UPDATE: Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is apologizing for what he calls a poor choice of words during a magazine interview in which he claims he's "blacker than Barack Obama."


Blagojevich says he's sorry if he offended anyone. He told WLS Radio in Chicago on Monday that it was a "stupid thing to say."

"Obviously, I am not blacker than President Obama," he said.

Ousted Illinois Gov. 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 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," Blagojevich said. "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 continues to accuse prosecutors of persecuting him for routine political deals.

This video is from WGN, broadcast Jan. 11, 2009.