January 11th, 2010
01:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Blagojevich: 'Stupid' to say I'm blacker than Obama

(CNN) - Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is apologizing for telling Esquire Magazine he's "blacker than Barack Obama."

"What I said was stupid, stupid, stupid," he told reporters outside his home Monday.

"I was speaking metaphorically. Obviously I'm not blacker than President Obama," said Blagojevich, who was impeached last year after being accused of trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

In the February edition of Esquire, Blagojevich said Obama was "catapulted in on hope can change, what we hope the guy is …

"What the f***? Everything he's saying's on the teleprompter. I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up," he said.

The governor apologized for his "stupid comments," but said he was expressing "real frustration" that nothing has changed under the Obama administration.

"Am I frustrated? Yes. Was I expressing frustration? Yes. Was that frustration real? Yes. Is it still real? Yes. Was the way I said what I said stupid? Absolutely yes, stupid," Blagojevich said.

Blagojevich last year pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges. A federal grand jury in April indicted him on 16 felony counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators. His trial is slated for later this year.

The embattled ex-governor has maintained his innocence, insisting that "when the full story's heard …. it'll correct itself."

"What helps me get up every morning is, I'm fighting the fight for something much larger than me," Blagojevich said in the interview. "I'm fighting for what is at the basis of what our country is supposed to be, a place where you're presumed innocent, where if in fact you did something wrong, the system plays out in such a way where the truth comes out, not people being forced to lie and being squeezed to lie. If you love your country as I do, this is a fight worth fighting."

Blagojevich appears on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice" in March. His wife, Patti, was on the network's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" this past summer, lasting 23 days in the Costa Rican jungle before being voted off.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Michele

    He and Sarah should go on the road! she can make inane comments, and then the next hour when they're proven to be lies, he can apologize for them,

    January 11, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. IndiePA

    We expect "STUPID" from this guy!! I thought we were ALL supposed to be past the race issue. And why, oh why, does this even make the news reports????? He's NOBODY!!!

    January 11, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. The world lacks common sense

    Big deal, this over politically correctness is way out of control. It was ok to depict George W as a monkey, but to do the same with Obama is racist???? Explain that one!

    January 11, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Hayward

    Wow. This guy really likes the word stupid doesn't he? After you say that word so many times in one interview you can almost bet your life that this will be a spoof on every political satire in the country. But my question is when will people start to look past Blago's obvious stupidity and misspeaks and look a little deeper into what he's saying about the other players in his scandal and the obvious corruption and ineptitude of the current administration in power.

    January 11, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. The Brown Hornet

    Why Isn't he in jail yet?

    January 11, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Daren

    It doesn't matter in what context what this guy is trying to say. He may have had a rougher childhood than Obama, but he did not face racial discrimination and prejudice like all minorities do. This statement is absolutely ridiculous and it's very racial, whether he intended to make it racial or not.

    January 11, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Ryan Indy

    That is funny and very true. Why is it the left could say anything they pleased about GW but for some reason OBAMA is protected???? What comes around goes around Democrats and you should have thought about this before you called Bush every name in the book every day of the week. Obama is a WEAK, ARROGANT, MISINFORMED WIMP that is a ONE term Loser. And Im sure CNN wont print this because they protect the choosen one, that is the truth!!!

    January 11, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Babaganusch

    First of all, I don't like Blago anymore than most people. However, I am TIRED of all the hipocracy in the media and among Democrats when it comes to comments like these. When a Republican makes a stupid comment, there's marching in the streets and two weeks of listening to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson lecturing everyone, and the person loses their career. A Democrat like Harry Reid says something like that and the media and Democratic apologists are allowed carte blanche to excuse it away with some kind of twisted logic. This is obviously all about politics, and has almost nothing to do with race.

    January 11, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. lois

    He can apologize all he wants. He's still a preening jerk.

    January 11, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Jane/Seattle

    Publicity-seeking is a better word!

    January 11, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Orange Curtain, CA

    What an idiot. Why do the media jerks keep giving these people television appearances and book deals? He should be sent to prison for the rest of his life.

    January 11, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. ted

    This Blago is such an idiot and to think he was governor once. Even dumber was that I voted for him, but he seemed to be the lesser of two idiots. CAn the FEDs just put him in jail and throw away the key?

    January 11, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Babaganusch

    How is what Blago said different that what Bill Clinton said when he said he was the first black President? Raise your hand if you think Blago intended his comment to be taken literally. Hipocrites.

    January 11, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. La Chatte

    Blago said something stupid? Really? No! Couldn't possibly be true ofa man who is just a little sharper than a rock.

    January 11, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Jane

    Now everyone wants to get into the act.

    January 11, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. john

    metaphorically? What you meant was that black people and shoe shine boy are synonymous? You ar such an jerk. You will probably need to be segregated when you finally go to prison. How ironic.

    January 11, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. R

    Why can this Country only see race and no further? We have spent hundreds of years trying to come to grips with race in America and we still don't seem to have any clue as to what's okay and what's not. We treat different races with hate, skeptisicm, fear, and every other emotion other than trust. People are people. There are no all good whites as there are no all good any color. So, could we just try and judge a person by his spirit, soul, good works or treatments of others? Whether Reids comments, or the ex mayors comments were, or were not, racist takes up so much valuable time and energy. Maybe we could all better use that time and energy trying to make this world a better place.

    January 11, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Mad Matt

    Blago and Sarah Barracuda are the political equivalent of "Dumb and Dumber". News agencies would do the rest of the country a great big favor is they would put these two, along with all other psuedo celebrities, on a "no coverage list".

    January 11, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Jim

    I love it how Democrats always bring up race and this guy implies that all Black people are poor? Lott, gives a 100 year old guy a compliment on his birthday and he has to resign as a racist. Keep the Cool-Aid coming you hypocrites!

    January 11, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Mike in NYC

    I think AG Holder should apologize for calling Americans (read "White Americans") cowards. But then being black in America – or anywhere, for that matter - means never having to say you're sorry.

    January 11, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Winkandanod

    Actually, what was really stupid, stupid, stupid, was CNN and other media outlets giving this moron a platform. The content and quality of your work is horrible.

    Breaking News!!!!

    Nancy Pelosi Breaks Wind, Doesn't Say Excuse Me!

    January 11, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. Moonbeam

    No need to explain, Mr Blagojevich. We know you are stupid.

    January 11, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Kweso

    To think that this man was the governor of a state! Hey Blago, did you take your pill this morning? You sure sound delusional.

    January 11, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Michael-SC

    only truth he ever spoke was, when he said that most politicians are phony and full of sh.t
    He is full to the top of sh.t
    Please no more of him, cheney and palin.
    No use in reading stupidity. They are as smart as Bart Simpson

    January 11, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Mike

    Is there a reason why he's not in jail for selling seats???? or has that been swept under the rug????

    January 11, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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