Reid: Democrats won't seat Burris

Jan. 4, 2009 at 5:10 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday Democrats will not seat Roland Burris, the man named by Illinois' embattled governor to Barack Obama's seat.

Reid, D-Nev., appearing on the NBC news show "Meet the Press," said the problem is Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has been charged, but not yet convicted, by federal authorities who allege he tried to profit from his office.

"Blagojevich obviously is a corrupt individual. I think that's pretty clear," Reid said. "And the reason that he's done what he's done is to divert attention from the arrest that was just made of him and the indictment which will be coming in a few days, according to the U.S. attorney in Illinois. That's why President-elect Obama agreed with us that Mr. Burris is tainted."

Reid cited Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., who turned down the seat. David said his constituents simply would not accept anyone appointed by Blagojevich.

The majority leader also said he agrees with President George Bush on Gaza and the Israeli air strikes and ground invasion.

"If this were going on in the United States from Vancouver, Canada, into Seattle, would we react? Course we do." Reid said. "We would have to. I think what the Israelis are doing is very important. I think this terrorist organization, Hamas, has got to be put away."

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