Sen. Dick Durbin, who advised Sen. Roland Burris last week to step down from the Senate, acknowledged Sunday that racial considerations were at play in the decision by majority Democrats to seat Burris.
Durbin, a fellow Democrat and Illinois' senior senator, noted that Rep. Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, appeared at Gov. Rod Blagojevich's announcement of his appointment of Burris and used racially charged language to defend the appointment.
"My colleague from Illinois, Congressman Bobby Rush, made strong statements along those lines," Durbin said on WGN-AM 720. "They were painful and hurtful, and it became part of this calculation."
Durbin and several lawmakers have called on Burris to resign after more revelations about Burris' attempts to raise money for Blagojevich while lobbying the governor's inner circle for the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.