CHICAGO (AP) _ Ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says he's “blacker than Barack Obama'' and tells Esquire magazine that he was a real person in a political arena dominated by phonies.
Blagojevich, referring to the president as “this guy,'' says Obama, a fellow Democrat from Illinois, was elected based simply on hope.
“What the (expletive)? Everything he's saying's on the teleprompter,'' Blagojevich told the magazine for a story in its February issue, which hits newsstands Jan. 19.
“I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived,'' said Blagojevich, who is white. “I saw it all growing up.''
The White House refused to comment.
The twice-elected Democrat was impeached and removed from office last year after federal prosecutors arrested him on corruption charges that included trying to sell Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. He has pleaded not guilty.
Blagojevich is appearing on the reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice'' with Donald Trump this spring and his trial is expected to start later this year.
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Pictured above are Rod Blagojevich, left, and President Barack Obama, right.