Blagojevich: Democratic Party ‘unrecognizable’

[CUOMO]

(NewsNation) — Though Rod Blagojevich is still a Democrat, he said his party is “unrecognizable” and lamented the idea that some in the party seem to believe America is a bad place.

The former Illinois governor has called himself a “Trump-o-crat” after former President Donald Trump commuted the 14-year sentence he was serving for corruption charges. Most of the charges related to Blagojevich’s attempt to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he ran for president.

“Trump rescued me,” Blagojevich said Monday on “CUOMO.” “How could I not be a Trump-o-crat and support him personally for what he did for me?”

After getting out of prison, Blagojevich found society to be more menacing than when he began serving his sentence in 2012. He also criticized the divisive nature of today’s politics.

“I came back to a world where people hate each other more and love each other less,” Blagojevich said. “This is now a blood sport. If you don’t accept the position of one side or another, either one of those sides wants to destroy you personally.”

Maintaining his innocence, Blagojevich said unethical and corrupt prosecutors turned themselves into political weapons “because they couldn’t beat me in elections” and added he believes everything he was accused of was “legal, routine and necessary in politics.”

He equated his experience to the impeachment of and investigations into Trump.

“With all due respect, I didn’t see anything criminal whatsoever (that) President Trump was doing,” Blagojevich said. “Now my concern is that if Republicans win … they’re going after Biden. This is bad for our country.”

Historically, the party in power usually loses seats in midterm elections, which Blagojevich said will happen this year because Democrats failed to focus on “kitchen table” issues that resonate with voters.

“When they were going after Clinton in the late 1990s, that went against the Republicans because the people back home said, ‘This is the stuff they do in the Beltway; it doesn’t affect my life,'” Blagojevich said.

Blagojevich said for his party to succeed, Democrats need to go back home and connect with their constituents.

“They want you to solve problems and make life better for them,” Blagojevich said, adding that his message for Democrats “is to keep reminding yourself that you’re hired by (people) to work for them.”

Hailing the American Dream, Blagojevich remained optimistic about the future of the country.

“I don’t know why my party somehow thinks America is a bad place,” Blagojevich said. “We have tremendous imperfections … but the fact of the matter is … we’ve come a long way.”

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation

Elections 2022

More Elections 2022