Issa defends calling Obama 'corrupt'
January 5th, 2011
03:25 PM ET
4 years ago

Issa defends calling Obama 'corrupt'

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), the brand-new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform, defended comments he had previously made that President Obama is "one of the most corrupt presidents of modern times."

Speaking to CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King Wednesday, Issa offered his definition of the word "corrupt":


"I think people misunderstand the meaning of the word corrupt, and obviously, CNN does. 'Corrupt', or 'corrupted' or 'failure', it's no different than a disc drive that's given you some bits that are wrong," Issa said on CNN.

Issa continued, "I have never said it's illegal. I've never made any of the statements that are often said on CNN that implied wrong-doing of the president at a criminal level, but I do believe that the American people have changed the control of the House in no small part because they saw more regulation, more misspending than they ever dreamed possible and they need Republicans to be part of the balance to bring that back under control."

The question was prompted by comments Issa made to Rush Limbaugh on October 19, 2010, when he said Obama was "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times." Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" he said he meant to say the Obama administration instead of the president.

"When you hand out $1 trillion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus, that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect," Issa said.

To hear more from Rep. Issa watch CNN's "John King, USA" Wednesday @ 7 p.m. ET


Filed under: Darrell Issa • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. DWL

    The only thing corrupt around is politicians in general specifically the GOP which serves nobody but them selfs and the rich SOB's that put them in office.

    January 5, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. al

    An understandable misinterpretation of the English language, where words can have so many different meanings. I only hope Issa understands my true intentions when I label him a gutless, back-tracking wanker.

    January 5, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. boocat

    Another con moron backpedaling about a stupid remark he made....so what else is new?

    January 5, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. sara

    Dispicable! Issa should be ashamed of himself to make bold accusations without proof. This is just another ploy to try and "scare" the hate mongers in this country. Black=corrupt.

    January 5, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Yanni

    This may be corrupted politician (he is trying to reinvent the meaning of corruption) has preconceived notion/accused the USA president in corrupted; even before he has the power to investigate the case. Now having the power; why he need to west resource he should rather recommend the president for trial (sarcasm)… it is a wonder how this kind of people reached to this level of power in government? There should be a fitness test to assume public office particularly at this level, I am sure this guy shouldn’t have made it. How can he be nonbiased and credible from this point will be a mystery to me!?

    January 5, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Yanni

    This may be corrupted politician (he is trying to reinvent the meaning of corruption) has preconceived notion/accused the USA president is corrupted; even before he has the power to investigate the case. Now having the power; why he need to west resource he should rather recommend the president for trial (sarcasm)… it is a wonder how this kind of people reached to this level of power in government? There should be a fitness test to assume public office particularly at this level, I am sure this guy shouldn’t have made it. How can he be nonbiased and credible from this point will be a mystery to me!?

    January 5, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Jim

    So, how much money did your former boss, President Bush, hand out with no-bid military contracts, especially to Haliburton? You are the most corrupt of the bunch, Issa, and you should NOT be in charge of leading kids across the street, much less of pursuing corruption inquiries against the President.

    January 5, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. sammieb51

    This guy is something else! He sends a letter to the corporations who have made trillions and trillions off our sweat asking them what he can do to make their lives easier. Wow, wish my boss would come to me and ask me that question. Let me see, more money, more time off, flex working time .... what will the corporations want? Oh probly that they can send all the jobs oversees without paying any sort of penalty or losing any stimulus money for doing that, hire illegals in US with no penalty, ease export restrictions .... Most folks don't go to the fox for security tips on the henhouse .... Yes, deregulatoin is the answer to our financial crisis which begs the question where were the Republicans while the economy was melting down between 2005-2008?

    If this guy keeps up with this dribble, he will be investigated by his own Oversight committee.

    January 5, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. derrick

    This fool republican is a disgrace and should be kicked out of office and thrown in jail to rot like the scum he is.......

    January 5, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Evan

    This political weasel slanders the President of the United States of America then has the gall to rewrite the definition of words spoken in crystal clear context.

    January 5, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. DAW, NC

    Lets see now corrupt doesn't mean what most people think, it means something else and all the rest of the news people and newspapers in the past have used it wrong. Obama spent 1 trillion in TARP money, which is not true and has been shown to be a false statement numerous times but then he implies he spent it inappropriately. lets no let the facts get in the way of a good distortion of reality, this guy is going to be a hack and use his position to try and discredit Obama by misrepresenting the facts just like his statement misrepresented them.

    January 5, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Gobama!

    Spending the same (technically a little less) than Presidential predecessors "has a corrupting effect"??? Sounds to me like Issa is the one in need of a dictionary.

    Definition of CORRUPT
    transitive verb
    1a : to change from good to bad in morals, manners, or actions; also : bribe b : to degrade with unsound principles or moral values
    2: rot, spoil
    3: to subject (a person) to corruption of blood
    4: to alter from the original or correct form or version
    intransitive verb
    1a : to become tainted or rotten b : to become morally debased
    2: to cause disintegration or ruin
    — cor·rupt·er also cor·rup·tor \-ˈrəp-tər\ noun
    — cor·rupt·ibil·i·ty \-ˌrəp-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
    — cor·rupt·ible \-ˈrəp-tə-bəl\ adjective
    — cor·rupt·ibly \-blē\ adverb

    January 5, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Katie

    What a clowish little man. C'mon, how stupid does he think people are. He grew a humongous pair on his stint on limbaugh, talked like a big man, and now his cohones have shrunken considerably since. Why not admit you're an idiot mr. issa? I could buy that explanation.

    January 5, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. gb0423

    wow, typically bs from a corrupt politician

    January 5, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. sane citizen

    Back pedal, back pedal, back pedal. Typical repugnant Republican. Make inflamatory remarks just to grab the headline and then when the press runs with it . . . blame the press for misrepresenting what you said! It's going to be a long two years for those of us in this country who have a brain.

    January 5, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Lola

    It's Issa who is "corrupt," as in morally bankrupt. He speaks recklessly, then lies about what he said. It's a laughable attempt at backpedalling, but it's also patently dishonest. Shame on him.

    January 5, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. deep south

    Sounds like Issa is more corrupted than anyone. He can't even use good English and as a result attempts to mislead the American people implying criminal acts. If Issa thinks corrupt means corrupted data, then he is being dishonest with himself and those he represents. He's not an idiot so he knows he is misleading and skewing meaning. He would have been a hit in the Soviet Union as a propaganda minister.

    January 5, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Shari from Madison

    Well, this is not a surprise. The Republican party routinely forgets Nixon's administration and puts the blame on everything wrong with the world on the democrats. They also like to take pot shots at Obama because he doesn't think a corporation is more important than an individual human being. Woe to them.

    January 5, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Liz the First

    Considering the source, Obama should take it as a compliment! seems today everything out of the rethugs' mouths is a mirror image of reality. so if a rethug says the sky is blue, make sure you bring your umbrella!

    January 5, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. paul

    Darrell,
    Stick to Fox News, Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity and you can say anything you want. And, don't worry if it is true or not. Heck, you might even get invited back if the truth is "stretched" just a wee bit. The other networks actually rely on facts and may call you out.

    January 5, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Guest

    Issa is an idiot

    January 5, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. lynn

    If Issa received his education in CA, that would explain his definitio of "corrupt". Go back and read your Webster, the common usage is "criminal or illegal". Anything else is twisted to suit his slimy GOP mouth.

    January 5, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Requiring Constitutional authority for bills? Heresy!"

    Guess what? People could propose legislation with a statement saying it is justified "by the words "the" and "a" on page 9" and it still passes Constitutional muster if parts of the Constitution like the Commerce Clause or Necessary and Proper Clause make it Constitutional. The GOP's claim of making it a rule that proposed legislation be accompanied by such a statement (which was really already a rule anyway) is grandstanding wang waving. It's a hollow and ultimately meaningless gesture....even if it really was their idea, which it really wasn't.

    January 5, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. WagTheDog

    Say what you mean and mean what you say. Issa has been moonwalking better than MJ.

    January 5, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Vet in TX

    the statement you really need to look at from Issa is: "American people have changed the control of the House in no small part because they saw more regulation, more misspending than they ever dreamed possible and they need Republicans to be part of the balance to bring that back under control." Notice how he says "needs republicans" no Mr Issa, America needs leaders to do their jobs not criminals who are acting like leaders. Why isn't his past being as scrutinized as Van Jones'?

    January 5, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5