By: E&P Staff
The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he’s “very sorry” for comments he made about Barack Obama during what he thought was a private conversation with a reporter.
Fox News has promised to air the tape tonight. The exact words have not yet been published, but the quote is being reported as “Obama is cutting off his **** with blacks.”
Jackson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he doesn’t remember his exact words. He was being interviewed about health care by a Fox News reporter on Sunday when he was asked his opinion about Obama speaking in black churches. He also went on CNN to apologize to Obama.
He said the comments were, in his words, “a side light in a broader conversation about urban disparities.” Jackson was not aware that his microphone was still on.
Obama has spoken out recently on black males taking more family responsibilities. Jackson has said that wider social inequities and a history of racism also must be strongly dealt with.
He apologized Wednesday “for any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused” and said his support for Obama is “wide, deep and unequivocal….I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.”
He explained further to CNN: “This is a sound bite in a broader conversation about urban policy and racial disparities. I feel very distressed because I’m supportive of this campaign and with the senator, what he has done and is doing,” he said. “I said he comes down as speaking down to black people. The moral message must be a much broader message. What we need really is racial justice and urban policy and jobs and health care. That’s a range of issues on the menu.
“Then I said something I regret was crude. It was very private. And very much a sound bite,” he also said.