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. Jos/TN

    of course he should, once under indictment, arrested, policticans should be required to resign their post, forbidding their arrogance, they seem to operate above the law

    December 10, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Ms. Jenny

    All this belly-aching from bitter Republicans about how Blogo's actions somehow reflect on Obama is a joke. In fact, it was Obama's own CoS who turned Blogo in!

    Obama never really like this guy. I believe Obama supported him during Blogo's first campaign for Gov, but ever since then Obama has kept him at an arm's length. Presumably, Obama realized soon after Blogo took office that he was a shady character, and that's why Obama didn't want Blogo to have anything to do with his presidential campaign.

    December 10, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. The Dawg

    Good to see the pattern holds. Obama's initial reaction to any issue is always weak. Then, after he's had 24 hours to ask people what he should have said, he comes to the conclusion that most people believed was correct to begin with. Can't wait to see how he handles a real crisis. Maybe Hillary wasn't too far off on her 3 a.m. ad.

    December 10, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Doug

    Like, DUH?? Seems about a day late, but I guess he had to consult with his cabinet and get the script in the teleprompter before going public after reaching such an astute opinion...

    December 10, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. BevAnn

    We need to figure out how to fire elected officials. Waiting for a resignation or impeachment takes too long. At the very least, he should be relinquished of his power, the state should have an acting governor and if Blago's name is cleared he can come back. This behavior is unacceptable – intolerable – on any scale.

    December 10, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Indyman

    You scare me Barack! With all your connections!

    Amazing how you want everyone to resign once they have been identified as crooks, but until then – you rock and roll with them 🙂

    December 10, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. an american first

    Special election is how all these senators should be replaced regardless of this particular situation with the current governon in Illinois. Think about it. If McCain would have been the President, then his replacement would be decided by Napalitano – a democrat. This is not fair. If special elections are expensive and they are worried about low turnout because people simply don't know about the candidates, then the second choice should be that the senator who is leaving the office should decide his/her successor – obviously given that the person is leaving the office for the right reason and not wrong reasons. That way, the people who elected him are still represented – not by him/her but his/her choice.

    December 10, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Spencer/Virginia

    President Obama fights against corruption. So I knew he'll as the governor to resign.

    December 10, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Sweetie

    What about the trust and confidence of the American People that our PE isn't as dirty as all the Politicians in Chicago?

    With the Bailout money going to buy up other banks instead of giving credit a kick start, we have reason not to TRUST!

    December 10, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Emmanuel

    Now the HATERS out there will try to find something new on Obama. How can Obama being a President-Elect with all the troubles he faces to fix our economy and manage a successful transition be busy looking backwards to his senate sit to the extent of committing crime? You republicans and race haters better hide your disgusting and ancient ways of thinking. May God forgive all of you I hope you call on Bush and Rove to do the same and speak the truth.

    December 10, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Sharon Kitchen

    I believe that Obama and Gibbs are very correct.
    Thank you , President -Elect Obama.

    December 10, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. gerry

    Although, this is the right thing for Obama to be doing, it might not be the right thing to do considering how unbalanced this govenor is.

    I fully expect a pack of lies and rhetoric from Blagojevich concerning Obama as a result of Obama asking him to resign which will all be quite a distraction for the transition team.

    December 10, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Veronica

    As a Democrat, I am appalled at what an arrogant tool Blagojevich is. While technically, it appears he may not have broken any laws (did money/favors actually exchange hands? We won't know until all is revealed), this moron needs to step down. STAT.

    He needs to tender his resignation, let his Lt. Gov. choose Obama's successor, and grow up and accept responsibility for his actions. Good riddance to trash, I say.

    Oh, and he can take that moron Charles Rangel with him, too.

    December 10, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. dave

    Frankly, I'm not sure that public trust or confidence has much to do with being a politician after the election. Has W. taught us nothing?

    December 10, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Chris

    So this guy said he wanted to have more resources, the ability to get his wife a job as lobbyist, more money, more fame, and the ability to generate speaking fees.
    Sounds like a politician to me. Big shocker.
    At least this guy is honest enough to say it.

    December 10, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |

    I think the President -elect Barack Obama is doing the right thing,
    the President -elect is a good man!

    December 10, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. theunknownblogger

    I think that Lt Govenor Quinn should become Governor to replace Blagojevich immediately.
    Blogojevich need not resign. He needs to be FIRED for misuse of Public Office.
    Quinn should be the person to chose the Senator and he should do so within 3 weeks.

    December 10, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Louis

    No comments please from right wingnuts about Obama throwing the Governor under the bus. Obama has no connection to Blagojevich's corrupt behavior and to call for his resignation demonstrates the kind of leadership our country needs.

    December 10, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Milhouse van Houten

    What other options did he possibly have?Of course he has to call for the resignation of a delusional criminal such as this man.

    December 10, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Andy

    Get him to resign and close that closet door quickly, there might be more skeletons lurking in there! Who was it that said a few months ago "we know how to do politics here in Chicago"

    December 10, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Connor

    I hope the world will not judge Illinois by Blagojevich. Please remember we have also produced President Elect Obama who is of exemplary character, and in the governors mix, we also had Jim Edgar in there, who was a dedicated, loyal, honorable servant of Illinois and the country. Please don't overlook the good in the quagmire.

    December 10, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. annoyed

    I have to ask though:
    Do we really think this is the only instance that this sort of thing occurs?

    I'd like to think it is, but honestly, I know this sort of thing must be happening all of the time.


    December 10, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Liberal in Los Angeles, CA

    That' right PE Obama. Tell that snub what his next should be.

    December 10, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Chicago Girl

    His resignation cannot come soon enough. Good riddance Blago.

    December 10, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Joy


    December 10, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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