Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wanted “something big” from the Obama administration in return for naming its preferred candidate to fill Obama’s Senate seat — and he delivered an expletive-filled tirade when Obama’s representatives apparently refused to go along.Some of the statements from people about Blagojevich's arrest that were reported in news stories:
Barack Obama: “I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so I was not aware of what was happening.”
David Axelrod, Obama top advisor, Nov. 23: "I know he's [Obama's] talked to the governor, and there are a whole range of names, many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
David Axelrod on Dec. 9 after Blagojevich's arrest: "I was mistaken. ... They did not then or at any time discuss the subject."
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald: "He has been arrested in the middle of what we can only describe as a political corruption crime spree. This is a sad day for government. It's a very sad day for Illinois government. Governor Blagojevich has taken us to a truly new low."
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois: "No appointment by this governor, under these circumstances, could produce a credible replacement."
Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the new GOP House whip: “The serious nature of the crimes listed by federal prosecutors raises questions about the interaction with Gov. Blagojevich, President-elect Obama and other high-ranking officials who will be working for the future president.”
Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee: “Americans expect strong leadership, but President-elect Barack Obama’s comments on the matter are insufficient at best.”
Andy McKenna, Illinois Republican Party Chairman: "For the good of the state, and in the interest of the taxpayers, the Illinois Republican Party calls on Governor Blagojevich to resign his office effective immediately. If Governor Blagojevich does not resign his position, we urge the General Assembly to move swiftly with impeachment proceedings."