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. NY republican

    Tom – quite right you are. Only the dumb crooks are in prison. The rest are too smart to be caught.

    December 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. NY republican

    There is an old song about Richard Nixon and Watergate, one of the lines goes "Dick, if you didn't know about this, what else don't you know?" Deja vu all over again?

    December 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. tee

    Richard E.

    ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. From PA

    I am tired of hearing people say that Obama will have a scandalous presidency... What about the last 8 years? Come on!

    December 11, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Tim

    President-elect Barack Obama has addressed this issue. Campbell Brown needs to get a life. He owes no other explainations.

    December 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Darla people want Obama to be guilty so bad!! It's really a shame...Can't you accept the fact that he is not!!! Oh well dit doesn't make a difference cause he's our new President, despite the Haters...

    Obama is a smart man...get over people...your witchhunt is gonna come out with nothing.....SORRY!!!

    December 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. From PA

    I am tired of hearing people say that Obama is going to have a scandalous presidency. What about the last 8 years? Come on!

    December 11, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. rm

    While some of you continue to focus on trying to blame Obama for everything under the sun, he is going to continue to try and improve the economy for you ingrates. What a bunch of whiners and sore losers some of you are.

    December 11, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Tremend18

    I Do not think Obama had any illegal dealings with Blago, however, there must have been some type of communication between his camp if he didn't do anything wrong just come out and say "I spoke to the Gov. and made some suggestions of who should fill my seat etc." what's the harm in that...but very hard to believe nothing was communicated between the Obama office and the Gov's

    December 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Steve

    I guess it was awfully naive of me to believe that the stupid, inane politics that we witnessed during the Presidential campaign would stop once the election was over – how anyone can link Obama to Blagojevich is well beyond me, but I guess there's still mileage in trying to make something out of nothing when it comes to the President-elect...and the GOP can wonder why they have been rejected.

    December 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Danny in Chicago

    Who's our current president again???

    Isn't HE responsible for government until he leaves office?

    Oh yeah......

    December 11, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Angie

    I feel sorry for all you Obama haters. EVERYTIME something happens in Illinois they try and connect it to Obama. Plz. the govenor was a liar and a cheat all by himself. Even if he did approach someone in the Obama camp the only thing they got was thanks (we appreciate your help etc). the govenor said that. face you haters, President Barach Hussein Obama will be sworn in on Jan 20th, 2009.
    And as to why he didn't use his middle name is because no other candidate used their whole name. george "dumb dumb bush didnt use his whole name. He use george w bush. Why would it have to be different for President Obama. just some more hate. This country has come a long way but we have so much further to go. Sad,sad,sad. haters,haters, haters. I will pray for you, because you need it.

    December 11, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. tishoogle

    Why is it that there is so much hate for Obama! I'm sure that we all know the reason cause of the color of his skin! Your all sick people
    to think that way! SHAME! SHAME!

    December 11, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Sherrol in Canada

    Something doesn't compute...If Pres-elect Obama is sure no one on his team participated in 'pay for play', how is it he doesn't know who on his team spoke with Blago? Why does he need to still investigate who on his team did what??

    December 11, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Deanna, MS

    This man is a low-life and should not hender Barark's progress to announce his cabinet. I hope the state of Illinois performs their duty, but at the same time allows the president elect to move forward.

    Clean up the dirty politics and this won't happen again.

    December 11, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Shane -- Montreal

    Thats all good and dandy but they were part of your staff and happened on your watch Obama. Transparency is not the issue, it's the fact that this happened within his staff and people are going to make and form opionions already that might pile up 4 years from now in terms of his re-election ... No matter what or how you say it,
    thats not how people are going to Judge this, its going to be the overall collection of evidence and how Obama is going to deal with it.

    December 11, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Evelyn, NY

    Sore losers still trying to pin something on Barack. They're wrong and the next president will prove them wrong.

    December 11, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Dave in Atlanta

    Seeing as the Governor is on tape saying Obama wouldn't give him a deal, this is a moot point.

    December 11, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Sharon Kitchen

    wow...............................................exactly how many people out in the U.S.A. are all extremely hateful??????????????????????????

    I know there are alot of good people.........but some questions realy bring out the evil ones in numbers.

    Pres.-Elect Obama and all of your staff and cabinet members,I wish you all the best and God bless you all.

    December 11, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. Josh, Charlotte, NC

    I'm fairly certain Obama has had some connection with Blagojevich in the past...I would not be suprised if a huge scandal came out regarding Obama before his election. Many people believe he is some higher than thou creature, however, I can see STRAIGHT through his lies. Obama just keep on spinning...eventually you will get caught in the web you weave.

    Obama is from Chicago politics....a deceitful group of people!

    December 11, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Carramia

    Marc In Virginia well we are still waiting for Tom Delay to go to jail . Lets not forget the Scooter Libby scandals and Abrahmoff........ I cant wait till Bush and his neocon sickos get out of office.

    December 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. John from LA

    To Tee

    Your use of the word "hater" shows your an illiterate and a Gen Xer!-BO works for me and you NOW-don't you want to know the "Whole truth and nothing but the Truth?"-Your comment about "politics is dirty" is shameful-I thought BO was going to change all that dirty nonsense....and furthermore didn't he say his admin. would be transparent????-The truth is like cream dear-it'll always rise to the top!

    Go back to your ipod and TV and shut up!

    December 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Thomas

    "When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' "

    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

    The more things change, the more they stay the same

    December 11, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Obama Victim

    well of course.......and the sun also came up in the West,,,,,,,,,,,,,,this guy is up to his eyes in this,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    December 11, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Coultergeist

    I see no reason or evidence to believe that Obama had anything to do with the Gov's actions. He has been kinda busy these past couple of years to have known the inside tactics of Blagojevich.

    December 11, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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