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Jesse Jackson Apolgizes for 'Rude' Comments

Barack Obama photographed with Jesse Jackson in Chicago in January 2007. Jeff Haynes, AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jeff Haynes, AFP/Getty Images

Jesse Jackson apologized today, for making what he called "rude and hurtful comments" about presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

According to CNN, Jackson was doing an interview with Fox News and was caught talking on an open microphone. [Fox News' Sean Hannity is expected to play the clip later today on his show Hannity & Colmes.]

As CNN anchor Don Lemon reported, Jackson said "something to the effect of 'the senator was cutting his you-know-what off with black people and the black church.'"

After he became aware that the comments were heard by others — and recorded — Jackson said he immediately called the Obama campaign to send a statement of apology.

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.

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On CNN, Jackson said he was referring to Obama's recent spate of speeches before black audiences — like his Father's Day address — where he touts the importance of personal accountability.

As his written statement explains, Jackson said he took issue with the characterization that the solution to structural crises in black America is a matter of moral behavior.

What do you think?

Flashback:
Jesse Jackson Says Obama "Acting White"
Tony Cox: When Hosting Hits Home

Be sure to check out tomorrow's show; Farai just wrapped an interview with Jesse Jackson about this controversy.

UPDATE (5PM PT): Fox News has now aired the clip. Jackson actually said "I want to cut his [Obama's] n*ts off."

Plus, Obama's camp has issued this statement:

"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."

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