New Kennedy Radio Ad Attacks Pritzker FBI Tapes - NBC Chicago
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New Kennedy Radio Ad Attacks Pritzker FBI Tapes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pritzker Apologizes for Racial Comments as Fallout Continues

    Democratic candidate for Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker apologized for his controversial comments on race Tuesday as fallout continues after recordings of a conversation with disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich were leaked. NBC 5's Sandra Torres reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018)

    A new radio ad will begin airing in Chicago using former Senate President Emil Jones who JB Pritzker called crass on the FBI wiretapped conversation with former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

    The script is Jones saying "a true test of someone's character is what they say when they don't think anyone's listening. On FBI wiretap is, JB Pritzker said what he really thinks of black folks. Pritzker used insults and code language to put down our entire community." 

    "We shouldn't be surprised by Pritzker insulting our community, Pritzker called Barack Obama a mediocre President," Jones continued. 

    "Danny Davis, Bobby Rush, myself and many more black leaders are supporting Chris Kennedy for Governor. Chris' father Robert Kennedy and his uncle President Kennedy fought and struggled and sacrificed alongside Dr. King in the civil rights movement. Chris has devoted his life fighting for those who are left behind. That's the Kennedy way. It's time to unite, fight and get it right."  10 Races to Watch in Illinois Politics This Year10 Races to Watch in Illinois Politics This Year

    The Chicago Tribune released the tapes, recorded by the FBI in a wiretap, last week. In them, Pritzker made what some consider offensive comments about African-American options to replace newly-elected President Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

    Headlines of the conversation include Pritzker calling Secretary of State Jesse White the "least offensive" pick, calling former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones "crass," saying that choosing then-U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr. "would be a nightmare," and mocking Obama's controversial former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  Here's Who's Running for Governor of IllinoisHere's Who's Running for Governor of Illinois

    In the wake of the release, a campaign field organizer resigned, with Pritzker's campaign saying they "respect her feelings on this matter and are sad to see her go from the campaign."

    Plans for a rally on Chicago's South Side were also canceled, and Pritzker offered an apology with White, who endorsed him in August, and other African-American supporters at his side.

    "I was trying to convince him that Secretary of State White would be a great public servant," Pritzker said at a news conference.

    African-American support is key to the Democratic party, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential primary election.

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