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The Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Chicago civil rights leader known for speaking without thinking, may support presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama in public but apparently has second thoughts about him in private.
An open mike has caught Jackson upset with Obama and saying "I wanna cut his nuts off."
Jackson had just finished an interview on Fox News and was speaking privately after he thought the microphone was off. It wasn’t and Fox, being Fox, decided to go public with what he said.
Jackson went into immediate cover his ass mode, calling the Obama campaign to apologize and issuing a public apology as well.
But the damage is done and even his son, a Congressman from Chicago, is upset by his father’s remarks.
Barack Obama’s campaign tried yet again to contain a political storm kicked up by a vocal Chicago supporter as the Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized for crude comments picked up by a live microphone about the Democratic presidential candidate.
Jackson said the "hurtful and wrong" comments came in response to a question from a fellow guest during a break from taping "Fox & Friends" on Sunday. The guest asked about speeches on morality Obama has given at black churches.
Jackson said at a news conference Wednesday that he had said Obama’s speeches can come off as speaking down to black people and that there were other important issues to be addressed in the community, such as unemployment, the mortgage crisis and the number of blacks in prison.
He said he was not aware the microphone was still on.
Jackson declined to repeat the comments, but said he decided to apologize publicly after hearing from Fox News that it would air them.
In an interview with The Associated Press earlier Wednesday, Jackson said he didn’t remember his exact words, but said he was "very sorry."
The Fox News program "The O’Reilly Factor" aired Jackson’s comment Wednesday night, including a slang reference to his wanting to cut off Obama’s testicles. The report bleeped out the slang but made clear what Jackson said with subtitles.
"It was not a public speech or a declaration," Jackson said, adding the comments "will not be helpful."
"For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize," he said in a written apology released earlier in the day. "My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal."
Jackson said he called Obama’s campaign to apologize.
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton noted that the Illinois senator grew up without his father and has spoken and written at length about the issues of parental responsibility and fathers participating in their children’s lives, and of society’s obligation to provide "jobs, justice and opportunity for all.
"He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Reverend Jackson’s apology," Burton said.
Though Jackson supports Obama, the two are not close.