December 11th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama says his office had no role in governor scandal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal conspiracy charges Tuesday."]CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama Thursday said no one in his office engaged in dealmaking with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich over who would succeed him in the Senate.

FBI agents arrested Blagojevich on Tuesday on federal corruption charges related in part to the selection of Obama's successor as a U.S. senator. Federal officials said Blagojevich was looking to sell or trade the position.

Obama said the vacant Senate seat is not for "any politician to trade," and he said he had never spoken to the governor on the subject.

He said he was confident that "no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat." The Senate seat "belongs to the people of Illinois and they deserve the best possible representation," he said.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. Angel

    Obama is the last angel standing, or even the "savior" of the world. Maybe Rod Blagojevich is thinking like... lawyer, a politician and a Democrat from Illinois (?) It is "change we can believe."

    December 11, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Richard North Carolina

    Chicago politics as usual. The people of the state totally dislike Blagojevich. President elect Obama placed in a situation because of the Governor that was not of his making. The FBI stepping in to the cases before it was over because of the tone of the wiretaps toward the President elect Obama was an appropriate move. The FBI handled the case as they do in many situations like this with a high profile person and calling to pickup and move thru court quick and out on the street again.

    December 11, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. mark

    Obama will be using 'Hussein' at the swear in....that makes me sick to my stomach.

    December 11, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Brian

    As an Illinois democrat, all I can say is I HATE this guy and I couldn't wait to vote against him in the next election. My only regret is I'll likely not have the chance.

    Rod, you are a disgrace. Put your corruption aside and do the people of Illinois one final service before heading to prison...


    December 11, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse NY

    You mean Obama never once talked to the Governor about his replacement? Not once? Ever? No one on his staff either? Very hard to believe.

    December 11, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. mark

    Obama is a shady

    December 11, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Vic

    I would love to know who blew the whistle on this vile governor.
    I'm thinking it was someone from the Chicago Tribune.

    December 11, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Fred

    All the politicos are running for cover. The President Elect, Ill Congressmen are asking for the Gov. to step down. MY question is "has this man been convicted?” No is the answer, and for the President Elect or present President to weigh in with any recommendations is just plain wrong at this time. Our Constitution still says innocent till proven guilty.
    I find it funny the Progressives are convicting before the Conservatives. Go double standard.
    And just as an after thought, wasn't the Pres. Elect going outside of the belt to change America. Sure is shaping up with the OLD GUARD. Watch your wallets!

    December 11, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. JL

    Is it just me, or are there more important things going on in the world that the media can cover? This story has been run into the ground and to be quite honest, there haven't really been any new developments.

    December 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Jim from Pittsburgh

    I think the vetting process is over....Lets stop all the investigations on this man. He won and the others lost. The vetting process has worked well,.. It answered alot of my questions. There are criminals in PA just like Illinios.


    December 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Mike M

    Obama is much too smart to get involved with something of this sort. Not only because it reeks of corruption, but the governor did it in such a blatantly obvious way.

    December 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. renee

    believe me they will find a way to blame you Prez elect Obama I am surprised they didnt blame you for the sinking of the Titanic or the Holocaust

    December 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. BeauMan

    Of course not! Who could possbly even believe for a minute that Obama would have shaky relationships with people of questionable character. Heck, he probably doesn't even know the good governor, or helped him get elected. Luckily, Obama's tie-in with shady politicians or financial backers...or racist religious leaders...has never been mentioned! He's a politician, isn't he?

    December 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. J.P.

    These are not the droids you're looking for.

    December 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. mark

    Obama is the "smarterst President ever", but he has no clue that something like this was brewing in his own shady town with his homeboy Jesse "I hate white people" Jackson....don't think so, wake up!

    December 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Lisa

    As a citizen of the state of Illinois, I can honestly say that NO one is surprised this happened. Our dear Governor Nit-Wit has only hisself to blame. It wasn't a matter of "if" with this nutjob, but "when". You'll never see a more arrogant individual and what many are saying about it being medical-related probably isn't too far-fetched. Although no one's surprised at him, I have to say I'm a little astonished at his wife's behavior. I don't know how they ever managed to walk with their noses stuck so high in the air! I do feel extremely sorry for their children. They'll suffer for years because of all this. All because their bozo parents were greedy beyond comprehension. Illinois will recover, I have no doubt. I think our former Governor's (Edgar) comment about the voters not falling for the flashy commercials and everything else that is thrown at us by whoever has the most $$ to spend is right on. But, there was another person arrested & named in the indictment....what's going on with John Harris his chief of staff? I bet that guy's somewhere singing like a bird (if he's got any sense)!

    December 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. PJP

    What did you expect him to say??????

    December 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    The unabashed nature of the records the FBI has of Blago are evidence that he is more criminal than politician. But because he is a politician, all politicians will suffer even more greatly in the perception that corruption comes with office.

    Political crime is as debased as violent and white collar crime.

    December 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Brad - California

    So what's the problem... he's no different from 49 other governors.

    December 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Milhouse van Houten

    I don't think anybody in the new administration had any prior knowledge of the workings of a obviously troubled human being.

    December 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Fenarkleman

    Blago...blago...uh, Governor This Dude is totally hiding more bribes on his hair-covered forehead. Is that a dead animal on his head? What's the deal with that? Is he Governor Big Boy or something like that? Man, that cowlick is scary.

    December 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    That governor must some kind of jerk!...but then again there are those who forget WHY they supposedly become "public servants." And it goes to all political parties.

    December 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. rachel

    Sure Obama you never spoke with him about who should replace you but you had your team do it and then dimed him out lol. Obama said he had no knowledge this was going on. I choose to beleive that Obama is not that naive about the political dealings of his home state.

    December 11, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. joy

    It is amazing that with the problems families are facing relating to healthcare you would think that the reporters are more concerned with the approach the new administration will be taking to help solve a lot of these problems.

    Yet, they were focused on a crooked Governor of Illinois, that President Elect Obama did not have any contact with regarding the selection of a person for his vacated position.

    Where is their priority?
    cudos to that reporter who ask the only question about healthcare. i hope more reporters will look up to her.

    December 11, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. BibleFreak

    Dear Bush

    I saw your Nightlin

    December 11, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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