This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," January 28, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: It's another busy day for the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He is back in Illinois where his impeachment trial continues, parts of the wiretapped calls were played for state senators. Oh, listen in to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ROB BLAGOJEVICH, GOV. BLAGOJEVICH'S BROTHER: Talked to Lon, and he said Johnny Johnston is good for it.
GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH, (D) ILLINOIS: OK.
ROB BLAGOJEVICH:He's going to give you — you know, he didn't get it, but he said, you know, I'm good for it. I got to just decide what — what accounts to get it out of. And Lon's going to talk to you about sensitivities legislatively tonight when he sees you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BECK: You know, I'm not an attorney, but the conversation kind of sounds like Blago's brother may have been referring to the governor's attempt at helping a racetrack operator get a portion of casino revenues for the price tag of 100 grand. Who knows? I mean, just taken that one right out of context.
Here is part two with my interview with impeached Democrat Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: You say the Oprah Winfrey thing.
BECK: I swear to God, I think you're really just going to — you're about this close to just releasing pictures of you holding little kittens and rescuing kittens. I mean, it's an amazing PR campaign you're doing. The Oprah Winfrey thing — I don't even understand. Why would you pick Oprah Winfrey who you didn't even talk to? Why would you even seriously consider that?
BLAGOJEVICH: I'll tell you why. To begin with, she was perhaps the most instrumental person in electing Barack Obama president. She is a larger-than-life figure in America and around the world. She has a huge bully pulpit and tremendous support across America.
She has a voice larger than all 100 senators combined. And if she was a U.S. Senator, she would be a voice for the Obama program, which she supports, and she would be in a position to be able to use an unbelievable bully pulpit to be able to get it done.
BLAGOJEVICH:She obviously can't be bought. And she's actually a very, obviously, in my judgment, a very impressive and a very nice person.
BECK: It's amazing to me that almost everything you just said was about celebrity. Here we are in a society — I don't give a flying crap about celebrities.
BECK: I don't care about — I mean, we don't know who people are anymore.
BECK: And all we see is the celebrity and all we see is the great power that they have to move people. What we're looking for is someone of character, someone of depth, someone who is Mr. Smith who will go to Washington, and will be fine on being destroyed.
You did something in your own state that you are proud of, that you say the legislature is pissed at you because what you do is they say no to you and then you find a way around them, legal ways.
BLAGOJEVICH: Legal ways.
BECK: Yes. That's the problem.
BLAGOJEVICH:No, it's not.
BECK: Yes, it is. Why don't you use your bully pulpit ...
BECK: ... because you've got at least 20 percent in your mind. Use your bully pulpit to go to the people and say, "You know what? These people are crooked." You told me you don't disagree. How many people have you ratted out that they are crooked?
How come you haven't made a campaign in saying these people are crooked? You know it's right and I know it's right, and if you don't believe me, then fine, then don't believe me. Take me out, but do it the right way, instead of doing what everybody is doing with the stimulus package now, and telling us it's one thing, but then going around and doing another.
BLAGOJEVICH:I've got to tell you, you're very interesting, but can I answer that? And let me tell you a couple of things. Number one, I'm not saying they're necessarily personally corrupted in a legal sense. I agree with you in terms with just the corruption of the idealism and the sense of purpose and being some phony baloney politician who gives a speech one day and at best maybe, you tinker a little bit at the edges so you can go back to the people and say you did something.
And then, what you do when you're in that place of government, whether it's Washington or in our state capital Springfield, what I call the political-industrial complex, you sell the people out who are back home because the special interests are the ones that come up with all the ideas. And they come with all the solutions and they tell you whether you should be for or against something.
So I'm the governor, elected twice by the people. And I genuinely and sincerely, and in my heart, I want to pass healthcare expansion for working families and middle class families, not free but comprehensive and affordable for families who are doing everything right. They're working. They're paying their taxes, but they don't make enough money to afford the high insurance premiums that the insurance industry keeps where it is because they own the lawmakers now.
So I find creative ways to be able to expand healthcare around them, not unlike what Franklin Roosevelt did around Congress ...
BECK: Oh, I know.
BLAGOJEVICH:... to help Great Britain against the Nazis, or Ronald Reagan did with Iran, and with the conflict —
BECK: Oh, so you're for the Iran contra?
BLAGOJEVICH: I am simply saying I admire Reagan and Roosevelt —
BECK: For the Iran contra?
BLAGOJEVICH: I admire their use of executive power to get things done that they believed in.
BECK: Well, the example you used —
BLAGOJEVICH:No, I'm not —
BECK: Do you?
BLAGOJEVICH: I'm not saying I admire that.
BECK: I'm sorry. I must have taken you out of context. Let's play the whole thing. Let me ask you this —
BLAGOJEVICH: OK. I'm using the example of using executive authority to do what you think is right. Go ahead.
BECK: OK. Do you know —
BLAGOJEVICH: Not around contra — I meant the contras in El Salvador.
BECK: Do you know — that was right.
BECK: Do you know, Sir, that you're in the stimulus package? Did you know that? The Barack Obama's stimulus package?
BLAGOJEVICH: What do you mean I'm in it?
BECK: You're in it.
BECK: Your name did it. Do you know this? Nobody knows this. I have not heard this reported anywhere. You are actually named in it. Here it is, quote, "None of the funds provided by this act will be made available to the State of Illinois or any agency of the state unless, one, the use of such funds by the state is approved in legislation enacted by the state after the date of enactment of this act, or two, Rod Blagojevich no longer holds the Office of Governor of the State of Illinois." Did you know that?
BLAGOJEVICH:No, I didn't know that.
BECK: How could you — let's say you're innocent. How could you possibly be of use to the people of Illinois if the president of the United States has written you, by name, in an $825 billion stimulus package and saying, "Illinois, you get nothing if he's your man."
BLAGOJEVICH:Well, I'm a little suspicious of that information. I don't know if it's true or not. I will look into it. Read it again, what did it say?
BECK: You want to read it, "None of the funds provided by this act will be made available to the State of Illinois or any agency of the state unless, one, the use of such funds by the state is approved in legislation enacted by the state after the date of enactment of this act, or two, Rod Blagojevich no longer holds the Office of Governor of the State of Illinois."
BLAGOJEVICH:The two-thing is total baloney. The first part is what matters. When you have federal funds that come to a state, you have to enact enabling legislation so that those federal funds can be used. So if one happens, two is irrelevant.
That was the sham thing that was put in by some people for political purposes. Look, I'm up against powerful forces. I don't disagree with that. And that comes from a Republican congressman from Illinois. But Illinois won't be imperiled as long as the legislature does what it's supposed to do, and that is pass the legislation that's necessary to get those funds.
BECK: Do you believe that you're going to be removed?
BLAGOJEVICH: I think the fix is in. I think they have made the decision because they have rules. And Glenn, you are an American citizen and I would appeal to you to consider how fair this is. Whether you like me or not, and I'm glad you don't live in Illinois, because that approval rating you are talking about probably would be a heck of a lot lower.
But if you were a citizen of Illinois, or as an American citizen, when the voters choose you twice, and you have been wrongfully accused of something, and then there is a legislative body that's trying to remove you from office, the least they ought to do is give you an opportunity to bring witnesses in like Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, Jesse Jackson, Jr. ...
BECK: Do you think those people will be called?
BLAGOJEVICH:... Menendez, Harry Reid and a whole bunch of others, and put a defense on. And the process should require that if you're saying they were criminal acts that they have to at least prove them.
BLAGOJEVICH: But the rules don't allow that. The fix is in.
BECK: Look —
BLAGOJEVICH: And the will of the people is being thwarted. And I would like —
BECK: Do you believe that those people would ever come? Do you think Obama wants those people to come and be involved anywhere near you or Illinois at this point?
BLAGOJEVICH: Look, I would think that he would want people to tell the truth, and if they are asked to come in to tell the truth —
BECK: If they don't, did Barack Obama abandon you?
BLAGOJEVICH: No. This is not about him. He is doing his job as president. He's going to bring about the change that so many of us are excited about.
BECK: At your expense?
BLAGOJEVICH: Politics is a rough and tough business. This is not him saying they can't come. These are the lawmakers in Springfield denying me the right to bring those witnesses who would help clear my name. And let me say again —
BECK: Would they come if the Illinois legislature said, "Go ahead and you can bring them in?"
BECK: If you called and asked, they would come?
BLAGOJEVICH: Under a subpoena, they would come. They'd have to come, and they'd have to tell the truth. Now, Rahm Emanuel was on national television maybe 10 days ago and he made it clear that his conversations with me on this subject were appropriate.
BLAGOJEVICH: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Valerie Jarrett and the Obama administration — they were interviewed by the FBI that certainly, if they told the truth, which would show nothing inappropriate. I would like every tape, every tape to be heard in that trial, so the whole story is told.
BECK: So would I.
BECK: OK. One last question. You said that you didn't do anything illegal.
BECK: Did you do anything unethical?
BECK: Why the hesitation?
BLAGOJEVICH: Because I wanted to be fair to the question. When you are having private conversations with top staff and political advisors who are honorable — in my experience — honorable, honest people and you're exploring a wide range of ideas. And so much of being, you know, an executive is to explore different ideas. Some of them are good. Some of them are stupid. Some of them you can't do. You ask whether you can do something and they say you can't.
You've got lawyers and others who are involved in these discussions. And you are exploring things in a creative way with your heart in the right place. That's not unethical. Now, you know, do I — am I a perfect guy who makes mistakes?
BECK: Is anybody else hearing kind of —
BECK: That's what I'm hearing.
BLAGOJEVICH:No. No. Not at all. By no means. No. The answer is no. Not unethical. No.
BLAGOJEVICH: OK? And when you say unethical, no. Now, am I a perfect person? Have I made a whole bunch of mistakes? Absolutely.
BECK: Everybody does that.
BECK: Listen, here's the thing — you are either the most arrogant person I have ever met, or you're telling the truth. If this is cleared ...
BECK: I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you to go after Fitzgerald, because there is a travesty someplace. I don't trust any of you people, but if you are really, truly who you say you are and you are cleared, I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, Sir, and rat this system out.
You're one or the other. You're either honest and truly a wronged man here —
BECK: Or you are the most arrogant son of a — that I have ever met.
BLAGOJEVICH: Can I answer that?
BLAGOJEVICH:You know, in that movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," he says that — Sen. Smith, on the floor of the Senate and says precisely what you just said. I appreciate that. I look forward to doing that with you one day.
BLAGOJEVICH: And I will say this as an American who has been blessed to live the American dream, the son of an immigrant, came with nothing — working parents. And I got to be governor of a big state. For the first time in my life — and an immigrant father who gave us an appreciation for the blessings of this country. Because you can be anything you want in this country where you can't in the old country.
For the first time in my life, my own faith in our sense of justice, as a former prosecutor, has been shattered, because I keep questioning, how could something like this happen the way it did? And how could this rush to judgment and this stripping away of the presumption of innocence and the media frenzy that's descended without giving me a chance to show that I didn't do anything wrong — how could something like this happen?
So I want to be with you when that day comes. And I will hold you accountable. And I have a feeling you'll keep your word.
BECK: I am a man of my word. And I will tell you something, Governor. I'm not different than most Americans, and I think most Americans feel like the Marines. And that is you are a best friend or a worst fricking nightmare.
BLAGOJEVICH: Yes. And I'm going to tell you something, that frustration you expressed that most Americans have, I have it. And that's reflected in those conversations, because some of those bad words are just frustrated with the phoniness of the process, but thank you.
BECK: Governor, that's life. Thank you.
BLAGOJEVICH: Thank you. I appreciate it.
BECK: You bet.
BLAGOJEVICH: Thanks for going so easy on me.
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