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Black Leadership: Jesse Jackson Apologizes to Barack Obama

NEW YORK (CNN) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized Wednesday for “crude and hurtful” remarks he made against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama after finishing an interview with a Fox News correspondent.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized to Sen. Obama's campaign Wednesday over "hurtful" remarks.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized to Sen. Obama’s campaign Wednesday over “hurtful” remarks.

Jackson told CNN’s “Situation Room” that a “hot” microphone caught a part of conversation he was having with a fellow guest at the studio.

He said he made a comment about Obama “speaking down black people” followed by a crude remark.

“It was very private” he said, adding later, if “any hurt or harm has been caused to his campaign, I apologize.” Video Watch more of Jackson’s apology on CNN »

The Obama campaign had no immediate comment.

Jackson‘s apology came a few hours before Fox News planned to air the remarks.

“I feel very distressed because I’m supportive of this campaign and with the senator,” Jackson told CNN. “I was in a conversation with a fellow guest on Sunday. He asked about Barack’s speeches lately at the black churches. I said he comes down as speaking down to black people.”

He said Obama’s message to black voters must be broader and serve as more than a “moral challenge.”

The black community is faced with high levels of unemployment, home foreclosures and violence, “so we have some real serious issues — not just moral issues,” he said.

However, Jackson said after finding out about the open microphone, he immediately contacted the Obama campaign to apologize.


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