January 5th, 2009
06:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Burris: 'I intend to be sworn in'

Roland Burris spoke with reporters Monday before getting on a flight bound for Washington.
Roland Burris spoke with reporters Monday before getting on a flight bound for Washington.

(CNN) – Democratic leaders have said publicly they will not seat him - but Roland Burris will be in the Senate when it meets Tuesday.

“I intend to be sworn in,” the former Illinois attorney general told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Monday.

But Burris, appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat, also made it clear that he’s not looking for a fight. “But in no way will we go there to try create any type of confrontation, any type of scene,” Burris told Blitzer.

“...I will present myself to the Senate tomorrow afternoon, or tomorrow morning. And should they turn me away, I will then proceed to leave and then my lawyers will have to assess what the next of action will be.”

Related: Secretary of the Senate rejects Burris appointment

In an effort to defuse the situation with Burris, some in the Senate’s Democratic leadership are considering agreeing to seat him if he agrees not to run for re election in two years. Asked by Blitzer about this possible compromise, Burris flatly rejected the idea.

“’We don’t need somebody to warm the seat,’” Burris said his supporters told him about the possibility of being a caretaker senator for just two years. Burris also emphasized that he has previously ran for and won statewide office in Illinois four times during his decades-long political career in the state.

Watch: Burris in The Situation Room


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Maggie SC

    Give me a break, another Jesse Jackson we do not need nor a radicla Rev Jerimiah Wright.

    January 5, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. Anna, ATL

    The Democratic Senate doesnt want him because they are afraid the controversy and anger over the Blago scandal will defeat his reelection chances, and thus surrender the Seat to the GOP in 2010.

    I can hardly blame them.

    January 5, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. Sharon

    I'm front Illinois and I can honestly say beyond knowing his name, I can't recall anything Burris did that was notable when he was in office. He lost the last couple times he ran for office. He may be decent but we need more than just a warm body in the senate. He's an opportunist looking to make a name for himself. I know I won't vote for him if he runs for re-election and it has nothing to do with the color of his skin. If anything, when Bobby Rush called the race card he lost my vote. If you have to use your color instead of your credentials you don't deserve the job. I'm all for an African American having Obama's seat (and I'm white) but I want someone with substance. I don't see him being effective for us given how he is defiantly taking the seat. Not a great way to start your senate career. Who will want to work with him.

    January 5, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  4. Bea

    interesting but i think he will be seated.

    January 5, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. JAS

    Yikes–the level of discourse on this forum is, well, disappointing...

    What I don't understand about Burris, is why he would ever consent to be nominated under these circumstances... For someone who has spent his career developing an impeccable resume, you'd think he'd have better judgement.

    January 5, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  6. chuck

    I'VE NEVER SEEN A DUMB BLACK IDIOT LIKE BURRIS GETTING USED BY A SERBIAN CROOK. THIS JUST AMAZES ME.

    January 5, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  7. Jim D

    Rick Sutter – you really are the epitome of a Republican, I'll give you that. Not an ounce of fact, but plenty of pointing the finger at others. If that's not an idiot Conservative, I don't know what is.

    BTW attempting to talk smart is not the same as actually being smart. Your argument that "the more educated people are, the more Republican they are" is not only laughable, it completely flies in the face of common sense, which you seem short on. The more *highly* educated a person is, the more money they make. The more money they make, the more they don't want to pay high taxes on their money, therefore they vote Republican. Since this represents about 5% of the country, there is no way they win an election, so what do they do? They use wedge issues like abortion, guns, religion, war, race, and 'patriotism' to try and build a coalition of highly under-educated mostly southern and rural white people, who don't have the mental capability to realize that the Republican elites are using their simple-mindedness to basically steal from them, spy on them, and send their kids to die in the desert.

    Idiot.

    January 5, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  8. rich

    He intends to be sworn in ehh? Yuk, yuk, yuk. By who? The selection is not certified because all the signatures aren't on it, and won't be because it was Blahgoyowhatever who selected him. Shame on him for presuming the position he is in fact not yet entitled to.

    January 5, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. Penn Voter

    Burris says, “I intend to be sworn in” .

    yes you will be sworn in, right before you are asked to take the witness stand in the trial against the Chicago Machine bosses.

    January 5, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  10. Abe Froman - Chicago

    The whole issue here is he was selected by a Governor who was arrested for soliciting bribes for this seat. Thus it can be inferred that anyone the Governor selects will be tainted.

    The current Governor needs to step aside and let the Lt. Governor make the pick.

    The only people to blame are the residents of Illinois since we elected the Governor, even though there were several rumors and talk of Pay to Play scandals and his alleged dealings with Tony Rezco. What were we thinking?!

    January 5, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  11. New Yorker

    Jim D – You are wrong. The fact is they just don't want to support and encourage laziness and fraud. In other words their hard earned money supporting big government thugs and welfare recipients who keep voting for the big thugs who support their laziness in exchange for votes. You went to public school, to, I see.

    January 5, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  12. New Yorker

    Jim D – You are wrong. The fact is they just don't want to support and encourage laziness and fraud. In other words their hard earned money supporting big government thugs and welfare recipients who keep voting for the big thugs who support their laziness in exchange for votes. You went to public school, too, I see.

    January 5, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  13. Bill in Albuquerque

    Sorry but innocent till proven guilty, Burris is right and the Dems are pulling the same BS as Bush. I am a moderate dem who has voted straight party line for the last 8 elections

    January 5, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  14. Cynthia

    Burris is such a fool to be used this way.

    January 5, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  15. Brian in SC

    I concur with Kwame's statements made earlier. Burris needs to do the respectful thing and decline the nomination. It is an insult and a slap in the face to pres.-elect Obama and the plight of African-Americans, for him to continue pursuing this position under these circumstances. Please for my heritage and the rich history of this country, humble yourself and let your works exalt you...not your mouth.

    January 5, 2009 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
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