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. larry

    Issa should either put up or shut up. We all know what he meant but he is just backtracking from it. He made those comments when talking to that fat racist Rush. Everyone knows what he was talking about. He needs to prove it or apologize to the president.

    January 5, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. PAUL W!

    I'm pretty sure, by comparison to the last administration, this one is chuck full of Boy and Girl Scouts. Why don't you and the rest of your GOP reps. focus not screwing up the country again and less on trying to score political points by casting aspersions on the people that saved our collective bacon during this economic downturn.

    January 5, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Lis7

    Another lame play for publicity. So tired of hypocrites who go on record with inflammatory statements; then after they get their 15 minutes of shame try to explain what they REALLY meant. "It's no different than a disc drive...." Yeah...right. It's an unfortunate symbiotic relationship politicians have with the media. One can't survive without the other.

    January 5, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. doug

    He is wrong, Obama is a saint like the rest of the Chicago Democrats.

    January 5, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    These guys walk backwards fancier than MJ ever did.

    Fact: Issa has predetermined all the conclusions he wishes to come out of his "hearings." The "hearings" are a minor inconvenience he views as an opoprtunity to engage in biased shenanigans (like the "Civil Rights Commission" did to the tune of $200K on that nonsensical New Black Panther "investigation") designed solely to generate the legislative record and support he needs in order to issue "findings" that are as good as already written.

    January 5, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. David Scott

    Issa is a lying, bigoted, racist with the brain of a Sarah Palin...NO BRAIN AT ALL.

    January 5, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. gt

    the trail of paybacks ,easy money for corrupt politians, wate fraud will be now come to light ... go get em...

    January 5, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    hmmm....where was this guy during the past eight years of the previous administration? You know President Obama chose NOT to investigate the possible war crimes and other corrupt dealings that might have occured during the Bush administration. He chose the higher road saying it's time to look forward and not behind. And of course this choice angered some of his supporters on the left. Well THIS is the thanks you get Mr. President. You can't be nice and deal with the GOP because that knife is pointed towards your back all the time.

    January 5, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It is sickening to see scumbags like Rep Issa call the President of the United States corrupt and then attempt to justify it via a fourth-line definition of the word from Websters'.
    Everyone does know what the word corrupt means Issa, and you used the word with the specific intent of villifying the President over the airwaves. This is unnacceptable. Obama is President of the United States, and as such he should be respected.
    I am ashamed and cry for my country when this type of behaviour from people in government is directed towards a sitting President.
    Enough is enough.
    The world outside of the continental United States is convinced that we are uneducated, disrespectful, boors. They will treat us as such.

    January 5, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Video Guy

    Sarah makes up words and this clown is rewriting the meaning of words. Oh, God help us from the GOP.

    January 5, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. patty

    Why is it the very 1st thing republicans do when they are a majority is investigate the democrats? Maybe Obama should have allowed this to happen to the Bush administration.

    January 5, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. rs

    Issa's comments are indefencible give that our most recent President and Vice President (Bush and Cheney) are admitted and as yet unindicted war criminals. Never mind Haliburton. Pure hypocritcal posturing. Typical Republican.

    January 5, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. PacificView

    Bad bits on a disk drive? Obviously this guy doesn't have the guts to say he misspoke and apologize for a false characterization. I'd call Mr I$$a the corrupt one for feeding the Limbots more bad data.

    January 5, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. maggie

    I see, Issa has his own definition of "corrupt." Hmmm, wonder what his definition of "fraud" as to his own past is. What a creep.

    January 5, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. GOP Tea Party and Transparency in the same sentence is a Fallacy

    Darrell Issa?...Issa, now that's an Arabic moslem name!., he an American or was he born in the USA? Michelle Bachman need to look into Issa's biograhic history more closely?!! LOL!...........

    Yeah, this moslem congressman is lying through his teeth again....only a deucebag right-wing nut would equate the US govt. to a pc that's corrupted.

    Ha, come with a better lie next time!!!

    January 5, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Name king

    Issa must be klu klux Klan oh I meant tea bagger to come up with crap like that, all my life I always thought that corrupt, was a misleading person who take what doesn't. Belong to them with lies, fearmungering and intollerance leading folks down the wrong direction. Sounds like 8 years of the bush administration, and the last two years of the repugs and tea baggers to me. Remember ooohh forgetful one. When Obama took over the economy was bleeding almost a million jobs a month, yea you heard me right, a million jobs a month, now with this momentum of job losses a month, it would be way easier to pick up more momentum and star losing 2 million jobs a month if drastic changes weren't initiated, Obama did the only thing he could to save the existence of this country, and the world, so now when the economy had added a million job just this year alone, and had been adding private sector jobs for the past 12 months. How dare you to criticize. After you and your cronies were the ones who got us in this mess.

    January 5, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Ross

    How transparently two-faced.

    January 5, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Rich in FL

    Verb: Cause to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.
    Adjective: Having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

    Another lying republican politician....

    If you are going to investigate corrupt activities, you should at least know the meaning of the word..... Not your meaning, but the actual meaning.....

    January 5, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. dmpablo

    What a jerk.

    January 5, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. PalmReader

    "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.
    Yes, Issa, CNN does have a problem reporting with the bits wrong. More often than not all you GOPerville Congressionals are allowed to spout your nonsense unchecked. It's a problem many have requested CNN correct. I would advise Issa to tread lightly when calling the President corrupt. Not because I voted for him (which I did) but because I also remember the abuse Clinton took during HIS presidency, and truth be told, although I did not vote for Clinton during his first presidential run, I did gain a respect for him in overcoming the Republican Party shenanigans associated with the witch hunts the GOPers pulled. It is a point of contention with many moderates who aren't interested in party-only politics.

    January 5, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Fed up in Texas

    Wonder how he defines his own "alleged" corruptness and "alleged" criminal record. After reading this guy's history,
    he is one to watch and be wary of.

    January 5, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    Politics as usual...the GOP rule is never apologize for mistakes or dirty tricks.

    January 5, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Mrs. Pogo

    I tend to disagree with Rep. Issa but he is, after all, a convicted criminal so he would certainly be familiar with corruption.

    January 5, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Mike D

    If someone in another administration had ordered border guards to stay in their posts from time to time so drugs could be easily transported across the border there would be an outcry. Now it seems no one cares. And some people are probably lining their pockets with millions. Corrupt yes. I believe very corrupt. And very sad this opportunity to bring people together has been squandered.

    January 5, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. cevans, texas

    You have got to be kidding me!! A repub calling someone corrupt!! LOOK IN THE MIRROR!!

    January 5, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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