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. Pam from Iowa

    Definitely leaves no room for doubt on just how stupid Blagojevich is!

    January 11, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Matilda

    So if u struggle growing up then u are considered black. Hmmmmm.............

    January 11, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Obama 2.0

    That Cell you will live in will be plenty black :)

    January 11, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Jane/Seattle

    It is getting fashionable to be Black! This is a good development, Indeed! Comedy increases as so many rush to capitalize on this for some points!

    January 11, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Stupid is as stupid does. Back under your rock!

    January 11, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. JA/TN

    we know he is stupid, why isn't he in jail

    January 11, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Augie

    What is being black?

    January 11, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Dempsy

    Why does anything Rod Blagojevich says even make the news? the only sensible thing he mentioned was that he was stupid.

    January 11, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. SocialismBad

    I can see what he was TRYING to say, ie. Blogo grew up in closer contact with the black community than Obama did. Obama was raised by his white family. Why is everybody so touchy about this? Even the blacks were initially saying Obama wasn't really black when the campaign started.

    Harry Reid comments about Obama were more offensive than this baloney. I guess it's OK for Democratic leaders to say racist things and all is forgiven.

    January 11, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. jeff jackson, alabama

    Stupid...is....as.....stupid...... does.......

    January 11, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. american patriot

    Ah ha ha ha ha ha

    You know something this guy has a point.

    I am 46 white male.

    Hell Obama is whiter than I am as far as how he speaks and manurisims. That is because he had white people raise him and he is smart enough to conduct himself with class and dignity.

    Now on the basketball court, oh ya let it out. Talk trash, get your slink on. It's part of the game.

    Good for him at least he conducts himself as an educated Human not as an educated Black American.

    There is only one race

    THE HUMAN RACE

    FACT OF LIFE

    January 11, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Anthony Watkins

    well, he is finally right about something, he is stupid!

    January 11, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Tina, FL

    For once I agree with Blago, he is stupid. Newsflash: If you've been ousted from the governorship, and would like to redeem yourself, don't say you are something you are not–which is BLACK. It just shows that the stereotype that he has of "blackness" is shinning someone's shoes.

    Be quiet Blago, and fade into the background for awhile. You're not helping yourself.

    January 11, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Larry

    He's stupid–we all know that.

    January 11, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Laurie in Spokane

    It's sure nice to have Blago admit what we've all know all along – he is stupid.

    January 11, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Vivian McRae

    Everytime somebody says something racist, it reflects more on that person than the President, the terrorist have declared war on all americans both foreign and domestic, not just blacks, whites, dem, or repub. american Anyone who thinks that they are superior or inferior because of skin color need to have their brains washed, people have a problem with dark skin blacks, and those same people are the first ones on the beach trying to get a tan, which is nothing more than the darkening of one's skin ,talk about double standard. Americans need to stop with their pushy and arrogant ways or we will never see the end of terrorism, because unlike the terrorist we are not united.

    January 11, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Joel

    Why is anyone giving this corrupt idiot the time of day?

    January 11, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Tim L.

    what can we say about old roddy boy typical open mouth insert foot syndrom.

    January 11, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. CS from VA

    Could someone please explain how this lummox got elected to anything in the first place? He personifies both "dumb" and "dumber"

    January 11, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. matt

    Is there any reason this guy still gets to have an opinion? What credibility can he possibly have? Although, it is entertaining to see him make an even bigger idiot of himself.

    January 11, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. rob

    Go away. Very far away.

    January 11, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. LYNETTE IN CA

    OMG! It doesn't get much dumber than this! There are truly people that should stop making news!

    January 11, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. kk

    exactly very stupid-no one should have to stoop this low for 5 minutes on the news.

    January 11, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Brian

    Can people please stop interviewing themselves?..."Am I frusterated? Yes. Was I expressing frustration? Yes..." The most annoying thing in the english language. And on top of that, we have to hear it come from the mouth of a greedy, dishonest politician who is trying to plaster on this fake innocense, thinking he is actually making us believe that he is the victim. Absolutely pathetic, embarassing.

    January 11, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. MB Seattle

    You're are dumber than a stump. Why are you news worthy?

    January 11, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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