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. JuanM

    Yawn. More of the same old politics from these two corrupt parties. When will America learn that we need to stop electing these republicans and democrats. They are pretty much the same – CORRUPT. We need alternatives if we want real change, and not just words.

    December 11, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. MattZ

    I see where this is headed . . .

    Bail out the banks . . .
    Bail out the auto industry . . .
    Punish a man for his extreme capitalist views (i.e. selling a senate seat) . . .

    OMG! The idiots were right! The US *is* headed toward Marxism!

    December 11, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Fenarkleman

    Dave from Illinois. That guy is a total, putzhead loser. He probably voted for Governor Blago-slago-lago...uh...This Dude. In fact, loser Dave from Illinois probably stuffed a few thousand in bribes under Governor Blago-jago-..uh, This Dude's cowlick.

    Stick that in your coffers and count it, Dave from Illinois. BTW, I love living in YOUR mother's basement.

    December 11, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Recently Unemployed - No Distractions

    Our economy is in the position that it is because of crooks and misuse of power by Republicans who make Blagovich look like an ant. This man called Obama unrepeatable words. I am outraged that the media is more focused on this crazy crooked governor than it is the people.

    No distractions. Mr. Obama, during this drama and soap opera, please do not let this crazy media make you lose focus on the American people. We do need jobs and health-care and we are please with what you have done so far and do not let the Republicans or Democrats or media take you off focus of helping us and rebuilding America. If what Bush and Cheney and McCain and deregulation and the fall of the economy didn't disgust you most, nothing will. Arrest and put the Govenor in jail, but we voted Obama in to help the American people get jobs and healthcare and to restore the dream.

    December 11, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. BeauMan

    And to any hostile Democrats saying, "You can't blame Obama for this"...O.K., nothing has been proven. Let's see what happens. But don't forget, you have been blaming Bush for EVERYTHING over the last few years (twin tower terrorism, Hurrican Katrina, so-called global warming, the economy, etc.). Now, it will be our President-elect Obama that gets punched around. Face it, you simply can't believe that Obama knows nothing about this situation. If he didn't, he's either an idiot or a liar...if he did, why wasn't something done?

    December 11, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Jen

    Didn't Obama's Cheif of Staff Rahm Emanuel the FBI off about this guy? and also Blagojevich before becoming Govenor served as RE from Illinois 5th district now occupied by Rahm Emanuel

    December 11, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Biff Biffington is the response to Tyrone Jackson

    Funny... i just dont' recall the level of euphoria-like media coverage when the Downing street memo quoting Bush as "fixing facts around the policy" before we went to WAR.....

    but he.... Blagojevich tried to sell Obama's seat... so Obama must have known, right? wall to wall coverage

    is it just me?

    December 11, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Apples for sale

    He seems to be a girlyman to me.He should wear lipstick.Maybe he should just come out of the closet.I feel sorry for his wife.

    December 11, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. ApplePie

    his is just a partial list of Bush scandals. Halliburton's Corruption; Iraq's Decline; Abu Ghraib Prison Torture; CIA Pre-9/11 Intelligence; Failures; HHS Deceptive Ad Campaign; HHS Scully Scandal; Government-wide Accounting; Problems; Sex Education Misinformation; CAPPS II Failures; Real Costs of the Iraq War; US Attorney Firings; Walter Reed Army Hospital Neglect; Mishandling North Korea nuclear issue; Outing a CIA Agent; Lying to the American People; Hurrican Katrina; Warrantless wiretapping; Selling government to K Street lobbyists; Duke Cunningham, a corrupt politician steered money towards office supplies for Cheney; And there's much, much more.

    I'm sure to all of this you lying scandalous repugs would just say (in the words of your hero) "So"?

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

    Logically wouldn't most people that were leaving their own Illinois Senate Seat they had been elected to,be curious about who was going to get their old job ,and try and find out at least something, just to know??I would think the President-elect would at least want to give his own suggestions on who he would like to see get the job .I'm just amazed that know body is even curious about anything.

    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.

    December 11, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Marc

    Let's face it, whoever Blagojevich appoints will face a political suicide if he or she accepts the appointment, and besides might not even be accepted by the Senate given the circumstances.
    Thus, either with him resigning or not, being impeached or not, Blago is history. And there's a problematic seat in the Senate to be dealt with.
    Those are the facts.

    December 11, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Cynt

    Why in the heck is Pres Obama having to address this scandal? This if strictly the Gov of Ilinois crime and not Obama's, give me a break is everything that goes wrong in Illinois going to be Obama's fault? Campbell Brown with her accusation that Obama knows more is a disgrace also. She needs to shut the hell up.

    December 11, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Nick the Photographer

    Really? Because, according to Campbell Brown there was a connection.

    Oh, Campbell Brown why must you make up stuff to report on? There's plenty of real news you could be reporting on.... oh, wait... I forgot, you're not a real reporter.

    December 11, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. MikeH

    To roughly quote Blago, "All that mofo Obama wants to give us is appreciation. **** him."

    Seems pretty clear to me.

    I do want to know if Rahm was the one who fingered Blago to the Feds. It would make sense. Blago was extremely toxic to the Democratic cause. He had to be taken out somehow before the damage he was doing got any greater.

    December 11, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Virginia

    We will just have to wait and see on this one-usually the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.

    December 11, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Deb

    Blagojevich’s wife, Patricia Blagojevich, is the Realtor who got the Obama’s their house in which convicted felon Rezko did the questionable land deal. We know too that Michelle Obama got a huge pay raise after Obama was elected to the US Senate. US Attorney Fitzgerald needs to check if Obama was “involved” with paying through the wives in the " pay to play" schemes going on in Chicago.
    How is it that everyone in Chicago politics is long known to be dirty, but somehow Obama quickly rose to power there without any known soot??
    We will see.

    December 11, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Franky

    Ohhh yeah, I forgot about the Press Conference. I wanted to watch it but I forgot.

    Ohh well, our Gov's life is over...

    December 11, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Scott Tucson

    OH! He and David Axelrod ought to sit down and get their stories straight then.

    December 11, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Malcom

    Yeah, right! Obama is shady.

    December 11, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Tim

    More than 72 hours later. And still not fully candid. I call that a follower, not a leader.

    December 11, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    To Bush
    On Evolution and Christianity, I do believe that God did use EVOLUTION to populate the ANIMAL/FISH Kingdom and those laws did apply to them, specifically on 'survival of the fittest'. However, God did not use EVOLUTION on the human race. He PERSONALLY CREATED Adam and Eve, Himself and gave them, brains to think for themselves, to do good and oversee all earth's creations. Last, the theory of evolution has been proven to be wrong. Scientists who worked with atoms and who studied BIG BANG, found out that the ENERGY is there, but it requires someone to intervene, thus God touched off the BIG BANG. It just didnt happen.

    December 11, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. FreeNLovIt

    To Bush
    On Muslim and Christianity, yes, both worship the same God and talked about the same God, but the Koran was a prodigy of an "Angel' who descended upon Mohammed. This Angel is Lucifer. He gave the Muslims the same teachings and Satan took out the MOST important part of the Scripture – the cruxifiction of Christ and the fact that He is our Saviour. To this day, Muslims do not have a personal relationship with God, but as Christians, through Christ, we can come to knowGod directly, through the forgiveness of sins. (My Grandpa has a great relationship with God. He prays and God sends Him INSTANT VOICE MAILS. He just talks to my Grandpa by having his Angel tell my Grandpa. Yeah, Instant Messenger 🙂

    December 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Change - Yeah Left

    Me thinks they doth protest too much!

    December 11, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Annette

    Campbell Brown made a comment about the President elect giving more transparency about the Governor?? The President-elect said all he needed to say, everything else will become transparent as this investigation continues.

    I think we all need to sit back and let this thing unveil, the truth will come.

    December 11, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. ApplePie

    To Bush
    True Evolution wll result into turning all of us into little Hitlers. In fact, in the end days (Armageddon), evolution will show its face.

    December 11, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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