blago's impeachment. Pat Quinn will have the power of appointment, and unfortunately this move by Burriss means there will be one less qualified African-American candidate to consider.

    December 31, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Geeque - Chicago,IL

    Hey Bobby Rush, Just shut the hell up moron, this is not Black Panthers era, Go back to the Southside of Chicago and help clean up the gangs and reduce the number of driveby shootings. You sound so stupid, illiterate, thick headed, and ignorant. This is from a pissed off black person, you are making this whole thing into a race issue which we all know it is not.

    BOBBY RUSH YOU SUCK, WHAT AN IDIOT.

    December 31, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I already sick of this Rush guy! I am African-American and I do not see this issue as a matter of race. In fact, I am insulted by this pick of Burris.

    December 31, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Corey, Maryland

    This situation has nothing to do with racism or how african americans are treated unfairly, this is about a corrupt governor who shouldnt be allowed to appoint who he wants. Why do african americans like to pull out the racist card every single time? What an idiot!!

    December 31, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. ryan

    I don't think he realizes that, generally speaking, most Senators get ELECTED by the people...

    I don't see the racism here.

    December 31, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Phoenix

    RACE IS NOT AN ISSUE. Whether this man is black or white, Gov. Blago was specifically told NOT to appoint anyone. As a black American and citizen of Illinois, I wrote my senator because I want Burris blocked IMMEDIATELY. Do not underestimate the black voters. The Republicans did and you see what happened there.

    God, Michael I hope so. Beautiful quote
    "Rush played all the race cards, but will be trumped by the truth card."

    December 31, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. tfc

    Rush needs to sit down and shut up!

    December 31, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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