"It's a stupid metaphor to say I'm blacker than Barack Obama, that I apologize for," Blagojevich told WLS Radio in Chicago this morning, according to the Associated Press. "It's not appropriate for me, a white person, to stand out somehow and claim to be a black person, that's just wrong."
He said much the same to Susan Carlson of CBS 2 in Chicago outside his house Monday morning. "It was a very stupid thing to say," said Blagojevich. "Obviously, I'm not blacker than President Obama."
The former governor, a Democrat who was impeached in part for allegedly trying to effectively sell Mr. Obama's former Senate seat, said he was attempting to express "frustration that the policies of this new administration still haven't really been focusing on the great deal of inequities we have in our society."
In the Esquire interview, Blagojevich reportedly says he is "blacker than Obama" because he "shined shoes" and "grew up in a five-room apartment."
"My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived," he said. "I saw it all growing up."
He also complained that the president – who he called "this guy" – says "everything" on a teleprompter, adding, "what the (expletive)?"
Blagojevich, who says he is being prosecuted unfairly, is expected to face trial this year on corruption charges. He will be appearing on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" in the spring.