Jackson apologizes for comment about castrating Senator Obama
"See, Barack been...um...talking down to black people on this faith-based...I wanna cut his nuts off."
Update: Obama accepts Jackson apology
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama shrugged off a crude comment aimed at him by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, accepting an apology for a remark Jackson made as he contended that Obama wasn't speaking to issues important to the black community.
Unaware that his microphone was on during a break for a Fox News program last Sunday, Jackson used a slang reference to wanting to cut off Obama's testicles. When he learned Wednesday that the Fox News program "The O'Reilly Factor" would air his comments that night, Jackson apologized for "hurtful and wrong" remarks.
The Obama campaign took a measured response to the incident, releasing a brief statement Wednesday evening.
“As someone who grew up without a father in the home, Senator Obama has spoken and written for many years about the issue of parental responsibility, including the importance of fathers participating in their children’s lives. He also discusses our responsibility as a society 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," campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.
Earlier in the day, Jackson released the following statement, according to CNN.
"For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize," Jackson said in a statement issued to CNN. "My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment."
"My appeal was for the moral content of his message to not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy which would be a corrective action for the lack of good choices that often led to their irresponsibility," Jackson also said.
"That was the context of my private conversation and it does not reflect any disparagement on my part for the historic event in which we are involved or my pride in Senator Barack Obama, who is leading it, whom I have supported by crisscrossing this nation in every level of media and audience from the beginning in absolute terms."
Jackson's comments, but the comments were aired Wednesday night on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, viewable below.
Jackson's own son, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), had this to say according to ABC News:
I'm deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson's reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama. His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee -- and I believe the next president of the United States -- contradict his inspiring and courageous career. Instead of tearing others down, Barack Obama wants to build the country up and bring people together so that we can move forward, together -- as one nation. The remarks like those uttered on Fox by Revered Jackson do not advance the campaign's cause of building a more perfect Union.
Revered Jackson is my dad and I'll always love him. He should know how hard that I've worked for the last year and a half as a national co-chair of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. So, I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric. He should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself.
With wire reports
The following video is from CNN's Situation Room, broadcast July 9, 2008.
This video is from Fox's O'Reilly Factor, broadcast July 9, 2008.