Jesse Jackson has issued an apology for remarks about Barack Obama that were apparently caught on tape by a FOX News reporter over the weekend that reportedly criticize the senator for lecturing on morality at Black churches. The remarks are to be aired tonight by Bill O’Reilly, who’s likely salivating over the attention.
Said Jackson: “For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize. 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. 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 told CNN later: “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. 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.”
UPDATE: I’ve added the O’Reilly clips AFTER THE JUMP…