Clinton urges support for Obama in Chicago

Group pushes for Jesse Jackson to step down
July 12, 2008 3:50:58 PM PDT
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton urged teachers at a Chicago convention to unite behind Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Saturday.Clinton's speech came at the same time that a group of men were calling for the Rev. Jesse Jackson to resign as leader of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition push because of his recent comments about Obama.

Senator Clinton is trying to create more unity in the Democratic party after a tough primary campaign. However, it's the comments from Reverend Jackson that threaten to create more division.

"The only way we can realize the promise of this country, begin solving our problems again and be respected in the world is to elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States," Clinton said to the educators gathered Saturday in Chicago.

She spoke in support of Senator Obama to 1.4 million members of the nation's second largest teachers union, a group that once endorsed her during her presidential campaign.

Clinton and other Democrats are trying to present a united front, despite Reverend Jackson's recent controversial comments.

"He's apologized. Let's move on. The election is too important for any one person [to become a distraction]," Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley.

Jackson still felt the need to address the controversy, even days after the flap began.

"Locker room trash talk has no place in public policy. Our relationship is in tact because it's a long standing one," he said about Senator Obama.

While the reverend says he continues to support the presidential aspirations of Obama, critics of the civil rights icon are accusing him of purposely trying to derail and damage the Illinois senator's push for the White House.

"It's the ministers in Chicago that are doing decisive things to Barack Obama," said Harold Davis of the Ameri CAN organization.

A group of men gathered outside Operation PUSH Saturday morning, not only to call for Jackson to step down from leadership, but to voice concerns that seemingly negative comments from Jackson others would affect the upcoming presidential race.

The controversy was sparked after Jackson, while preparing for an appearance on a Fox News program, accused Obama of being condescending during a Father's Day speech.

Jackson has said he did not know his microphone was on when he made the comments.

Saturday, supporters of both Jackson and Obama remained faithful.

"I believe in Jesse 100 percent. I'm sure that's its going to be alright. Obama's going to be alright. Everything is going to be fine," Helen Plicque told ABC7 Chicago.

Both Jackson and Obama supporters say its time to move on. They add that although Jackson's comments could be perceived as negative, they hope the controversy will spark a positive dialogue and help frame issues that affect all Americans and should be a part of the presidential election platform.


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