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. ?

    Why isn't this guy in jail? I just saw him on a preview for a new Apprentice.

    January 11, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. hongli

    Why is CNN posting this guy's picture or comments to their viewers? The person who posted this should be fired immediately.

    January 11, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Mark in Utah

    Was he on the phone with Senator Reid before the Esquire call?

    January 11, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. chad in seattle

    it does not matter what you say, your just stupid!

    January 11, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Indy

    Blago has that disease they call "Palinitis" it is when words somehow bypass the brain and fall out of your mouth. The only cure is to shut up once in awhile. Perhaps Sarah and Blago can share notes on this disease that always turns one self into a failure.

    January 11, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. AR

    This guy is funny. Get him a talk show. Just like most Democrats. Better at talking than they are at doing.

    January 11, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Faithful

    He who holds his tongue keeps his soul.......

    January 11, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. HeleneIrma

    Old Blogo, You may not be blacker than Obama but you are 100 % dumber than he is on any given day, if you have nothing intelligent to say why don't you just keep your big mouth shut.

    January 11, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Jefe

    "I was speaking metaphorically. Obviously I'm not blacker than President Obama,"

    Ahhh, ok. We thought you meant you were LITERALLY blacker than President Obama. I was going to tell you to lay off the tanning beds! No bleep you were speaking metaphorically, Blago! That's the problem...

    January 11, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Ernesto

    Who is this guy and who cares?

    January 11, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Bugl3t

    Your soul is certainly blacker.

    Seriously, who cares what this criminal thinks? Go find another stupid reality show to participate in... you need a dose of reality.

    January 11, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. RD in the Burg

    Can't we send this idiot off to Iceland or somewhere where he can't continue to make an ass out of himself? And to think he's going to be on Apprentice. Trump must be going senile.

    January 11, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. aranhas

    Actually, Blago is probably correct. "Black" is more than a color, it is supposed to be an experience. Obama is half white and raised by a white mother. He never had the "black" experience. I was born and raised in Chicago and Obama is as far from the typical black as I am and I'm a "European-American".

    Obama is simply a good reader with good speechwriters. My friends and I are tired of his side-to-side head shake as he reads his speeches directly off a teleprompter. I don't know if he can deliver a speech as well as Bush or any previous President. He seems to be some sort of emotionless android.

    January 11, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Fred

    Needs to quit combing his hair with a spoon then people will start to take him serious.

    January 11, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. sensible Cape Coral FL

    GEE, Blago said something stupid? Will wonders ever cease?

    January 11, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Get Serious

    What an idiot. Why is Esquire interviewing this fool anyway?

    January 11, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. cmb

    What you did and what you saw means nothing–at the end of the day you could still plop your butt in the front of the bus. You have no clue what it is like to be a black man.

    January 11, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. Ken

    .....Ya think?!?

    January 11, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Grrr-Awful-O

    "Stupid, stupid, stupid" seems to be the admission of the day for Democrats. Wonder if something so easy would work for Republicans next time? Or maybe we're just seeing some hypocrasy here.

    January 11, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. polly

    Why waste a story on this guy?

    January 11, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. RKG

    Okay Rob, the black race won't claim you then. You almost had us convinced! You know, shining shoes is a hard skill to master! Shoot you were almost in homeboy! Maybe you can use that skill on the upcoming Celebrity Apprentice, I'm sure Donald Trump will be impressed!
    Or maybe you guys can have a 'Worst Haircut' contest!

    January 11, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. Pam

    Guess Blago hadn't been in the news enough lately. And he's not stupid for say this, he's just plain stupid.

    January 11, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Ya think tarantula head

    January 11, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. chuck

    We knew you were a criminal, but only thought you were an idiot. Now that has been confirmed as well. Goodbye….

    January 11, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Ray g lee

    Im black,negro,african american,and colored.all of those words are an insult to me cleopatra is not from africa nor is she american . YAH is not pleased.we as a people know not where we come from . OBAMA is not black .AFRICANS for the most part dont like us .OBAMA is a mamas boy just like me.you should be what ever race the wound you come from is EVERYTHING we know as a people was taught to us by the same people who inslaved us. should we think they told us the truth bout the things we most believe in?

    January 11, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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