January 11th, 2010
01:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Blagojevich: 'Stupid' to say I'm blacker than Obama

(CNN) - Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is apologizing for telling Esquire Magazine he's "blacker than Barack Obama."

"What I said was stupid, stupid, stupid," he told reporters outside his home Monday.

"I was speaking metaphorically. Obviously I'm not blacker than President Obama," said Blagojevich, who was impeached last year after being accused of trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

In the February edition of Esquire, Blagojevich said Obama was "catapulted in on hope can change, what we hope the guy is …

"What the f***? Everything he's saying's on the teleprompter. I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up," he said.

The governor apologized for his "stupid comments," but said he was expressing "real frustration" that nothing has changed under the Obama administration.

"Am I frustrated? Yes. Was I expressing frustration? Yes. Was that frustration real? Yes. Is it still real? Yes. Was the way I said what I said stupid? Absolutely yes, stupid," Blagojevich said.

Blagojevich last year pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges. A federal grand jury in April indicted him on 16 felony counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators. His trial is slated for later this year.

The embattled ex-governor has maintained his innocence, insisting that "when the full story's heard …. it'll correct itself."

"What helps me get up every morning is, I'm fighting the fight for something much larger than me," Blagojevich said in the interview. "I'm fighting for what is at the basis of what our country is supposed to be, a place where you're presumed innocent, where if in fact you did something wrong, the system plays out in such a way where the truth comes out, not people being forced to lie and being squeezed to lie. If you love your country as I do, this is a fight worth fighting."

Blagojevich appears on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice" in March. His wife, Patti, was on the network's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" this past summer, lasting 23 days in the Costa Rican jungle before being voted off.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Darren

    Blogojevich is equating poor with black. Black is a race. Poor is a socioeconomic status. When you get the two confused, then you are a racist AND a classist. I guess that's what you can expect from a certifiably naricissistic sociopath like Blago, and you can expect that he doesn't even see the wrongness in his own apology.

    January 11, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Dex, Houston TX

    Can't we put this guy behind bars for just being stupid....

    January 11, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Elmer

    Stupdity here and stupidity on Reid's part. The question we should all ask is....why do all these supposedly very smart guys who know it is wrong when they do it ONLY apologize when they get caught or called on it?? Says to me either (1) they aren't sorry they said it, or (2) they are only sorry they got caught or (3) they are just plain stupid?? Whichever it is is bad and I don't accept these late and convenient apologies and none of us should!!

    January 11, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. al in memphis

    Isn't there screening tools for how stupid a person can be before they become governor. From Alaska to New York to South Carolina to Illonis, it like these people where got the job because everyone else was out on vacation.

    January 11, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. unemployed by Obama

    why not say it, You and Obama had a deal and Reid can say anything he wants. You all are racists against anyone other than the Obama elitest.

    January 11, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. nardofree va.

    What the? Dude, if you were blacker than Obama , you'd be in jail by now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 11, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    STUPID is what STUPID does!!!! Stupid!!

    January 11, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. nardofree va.

    I'm sorry, i said that out of frustration!

    January 11, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Justen in Florida

    Chicago politics at it's best.

    January 11, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Marshall

    Stupid is what stupid does.

    January 11, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. J.Crobuzon

    Blago may be the stupidest man in politics today.

    January 11, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Dale

    What is he doing out? I thought he was convicted.

    January 11, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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