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. Tracy, IL

    If you live int he state of Illinois then you know that Obama has always been very separate from this disgraced governor. If you don't live in Illinois and don't follow our politics, then it is very easy to make generalizations. Maybe all of you non-Illinoians should do some research BEFORE you open your mouth- and this means turning the channal from Fox!!!!

    BTW- if you read the transcripts, Blago is beyond pissed that Obama wouldn't get involved- to the point of calling him an MF.

    December 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Dreamer

    Obama is the last angel standing, so honest, so pure, so moral and so Christian, and so am I. We can stay focused on human nature, it is the root of all evils and problems/crisis, social and economic, and the dangerous world, full of violence, dictatorship, terrorism, wars and rumors of wars. Blame ourselves as people, imperfect, sinful, greedy and cocky humane beings, before we blame any leaders.

    December 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |

    Obama have nothing to do with this thief

    December 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. Truth Hurts

    Obama don't have to spin. The media and the conservative haters is spinning enough. Obama and Jesse is to smart to get involved with this mess. The Governor was very ignorant to put it mildly towards Obama because he did not want involvement. The prosecutor clearly said that Obama and Jesse is not the target of this investigation. They are not on tape and there is no evidence they knew anything about the selling of the senate seat. The prosecutors probably want to question Jesse to find out if he know anything so, they can really stick it to the Governor!!

    December 11, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Laverne

    Why does Obama have to be responsible for all Chicago dirty dealing politicians? Even if he did have conversations with the governor in the past, it does not mean he discussed the senate seat. He is smarter than that as everyone in Chicago knew this guy has been under investigation for the past 3-4 years. If all people can come up with is 3-4 bad guys that happen to know Obama, he is doing pretty good. Dig deeper into the closets of other politicians and I betcha you will find more than you wish to know about. Let's face it, Obama is and will always be held to a higher standard than everybody else. It is not fair, but it is the mindset of America. Obama victory is a great thing, but it also has exposed the tremendous double standard of this country and YES racism is still alive and well and won't go away because Obama won the presidency. This man is getting death threats on a daily basis and some people have the audacity to whine because he is not sending his kids to public school. How can he, I know he and Michelle must be terrified of what could possibly happen to their girls.

    December 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Paul Thompson

    Yeah...and you weren't allowed to use his middle name, "Hussein", until it was convenient. Who would have imagined that?

    December 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Georgio Washington

    Hooray! A plagiarizer as a vice president and an Illinois crook as president! How do you know when a politician is lying? When his hands (full of cash) are moving. William "cold cash" Jefferson – Barney Frank (Fannie Mae) – Harry Reid (unscrupulous land dealings) – Eliot Spitzer (prostitution ring) and the democratic beat goes on...

    December 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. PHS in RI

    Look....why on Earth would the President Elect give two craps about who would be taking his vacant senate seat??????

    With the economy in turmoil, people losing jobs by the millions, neighborhoods in foreclosure....I think he has much bigger fish to fry.

    Can we stick to some real news?????

    Gimme a break!

    December 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Ana B

    And no matter what he says, those who hate him will continue to try and pin anything and everything on him.

    December 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. cat full of bologna....I dont know why every shady person that pops up has to linked to Obama...Some people need to just get real.
    Stop hopeing for an I told you so moment...It's not going to come...
    Finally we have elected some one who is above the fray...Why is that so hard to believe...When Obama takes office, I am looking for a I told you so moment...So keep on thinking the worst. but when he proves to be a great will be eating crow ....Because I told you so. 🙂

    December 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. aware

    What can he say?

    Barack has taken a political journey of decisions based on what would advance him politically, including his choice of a church/pastor.

    He is an expert at community organizing a la Alinsky, media control, Chicago smack down and the you grease my palm, and I will grease yours way of Chicago politics!

    So, now he is PEBO and we all know about the dirty politics he avanced in! 🙁

    December 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. PHS in RI

    This is ridiculous....get a grip people. He isn't even President yet and the moron "Mark in Virginia" is saying "I think we're seeing the beginnings of a scandal ridden presidency."

    Are you people really that stupid?

    December 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. malclave

    "Either Obamas advisers are liars and can't be trusted or Obamas a liar and can't be trusted! Which is it??"

    You forgot the third option... they're all liars and can't be trusted.

    December 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Tony

    Yeah, no connection whatsoever... except Tony Rezko and Rahm Emanuel to name a few. Jeez... Obama's got so many connections with dirty politicians and crooks (that was redundant) that eventually he's gonna get caught in his own web of lies and deceit. The media will protect him for as long as possible since they haven't cared about the truth for decades, but when it starts to rain on Obama, it's gonna pour.

    December 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. JWheeler

    Get a haircut, Rod. You look ridiculous.

    December 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Patty

    Tom December 11th, 2008 2:28 pm ET
    We know, Barack. But there are some that will try their darndest to
    link the two together. Obama is way too smart for that.

    And this is what Obama's hero, Abraham Lincoln, said:

    "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time"

    December 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. HR

    Oblivious – because he always looks straight ahead.....he is not into the side shows!

    December 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. indymike

    Poor Barack! These "play to pay" politicans from Illinois are just like Mafia members. When a guy goes bad let's just take him out like the Democrats are trying to do to Blago. We have to do whatever is necessary to make sure that the "Obama Nation" is not derailed before it even gets started. Please stop picking on Poor Barak!!!!

    December 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. M.Harvie

    Republican supporters will go to any lengths to tie Obama to this sorry episode. They do not need, or have, evidence to do so but will continue to push that line of thinking. Same old Republican playbook. Steady, fire, aim! Nothing has changed.

    December 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Ana B

    Well said Peggy – TX!

    December 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. Scott Tucson

    I'm seeing the promised CHANGE now. Everytime Obama is put on a spot, he or one of his advisors seems to change their stories.

    December 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. aware

    And pigs fly! 🙁

    December 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. tee

    Jackie in Dallas

    Good job. More people should try reading, instead of trying to link President Obama to every crime commited in america. Politics have always been dirty, how do you think Bush won the 2000 election. STOP HATING AND GIVE THIS GREAT LEADER A CHANCE!!!!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Joe Fattal

    I think we need to leave Gov. Blagojevich alone. How many people you think Mr. Obama made a deal with? I bet you more than you think.

    December 11, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Nice Girl

    The Messiah never lies!!

    December 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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