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. California Gold

    Of course Blagojevich should be called on to resign. Part of effective leadership is to accept the fact that the governor's efforts are now going to be defending himself on charges for his conduct as governor. He will not be able to govern and serve the people of the State of Illinois effectively. Maybe as a nation we ought to collectively declare a War on Corrupt American Politicians.

    December 10, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Damon

    How are you going to link Obama to this man, and not link his own Lt. Gov. to the scam? You Obama haters can't see the forest for the trees. This is just a greedy man that did not care about the state of Illinois. All he cared about was making money.

    December 10, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. jaye

    Each and every crook in the house and senate should be rounded up and sent to Iraq – and that includes Ted Stevens.
    These people are disguisting, and all should be outed and sentenced.

    December 10, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Friends

    He will call all of his "friends" to resign, one way or another, eventually. That is what a friend is for.

    December 10, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Antoinette

    Do you Republicans that are attacking "corrupt" Democrats realize that John McCain was one of the Keating 5? Did you vote for him? Shouldn't he have been tossed out, to? Personally, I think John McCain is a piece of scum for dropping bombs on villages and killing innocent women and children in Hanoi.

    But, Blago is garbage and should should be put out with the trash. What a disgusting human being.

    December 10, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Nola

    Would you Obama haters please take the time to read the legal documents – The Governor refers to Obama in a negative tone – these two did not like each other – Also read the Chicago Newspapers – and you will discover that the Governor and his wife were out for money and position – Obama was not willing to play their game.

    Also the US Special Attorney stated that President -elect Obama was not involved in this pay to play game – if he had they would have had him in the documents. Would you haters please read before you open your mouths and touch a key on you computer

    December 10, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Bobby

    It ain't over 'till the corrupt governor sings. Why isn't the media reporting the fact one of Obama's closest advisors contracted him by saying the two (Obama and Blago) had indeed spoken about the latter's successor? Obama flatly denied this. Then, to make it even more interesting, the advisor changed his mind/selective memory. The other report out there is that the guy looking to buy the seat was another 'upstanding' Chicago politician (is there such a thing?) named Jesse Jackson, Jr. Go figure.....

    December 10, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Bill, ca

    I fully agree with OhioJimmy, there are crooks on both sides and they should be ousted.

    There should be a better screening procedure in place for senators, by
    both parties and Obama calls for the right action.

    These Messiah bloggers are corrupting all the discussions in these bloggs and are therefore not any better then Blagojevich.

    December 10, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Maggie from Virginia

    Marc, who are you kidding? You didn't vote for Obama. Nice try though!

    December 10, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Trollmaster

    Obama needs to support throwing the book at this guy for what he did showing he won't stand for corruption within his own party, instead of the Republican response to corruption of their kind by justifying it by saying "well Democrats do it too."

    December 10, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    To Marc: Get real. This is NOT Obama's scandal. This one belongs to Blagojevich alone.

    To general situation: Blagojevich should resign or face impeachment if he's guilty because he has violated the public trust in a major way. It would be a shame for the legislature to have to correct this situation by imposing a cumbersome legislative process into something which has historically been a governor's perogative. Why should Illinois be denied representation in the Senate for the period of time needed for a legislature to act?

    December 10, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. DC Observer

    State representative ----– $50,000
    US Congressman ------ $150,000
    US Senator --------- $300,000
    President of US ------- $125,000,000 and counting

    So what is the big deal here folks. Our government runs on campaign contributions, lobbyist donations, pork barrel projects, political appointments, and more

    What the Governor of IL is doing is actually refreshing -- he is calling it what it is -– Pay to Play

    December 10, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. George in SF

    Blago is a product of the same Illinois political machine that produced B.O. Notice how Resko's name showed up again? Probably just a coincidence.

    December 10, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Sylvia

    I have lived in the Chicagoland area all of my life. This is just "old school Illinois politics" at its best. For those people who follow Illinois politics the feds have been checking out Blago since 2001 or 2002. We knew it and he knew it. The only ties that Blago have to Obama is that fact that they are both Democrats and they both represent the State of Illinois.

    Even if Obama did speak with Blago about who he would suggest gets appointed is it uncommon for this to occur. When others won the presidency don't think for one minute that did they not give their opinion on who should be appointed to complete the term that they were vacating. Let's just be real about the whole situation.

    Some people are looking for any reason, any reason at all to discredit Obama. It is only one man and can not answer for everyone he know. We don't answer for the actions of everyone we know so why should he be held accountable for that. I am proud that I voted for President Obama.

    December 10, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Super D

    Maybe Obama can pardon himself?

    December 10, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. petena

    Republicans are working VERY HARD to figure out a way so that Obama does not take office. They go from the birth certificate to snooping around phone calls, etc. I think this guy should resign if he has proven to have done wrong. But until then....... Are Republicans' phone calls also being taped?

    December 10, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Denise

    The only way to get rid of corruption is for ANY elected official to do his or her job for no salary, no benefits, no nothing! It seems all politicians are VERY WEALTHY anyway, so if they really wanted to work for the people as they always say during election years let's put it to the test.

    I wonder how many people would jump at the opportunity to be a Congressman/Congresswoman, Governor, President, etc.... This just might bring back some confidence in politics.

    Thank you!

    December 10, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Jan Illinois

    Don't kid yourself, do you think that any and all politicians in Illinois are not connected? They have to be at some point, this could get ugly very fast. We in Illinois have every right to know exactly who is involved in our states corruption from the bottom to the top and we don't care who it is. If the governor decides to sing it, I want to hear the lyrics not just the tune.

    December 10, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Veronica

    Christine December 10th, 2008 2:38 pm ET

    I live in the most corrupt little city in America- here in CT., USA. Three of our past four mayors have been prison- all Republican (oops).

    A fellow nutmegger! Waterbury or Bridgeport??

    December 10, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. MIgirl

    These "sour grapes" Republicans have been waiting for ANYTHING to try to smear our duly-elected next President. The fact that it's this attempt to link a degenerate governor's abominable actions is so pathetic iit is almost laughable, if it weren't so ridiculous. Obama won! He's going to be our (yes, yours, too!) President! WE lived with YOURS for a horrible eight years! Get over it! Let the man try to clean up the mess YOUR guy left for all of us!

    December 10, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Lynn in NM

    Obama helped get him elected, and now he wants him to resign. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come with his cabinet.

    December 10, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Chicago resident

    There has been no talk of Obama being involved with this in any way as of now, aside from it being his seat Blago was trying to sell. The FBI has on tape the Gov. himself stating that the person Obama hoped would be appointed was only willing to "show their appreciation" instead of pay him off, which angered him.

    You all need to stop trying to point the finger at Obama every time something goes wrong and start hearing the actual facts. Obama may not be perfect, but to act as if this somehow proves he's a no-good, dirty politician with ties to all the trash in the political scene is beyond ridiculous.

    December 10, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Mark

    Read the criminal complaint against Blagojevich. You can find it online. Valerie Jarrett is "Senate Candidate 1." Has to be.

    December 10, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Randhir

    Obama should have asked for Blago's resignation yesterday, spontaneously, not today, deliberately !!

    December 10, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Honest American

    Mr. President elect has spoken... so step down or we will make u step down corruption anymore!!!!!!!!!

    December 10, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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