Issa defends calling Obama 'corrupt'
January 5th, 2011
03:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Issa defends calling Obama 'corrupt'

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), the brand-new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform, defended comments he had previously made that President Obama is "one of the most corrupt presidents of modern times."

Speaking to CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King Wednesday, Issa offered his definition of the word "corrupt":

"I think people misunderstand the meaning of the word corrupt, and obviously, CNN does. 'Corrupt', or 'corrupted' or 'failure', it's no different than a disc drive that's given you some bits that are wrong," Issa said on CNN.

Issa continued, "I have never said it's illegal. I've never made any of the statements that are often said on CNN that implied wrong-doing of the president at a criminal level, but I do believe that the American people have changed the control of the House in no small part because they saw more regulation, more misspending than they ever dreamed possible and they need Republicans to be part of the balance to bring that back under control."

The question was prompted by comments Issa made to Rush Limbaugh on October 19, 2010, when he said Obama was "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times." Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" he said he meant to say the Obama administration instead of the president.

"When you hand out $1 trillion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus, that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect," Issa said.

To hear more from Rep. Issa watch CNN's "John King, USA" Wednesday @ 7 p.m. ET

Filed under: Darrell Issa • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. B

    This guy is ridiculous. What an example of how sad the Republicans have become. He could have called Obama overly political and made a case for that, but "corrupt" is just absurd. What ever happened to honesty?

    January 5, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Well, as Issa has been the subject of a bunch of investigations, he should know "corrupt" from first-person experience! Now all he has to do is waste more Congressional time on endless investigative hearings, instead of working on stuff the people want. While his seat may be so red that he never has to worry about forced retirement, the more moderate sections of the country will get rid of their Noers.

    January 5, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am getting tired of hearing from this lying sack of crap. He should have been in congress during the Bush/republican culture of corruption. Oh wait, he was, and he kept his mouth shut.

    January 5, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Corrupt is actually nice. The president is an unidicted criminal. He is stealing my money and giving it to people that stole the election for him. I have received no benefit from the stimulus package, but the corrupt union bosses have. I have received no benefit from Obamacare, just the opposite, my costs have gone up because I am responsible, work, pay taxes, while the cost for the drug addicts, welfare frauds and other Obama supporters have gone down and the trial lawyers are still destroying doctors.

    January 5, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. vic nashville tn

    He couldn’t do in last state of the union now he is back

    January 5, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Jeff Clemetson of San Diego

    What a 180! Issa is an idiot. Obama won't have nearly a fraction of the illegal actions (if any at all) found out about the Bush administration and this is what has made the Repugs so scared of him and the reason why they attack his so relentlessly on Fox News – as long as their base think he's corrupt, they'll never know the truth. They knew they'd find stuff on Clinton, but Obama has done most things with transparancy (some issues with drug companies during the health care debate which were to keep the promises bUsh made to them so we couldn't buy drugs from cheaper foreign sources, but I digress).

    January 5, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    "I think people misunderstand the meaning of the word corrupt..."

    1. guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery; lacking integrity; crooked: a corrupt judge.
    2. debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society.
    3. made inferior by errors or alterations, as a text.
    4. infected; tainted.
    5. decayed; putrid.

    I do not believe you can interpret CORRUPT any other way – and YOU said it ISSA and you will pay for it!!! You can't clean it up now ASH-hole!!!

    Let's support our current leader, President Obama, as he continues to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD in an UNCORRUPT way so that all of those who feel they can talk about OUR president in any manner that IS CORRUPT will eat their MESS when it is proven otherwise!!!

    January 5, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Jay

    Shut up Idiot, I mean Issa. Where was all your morality when Bush took us into Iraq and the disastrous consequences of that terrible decision? What about the lack of oversight that brought us the financial crisis that formed under Bush and almost caused the complete collapse of this country? Or how about how Bush turned a surplus (Yes, as a Republican you may not know what that mens) into the deficits we now enjoy.

    You're in the power and spotlight by unfortunate circumstance of people's very short memory. Enjoy it for 2 years Idiot, it won't last.

    January 5, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Me

    The man knows that Obama is not corrupt at all.
    He doesn't care.
    He is here to defeat his political adversary at all costs, the truth be damned.
    He said Obama is, "one of the most corrupt presidents of modern times.", because he knows some sucker out there will believe him and this lie will get repeated often enough until a significant number of people think that it might be true. Some people will believe anything.

    The Republicans are not concerned with the future of our nation. That is why their agenda involves bringing up issues in the past. Healt Care Reform, and regulation of financial markets. Little to nothing will be done about jobs and the economy

    January 5, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Murf

    Yet another thing that I detest about the majority of politicians, the art of word-twisting. His own statement "He has ignored the very laws that he said were so vital when he was a senator. " would certainly be interpreted by a majority of readers that Obama has broken the law. Why can't he man-up and own what he both said and meant. What a weasel.

    January 5, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. John Lubeck

    Darrell Issa is the sort of vermin that are elected by Republicans. He is a disgusting, contemptible liar, like all Republicans.

    January 5, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    It's time for Bill Maher to stop giving this weasily lying sack a free ride on HBO.

    January 5, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Barry from Wisconsin

    Darrell Issa is a rich jerk from California who has no class. He dumped a ton of money in the recall for Gray Davis. What happened? The State got an ineffective action hero. At least, the Governator tried….

    January 5, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA/The Fascists 112th Congress

    I wonder how Mr. Issa identifies the Bush Administration. Warrantless wiretaps, outing a covert CIA agent, lies of WMD, torture, etc. If he's looking for sorruption, he needs to look at the timeframe of 2000-2008. There he'll find the most corrupt administration in American history.

    January 5, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. hitobito

    Who cares about what this raghead ignoramus from California has to say about anything.

    January 5, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We have Vipers like Issa in the Everglades, but they are more humane. When I was young, I learned that you should not bear false witness. Issa apparently skipped those lessons. Maybe he is just afraid of Limbaugh, after he walked back the unfounded allegations spewed on the druggie's radio show. So today, Rush must have whipped him like a rented mule..

    January 5, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. Sasha

    Gotta say, I am impressed with Issa's juggling ability.

    January 5, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Chris

    That's some fancy backtracking, there. I've got two words for this guy. Wait, is two-faced one word or two?

    January 5, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    And I will defend calling Issa a racist bigot. since he wants "THAT ONE" out of "our" White House!

    January 5, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. jaye

    Same Old, same Old. Republicans talk crap to get in office, they're disagreeable and power mad. When they get into office, they forget the promises THEY made and only worry about staying in office and deflecting attention from their 'corrupt' actions.

    January 5, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Hilroy

    Wait one minute please. Are you kidding me. Where was this loser when Dick Cheney was VP? Barack Obama is corrupt? Loser, those words will come back to haunt you.

    January 5, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Matt in ABQ

    Corrupt-to become morally debased defined by Merriam Webster. Only if would know the definition and then provide examples. Another rich politician using "Flash Words" to gain office. Only if politicians like people in school had to back up their statements with references and facts. I guess the previous administration was morally based in their desicions to run this country to the ground-so corruption would not be a proper word for them.

    January 5, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. kayla

    remember, what goes up, must come down.

    January 5, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Wm Scot

    Issa was just playing to the radical right ( Rush's audiance) he usally is one of the more moderate republican BUT stuff like that does get the ignorant idiots that listen to Rush all fired up and they are a very scarey bunch !

    January 5, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Jacob

    saw this guy on the Sunday news programs this week, what a creep! i find him to be EXTREMELY disturbing!

    January 5, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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