December 10th, 2008
12:59 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama calls on Blagojevich to resign

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama is now calling on Blagojevich to step down."](CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama Wednesday joined calls for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to resign.

"The president-elect agrees with [Illinois] Lt. Governor Quinn and many others that under the current circumstances it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

On Tuesday Blagojevich was arrested on federal conspiracy charges. Prosecutors alleged in their complaint that Blagojevich pressured candidates to replace Obama in the Senate for campaign contributions and other benefits.

Gibbs said Obama also supported legislation that will be considered by Illinois lawmakers on Monday to authorize a special election to choose his successor.

Obama believes Illinois lawmakers should "put in place a process to select a new senator that will have the trust and confidence of the the people of Illinois," Gibbs said.

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soundoff (551 Responses)
  1. Jo

    To those who are attacking what PE Obama said: What would you want him to say? He said the same thing that I am sure 99% of the people of the state of Illinois have said. He should resign. Get over your self righouness and off your pdestal. Little George defended his attorney general who was caught lying and now can't even get job in a law firm.

    December 10, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. ChicagoSuz

    I think Blagojevich may go out kicking & screaming. (Think Larry Craig.) The State Senate may have to vote to strip him of the power to appoint the replacement asap, then initiate impeachment proceedings.

    It'll be a race then to see which comes first – jail or impeachment.

    I hope the Lt. Governor is as clean as they say...

    December 10, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Joe

    Frank said...

    "And the media has been against Bush from day 1, there is no Republican Media, only the liberal media."

    What's the weather like on your planet? Here on Earth, the media was comically pro-Bush for most of his presidency. Think waaay back to when he started an unprovoked war based on spurious evidence. No one in the mainstream media bothered asking any serious questions. Same thing for the PATRIOT act. If the media were even remotely anti-Bush he would've been impeached before the 2004 election.

    The "liberal media" is a myth made up by conservatives who'd rather resort to ad hominem attacks than admit when they're wrong.

    December 10, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Soccer Nana

    Did anyone notice that this governor was not asked to speak at all during the DNC or in Grant Park after Obama won the election?

    Then he is on tape calling Obama a MF? Wow! What a nut-burger.

    December 10, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Ethelred the Unready

    I'm tired of those who believe that elections are about "character." Character is a fantasy concept which cannot be defined and cannot be discerned. Those who look for "character" in their candidates typically vote for the biggest flag-waving blow-hard they can find. They like people who – modestly of course – spend all their time tooting their own horn, patting themselves on the back, and jutting their jaws in carefully rehearsed poses.

    Ronald Reagan famously said, "Sincerety is the key thing. If you can fake that, you've got it made!" Those around Reagan laughed, as though he were joking.

    December 10, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Lisa V

    In reference to the Obama bashing that has been going on: Thanks to the McCain Palin ticket firing up The Base (code for the least educated, least diverse, and least tolerant people in this country), this is the type of politics we are going to have to look forward to for the next four years: Opportunistic Scapegoating. Then, even if Obama is the saints of saints and turns the economy around, things are going to get even uglier for the 2012 election.

    December 10, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. Angie-OHIO

    Good move President elect Obama. Blagojevich should resign. the govenorship is Illinois is something. they get crazy with power thinking they are above the law. the govenor before blagojevich is in jail. maybe they will be cellmates. he sounds like an arrogant jerk. he gets the LOSER AWARD FOR TODAY.

    December 10, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Tom D

    We, as Americans, are supposedly the best educated society on earth. It sickens me to read the ignorance of people here. Do you really believe the hate you spew? THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR GOVERNMENT!!! We are more likely to vote for a candidate in our own party than we are for the qualified person.

    Because a candidate belongs to a party you oppose you all would rather spread filth than do research. Wake up America, use the good sense God gave you and take the time to RESEARCH before you spew. The world must chuckle and view us all as rednecks when they see this.

    December 10, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Independent

    Um is it right for a president to involve himself in state politics?

    December 10, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Brad, Lincoln, NE

    Where was Mr. Obama yesterday when everyone else was calling for his resignation? Way to jump on the band wagon, Mr. President-elect.

    December 10, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |

    Bhupendra: What language was that???
    Good for you Mr. President-Elect and I'm happy that rod cussed you out. No one can blame you for this, though some will try.

    December 10, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Mike

    I'm satisfied with PE Obama's call for the governor's resignation. I'm happy that he took a bit of time to think about what he should say. This business of shooting off one's mouth and thinking about it later as the leader of the free world is apparently, thankfully, a thing of the past. The news media does need to be careful about being consistent in its reporting with respect to identifying the political party affiliation of the subjects of its reporting. Either identify all subjects by political party or identify none. This will take away the ammunition of those who wish to claim biased or otherwise tainted reporting. US Atty Stewart has shown himself to be willing to go full speed after politicians who violate the law without regard to their political party. I trust him. If he says that his office is making no allegations against PE Obama, I believe that that is because the PE was not involved.

    December 10, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Brian L Ross

    I'velived in Illinois 32 years. Thompson, Ryan, and now Blagojevitch: Barak Obama–he grew in the same orchard. Tell me what do you honestly expect from him as president?

    December 10, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Chicago GOP

    Ya think? I am more than certian BO had no idea what Blago was up to, yet once again, it's going to be pie in the face to some degree. Knowing Blago, I'm sure that the only reason he stood behind BO was that in his mind the election of Obama was going to be a windfall for him. He's been angling for this for years. Every politician in this City is a dirt ball. And the few honest and reputable politicians who occasionally make an attempt to run are steam-rolled by the patronage armies of these incumbent fools (Blago, Stroger, Jones, Guttierez, and on and on...). Blago does however take the cake! I doubt there has even been a more arrogant, egocentric, possibly dangerous man in office in the State. And his wife? She may very well be more evil than he, she's smarter! And we are deserving of the Olympics? Best City on America by GQ? What is everybody smoking?

    December 10, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. jb

    Bhupendra–i'm guessing since you can't spell or construct a sentence that you can't read either. obama said lawmakers should decide. he has no voice in the matter. but yes, he should comment on the situation as is expected of him.

    December 10, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. brian

    I think the guy is scum,


    What happened to innocent before being proved guilty? He was only arrested, not found guilty yet.

    December 10, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. No Hillary = No Obama

    You mean to tell me with the gutter politics that pervades Ilinois and Chicago that Obama does haven't a speck of dirt on him? I don't believe it .

    December 10, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Angie

    Bhupendra –

    What in the Hell are you talking about?!!! You are trying to blame Obama for this. You can't even spell correctly; so please do not try to accuse anyone, but the guilty himself of his crime. DANG!! Can you say dictionary or SPELL CHECK................

    You would have the wrong person going to jail if you worked for the government, just on your incorrect spelling alone.

    Are you High?

    December 10, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Proud American

    Bhupendra, it is because of people like you (probably illegal immigrant) that our country has turned out to be the way it is!!
    A complete and total disgrace!

    At least Mr. Obama is acting now and not waiting for his turn!
    It shows his leadership and head on his shoulders!!

    Mr. Obama don't let people like Bhupendra blind you from doing what is right!

    Go back to India or Pakistan Bhupendra!

    December 10, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. joy

    May God bless PE Obama. May God protect him from the right wig nut. ppl like , Rush, and Hannity, and the stupid media. they want Obama to be responsible for what anybody do and what they might do in the future. get a life those of you who can not believe that he won the election. the election is over, Obama won. if the right wig nut think they can bring Obama down, just watch and see how the world will react. the world will hate us more than they do right now. so u ppl who are not happy that he won the election back off and let him do his job. Obama is not Jesus who died for the sinners. stop holding him responsible for the sins of other ppl.

    December 10, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Sparky

    Frank says: "There is no Republican Media, only the liberal media...."

    Two words: Fox News. Four more words: Rush Limbaugh. National Review. Perhaps you're already familiar with these but conveniently chose to ignore their existence temporarily to make your point.

    December 10, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Adam

    @ Selina

    Obama got his senate seat in a senatorial election. He was not appointed to the position.

    I know you lost your paycheck from the McCain campaign, but your point is still inane.

    December 10, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Joe public

    I agree that Blagojevich should resign. I also think he should be punished and serve time. This corruption needs to be eliminated from those in government. The people we elect need to be held to a higher standard and should not be above the law for breaking it.

    This is just a single instance. I'm sure this may have happened under the radar at some other point in our nation's history in this or other states. There should be a checks and balances on this process so that this CAN NOT happen again. Maybe it should be decided by more than a single person. In any case, there has to be a change placed into action.

    December 10, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Joe

    John Galt, no matter what happens to Gov. Ed – there's one thng that he and PE Obama will always have in common, they AGREED on who should be President.

    December 10, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. perceptions

    Ethelred the Unready December 10th, 2008 1:34 pm ET

    The Obama Administration must avoid scandal or the suggestion of scandal to be successful. Why? Because Conservative leaders are waiting, hoping, and praying for any error, any blunder, any misstep that they can pounce on. They have learned how to play the media like an accordian, and they will divert the nation's attention from issues like employment, wages, child health care, the mortgage crisis, the recession, corporate hanky-panky, veterans benefits, etc.

    Conservative leaders would much prefer for the nation to be discussing whether Obama's mother-in-law's Sunday School teacher wrote an unpatriotic essay when she was in the eleventh grade. "I'm not saying Obama is necessarily a traitor because of this," they will say, "but the American people deserve to hear the truth! And if the President himself turns out to be a traitor – mind you i'm not saying he is – then how many of his friends are traitors too? America needs to learn the truth!"

    Conservatism is an unpatriotic political philosophy and it needs to be disregarded as a rational option for the nation.

    Is that was the liberal fascists that generates our news for us "taught" you?

    Liberals.............crooks and clueless

    December 10, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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