Rod Blagojevich said Friday that as a Democrat born in Chicago who served in Congress and as governor of Illinois, it's clear to him that the old Democratic machine in key battleground states is trying to steal the election from Donald Trump.
"If the question is are the Democrats stealing votes in Philadelphia," he said in a Newsmax TV interview, "my answer is, is the pope Catholic?"
Blagojevich said it's a "time-honored tradition in Democrat-controlled cities like Chicago, my hometown, Philadelphia, to do precisely what they're doing."
But he believes the corruption is much wider in the 2020 election.
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"Coming out of Chicago Democratic politics, my instincts are it's going on in Atlanta, it's going on Detroit, it's going on in Milwaukee, it's going on in Las Vegas," he said.
Skeptics of Blagojevich's view of the election will point to the fact that Trump commuted his 14-year prison sentence on corruption charges. Blagojevich, who contends he went to prison because he took on the infamous Chicago Democratic machine, has said he will be forever grateful to Trump, calling himself a "Trump-ocrat."
He told Newsmax TV, borrowing from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's famous line about pornography, that election corruption is hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
"Coming out of the Chicago political establishment, I know how they operate," he said. "They control polling places, they stop votes when their candidate's behind, and then in the wee hours of the morning, in the dark of night, the stealing starts," he said.
"And we've seen that in unprecedented numbers in this election in Michigan, in Philadelphia."
Blagojevich said it's "outrageous, and the fact that they're doing it with the impunity that they're doing it with, is because the media is simply looking the other way."
"They just want to beat Donald Trump at all costs. And they're not just stealing from Donald Trump, they're stealing from the us, the American people," he said.
Blagojevich contended he went to prison for taking on the Chicago machine, "and they brought me to ruin."
"They destroy you when you take on a system and you won't play ball," he said.
The Democrat said "this is a critical moment in our history" that is "incredibly dangerous to our freedoms and our democracy."
"And the question is going to be, do you just taking this lying down and just accept it, and allow a corrupt political establishment to dictate to the people who their leadership will be?" he asked.
"Or will the people peacefully rise up and protest, organize and get active and back the president, because his cause is much larger than him?
"This cause goes to we the people and our right to choose our own leaders in fair elections and free elections."
The famous Chicago machine Mayor Richard J. Daley was accused of stopping the vote count in Cook County in 1960 to wait until results downstate indicated how many votes he need to stuff to secure victory for John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election. While historians still argue about what really happened, there is no doubt Daley had a reputation for delivering votes through unscrupulous means.
In 2008, Blagojevich was arrested for conspiring to commit several "pay to play" schemes, including attempting "to obtain personal gain ... through the corrupt use" of his authority to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.
After Trump commuted his sentence on Feb. 18, 2020, Blagojevich spoke to reporters.
"I'm profoundly grateful to President Trump, and I will be for as long as I live," he said.
Calling himself a "Trump-ocrat," he said the president was "a man who's not only tough and outspoken, strong, but he has a kind heart."
IS THE POPE CATHOLIC? That’s Rod Blagojevich’s response to whether he thinks Democrat votes are being ‘stolen’ in Philadelphia. [with Newsmax TV’s @SchmittNYC https://t.co/VlT7z8v2lm] pic.twitter.com/d0IJOJZZb3
— Newsmax (@newsmax) November 6, 2020