More Bad News for Burris

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 25, 2009 4:40PM

As if the pressure on Roland Burris couldn't get any more intense, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, met with embattled Senator Roland Burris yesterday afternoon. After the 59-minute meeting, Durbin told the press that he advised Burris to resign. "I told him that under the circumstances, I would consider resigning if I were in his shoes," Durbin told reporters. "He said he would not resign, and that was his conclusion." Burris tried to avoid the media on his way out, telling the press that he was "under orders not to say anything." When pressed, he said that advice came from his attorneys. "I asked him if he would be a candidate in 2010 and he said he had not made up his mind," Durbin said. "I told him I thought it would be extremely difficult for him to be successful in a primary or a general election under the circumstances."

Adding to the chorus of calls for Burris to step down, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on NBC's Today show that "the representations he's made have proved to be untrue" and that "Sen. Burris needs to take some time and think about whether he can actually help this country, whether he can serve the constituents of Illinois." Roland Burris's longtime media adviser Delmarie Cobb said that "Sen. Burris is in the fight of his life, not only to rehabilitate his reputation but to restore the public's trust in the wake of a media frenzy, information leaks, and calls for his resignation by a litany of so-called 'progressive' Democrats" in a statement. Like Burris, Cobb said that she believes that the senator has done nothing wrong. "I've spent many hours with Sen. Burris over the course of two statewide campaigns," she said. "During that time, I never saw or heard anything that would cause me to believe he took part in any wrongdoing, which is why I'm joining him in the fight to keep the nation's only Senate seat held by an African American."