January 6th, 2009
11:32 AM ET
14 years ago

Jackson Jr. warns Burris controversy becoming 'racialized'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/12/jackson.jr.blagojevich/art.jackson.cnn.jpg caption="Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. had been mentioned as a possible Senate replacement for Obama."](CNN) - Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. told CNN Tuesday that Roland Burris's "credentials are in order. There is a strong constitutional and legal case for his seating.

"The longer this process takes the more racialized this seat becomes and the more difficult it becomes for Democrats to hold it in 2010," said Jackson, who said he has not spoken to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid or senior Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin about the seating of Burris.

Filed under: Jesse Jackson Jr. • Roland Burris
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. ams

    From the looks of it, race is not the issue, so don't make it one!!!

    The issue is that the appointment comes from Governor Blagojevich who alledgely planned and tried to sell the seat to anyone willing to meet his price. If it can be determined that Mr. Burris was not one of the people involved in attempting to make the illegal transaction with Governor Blagojevich for the seat, there should not be a problem. The governor was still in his position and carrying out his job requirements, therefore, the appointment should take the normal route for swearing in the appointed, Mr. Burris. If Governor Blagojevich had been removed from office by impeachment or imprisonment, then his successor should have been the one to make the appointment for the replacement.

    Those not wanting to have any controversy over the appointment, should have taken action to successfully remove the Governor Blagojevich from office.

    January 6, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Walt

    There is a typical Son of Jessie Jackson statement.. Lets bring race into the spotlight when there is no racial issue. Roland Burris's appointment was tainted and THAT is why there is so much to do with blocking his appointment.. YES it is a political power play by our useless, impotent, and helplessly stupid politicians, but definitely NOT a racial issue... Get a brain JAckson !!!

    January 6, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. vjh_CT

    With all due respect, I think it is Jesse Jackson Jr. who is making this a racial issue.

    January 6, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Scott

    The issue is only "racialized" by people like Jackson Jr. who intentionally use race to inflame an issue that has nothing to do with race. This is a legal matter under constitutional law and has nothing to with Burris. Why does Jackson interject race into every possible issue? This type of behavior only contributes to the division in America.

    January 6, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Jina

    I normally don't nit-pick on things like this, but please tone down the red in the picture of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. It looks like he's sitting under a heat lamp or something. 🙂

    And also, "senior Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin" is missing an "o".

    January 6, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Gary Portsmouth, VA

    I think the Democratic leadership is showing a lapse in good judgement and respect for the law. What must be realized is that the governor of IL was wrong in his conduct in trying to solicit the senate seat of President-elect Obama but the fact remains that he is still Governor and has not be impeached or convicted as of yet. He still have all the powers of Governor and could appoint anyone one he likes until the power has been stripped from him. Secondly the senate can not designate whom they want for senator to represent IL. The law states that a sitting governor for that state can appoint a senator of HIS choice to fill the seat. Seat Mr. Burris and move on. There is too much other important business to be conducted. As for Harry Reid, I feel his leadership in the senate will not be much longer. Not a thoughtful or deliberate guy. Makes alot of decisions that he has too back track on. Trust me this will be one of them. The LAW is the LAW.

    January 6, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Michael

    How will this make it racialized?

    Does everything have to be turned back into a race thing.


    January 6, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. obama-mama

    I don't know what's going on here but somebody is trippin

    January 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Rahm the Man

    Im tired of Jackson... shouldent he be in jail for bribery?... I mean geez I bet his father is like "Geez son, you think you could do a bribe correctly by now? CMON... off the stage CNN hes a criminal

    January 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Last Honest man

    Did Jackson get his name back?

    January 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Sandy

    My sentiments exactly.........The seat is being relinquished because the current African American Senator has just become the first African American President. Burris may be justifiably qualified but he accepted this appointment and the firestorm that it carries. This has nothing to do with race. Stop playing the card!

    January 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Misty


    Obama was the only African-American senator, it should go to an African-American otherwise there is no African-American representation in the senate.

    January 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. brad in austin

    it's obvious ... if you don't get what you want..yell racism!

    January 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Empty people voted for an empty suit

    He has every right to be seated, but I am relishing the Democrats destroying their own and their own party will pay dearly down the road as many African Americans are rightfully ticked.

    Bloggy is he Democrats gift to Republicans that keeps on giving.

    With people like him, Rahm, Richardson, Edwards etc, etc, etc you liberals can get off your ethical high horse and "ride em' dirty".

    Your stay in power wil be a real short one.

    Now if we could only find some moderate Republicans to run he show and not right-wing crazies, moderates, even moderate Democrats that support he military will do………….

    January 6, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. California Gold

    Are you serious Jackson? How can you, in all seriousness, claim this is a racial matter? It's 2009, we have elected a bi-racial President and the country is preparing for his inauguration and celebration around the world. Racial? This is not about race. This is about men and women who are outraged that your governor has been caught on tape, is arrested and out on bail for trying to sell political appointments for his own benefit. It's because of Blagojevich's desire to benefit from his office that people are outraged. Race? This is all you see when you look at this mess? Please try to keep up.

    January 6, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Beverly, NYC

    How are the credentials in order when the Secretary of the State of Illinois has not signed them. Blago's tainted signature is not enough. Blago found himself a perfect patsy in Burris, all ambition no common sense to realize he's being used. Blago should be impeached, and a special election held at the same time that they are doing one to fill Rahm's seat. This is the only way to wipe off Blago's stink from any nomination.

    January 6, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Out smarted

    Jackson will one day hold this Senate seat because he is younger, smarter, and more principled than Reid and others.

    There is no intellectual or factual basis to deny Burris and Democrats, ultimatel the more erudite of the two parties, won't be able to ignore that. Reid is pulling the Democratic stock down by delaying the swearing in of Burris.

    Blogoevich has outsmarted his critics with this appointment of a man that has an unimpeachable resume for this Senate position. Burris may not be the most re-electable candidate or one that can hold the seat for decades like many other US Senators but he has been appointed consistent with the law. It's that simple . . . Move on ...

    January 6, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Tim

    It's racial because Jackson and Rush are making it racial.

    January 6, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. the idiot

    I agree that Burris has all the qualifications, but as far as the racial stuff, that is showing the nut doesn't fall far from the tree. It is more the libs being libs, rather than following the constitution of the country and the state. His father has never apologized for inapproriate or incorrect statements, so don't expect deep thoughts or apologies from the son.

    January 6, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. PA

    Jackson isn't crying Racism he is trying to enlighten the Democrat Party, err Reid and Pelosi, who don't want elightenment on this issue, that they are by their own actions making this appointment look like a Racist stand. And Jackson is trying to enlighten the Dems to the reality that this will not bode well for them or their party. They are making their Party look small and petty. Not the time for this when they are inaugurating their President and talking about a cohesive, let's all get together Government whilst blatantly representing the opposite through their actions on the Burris issue. They need to think of their party and President vs. themselves! They have bigger fish to fry!

    January 6, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Steve

    If this is racism (which it is not), the perps are Blago and Burris!!

    January 6, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Terri

    What is racialized? This has nothing to do with race. I like Jesse Jackson Jr. but he's wrong.

    January 6, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Carol

    I agree. I believe this country has more than shown that we can rise above racism and for Mr. Jackson to insinuate that denial of Mr. Burris' seating in the senate is "racialized" rather than addressing the real reasons – the tainted process by which Mr. Burris was appointed, is absurd.

    January 6, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Jazz

    Jackson stay out of this if you want to run in 2010 for that seat. Burris need to remember no one owes him nothing whether he is black or white.

    January 6, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. tired of corporate politics

    It is becoming racialized when he is racializing it! In dictionary dot com, the #1 definition of racialize is "to impose a racial interpretation on" – not observe but IMPOSE.

    This is like crying wolf. No one will take it seriously when real racism is pointed out.

    January 6, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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