Mic catches Jackson hammering Obama

July 9, 2008 2:37:50 PM PDT
The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized Wednesday for comments he made about Barack Obama's speeches in black churches during what he thought was a private conversation with a reporter.Jackson told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday that his comments made Sunday were in response to a question from a Fox News reporter about speeches on morality the Democratic presidential candidate has given at black churches.

The civil rights leader said Wednesday he felt there were other important issues to be addressed in the black community, such as unemployment, the mortgage crisis and the number of blacks in prison.

Jackson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he doesn't remember exactly what he said Sunday but that he was "very sorry" for his comments about Obama. He called his comments "a side light in a broader conversation about urban disparities."

"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 said in a written statement.

Jackson said he has called Obama's campaign to apologize and that he supports the candidate unequivocally.

Messages seeking from Obama's campaign and a Fox News spokeswoman were not immediately returned.