This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," January 27, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Exclusive reaction now from the guy appointed by [Gov. Blagojevich], Illinois Senator Roland Burris.
Senator, very good to have you. Thanks for coming.
SEN. ROLAND BURRIS, D-ILL.: It's my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.
CAVUTO: What do you make of the release of the tapes, some of the tapes and what, if anything, you have heard from them?
BURRIS: I have heard nothing from the tapes. I have no knowledge about what is going on. I am here in Washington, taking care of the Senate business.
And I, unfortunately, cannot comment on anything that is happening in Springfield.
• Video: Watch Cavuto's exclusive interview
CAVUTO: What do you make of the guy who appointed you, Senator, making the media rounds? He is — he is everywhere.
BURRIS: Well, that is certainly his choice.
And you have got to remember, there are two courts of opinion here. You have got public opinion and you have the legal court process. And, at this point, being a former appellate prosecutor, the governor has not been — he's innocent until he's proven guilty. And he has not been convicted of any type of a crime.
CAVUTO: Do you think, as the governor thinks, Senator, that he is getting a raw deal, that it's essentially a kangaroo court that he's facing in these ongoing Senate impeachment hearings, and he can't — he can't win, no matter what?
BURRIS: Well, certainly, Neil, I am not at liberty to determine what the governor is thinking. I mean, you would certainly have to ask that question of the governor.
CAVUTO: Well, that is what he said. That is what he said. He said that he is — he is not getting a fair break. They're not allowing him to question witnesses, that he — that it is not fair, period.
BURRIS: Well, then, that is his answer, in my opinion, wouldn't you say? He stated what he is thinking. And, so, my comment on it would not matter one way or the other.
CAVUTO: But are you comfortable with the process yourself, Senator, that it is fair to a governor?
BURRIS: Well, there is certainly a process going on. He was impeached by the House. That process was done according to the Constitution, and it now goes over to the Senate for the trial.
And, so, that process has been established. And that process will go to its conclusion and will come to a final disposition. And the disposition will be a decision based on whether or not the governor leaves office or stays or is convicted. And so that is the process that is under way.
CAVUTO: Sir, let me ask you, obviously, the governor has been talking a lot lately. And I know you don't really relish talking about what the governor thinks these days, or even says.
But one of the things he said raised some eyebrows, that he was seriously considering, maybe as his first choice for the Senate seat that you now hold, Oprah Winfrey. What did you make of that?
BURRIS: Well, that...
BURRIS: Certainly, he had the authority to appoint anyone he wanted to appoint, Neil. And that would have been his decision. And, evidently, he chose not to do that and he ended up appointing me.
CAVUTO: He had a variety of reasons for thinking of Oprah Winfrey. This is what he told our Geraldo Rivera yesterday, if we could play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH, D-ILL.: Oprah was one of the many people we thought about, thinking outside the box, and trying to come up with something that was different.
And, with her, an African-American woman who had been more instrumental in electing Obama president than anybody, and her influence and her bully pulpit probably matching 100 senators combined, I think she would have been a great voice for the Obama agenda, as well as for the American people. But...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Any comment on that?
BURRIS: I don't — I don't think Oprah would — and I know Oprah pretty well. Oprah could care less about politics and a Senate seat. I mean, Oprah stepped out of her box, naturally, when she supported for President Obama. That is — that was very unusual for her, because she has steered clear of politics.
And, of course, I think the governor was certainly looking for someone who is an icon in our community. And should he have appointed her, she probably would have declined it. But she is certainly, you know, a great person to even consider.
CAVUTO: Speaking of President Obama, Senator, you said a couple of days ago — I hope I have got this right — if there was no Martin Luther King Jr. and no Roland Burris, there would no Barack Obama in the White House today.
What did you mean by that?
And you talk about taking something out of context. I was speaking at the PUSH breakfast yesterday morning. And I was telling you about how we are progressing in this country, how Martin Luther King paved the way for Roland Burris in 1978, when he was elected statewide.
If there had been no Martin Luther King, there probably would not be a Roland Burris, how Roland Burris was elected in 1978, the first black elected statewide in Illinois, which paved the way for Carol Moseley Braun to be elected a United States senator, which paved the way for Jesse White to be elected secretary of state.
And, naturally, then comes Barack Obama, who then became a United States senator from the state of Illinois.