Rod Blagojevich has unapologetically compared himself to Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
But minutes after news of his "blacker than Barack Obama" remarks became public this morning, the former governor was scrambling to set up a news conference to apologize.
In the February issue of Esquire magazine, Blagojevich says he had a tougher time growing up than Obama.
"I'm blacker than Barack Obama," Blagojevich told the magazine. "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. I saw it all growing up."
Perhaps realizing his remarks could alienate potential jurors for his June trial -- who hail from Obama's home state, which overwhelmingly voted for Obama -- Blagojevich this morning held a news conference from his home saying the comment was "stupid, stupid, stupid."
It was meant as a metaphor, he said, adding that he was obviously not blacker than the president.
It may be the first time Blagojevich has publicly apologized for anything since his December 2008 arrest on corruption charges.
Blagojevich launched a media offensive following his charges, saying the morning of his arrest he felt the same way he imagined some of the world's greatest human rights activists must have felt when they were persecuted.
He's scheduled to go on trial in June with his brother, Rob Blagojevich.
Read the Esquire Magazine story: "The Notorious Blago"