Before Threatening Obama's 'Nuts,' Jesse Jackson Dissed Faith-Based Projects

It's now been widely reported that during what Jesse Jackson thought was an off-mic moment from Sunday's "Fox and Friends," the reverend stated he would like "to cut [Senator Barack Obama's] nuts off." However, a look at the on-air conversation shows that the FNC hosts had to prompt Jackson to say anything positive about Barack Obama's plans for faith based initiatives, the subject that drew his wrath in the first place.

During the July 6 segment, Jackson was discussing health screenings for African Americans and the need to have a low blood pressure. Quite unprompted, during an unrelated question, he suddenly shifted topics from screenings and blurted, "And so, while I'm very concerned about the focus now on faith-based, I'm concerned about a government-based commitment to give us structure and equality whether it is education or health care, because we know unemployment is a factor in people's health." Co-host Ainsley Earhardt later brought the subject up again and queried, "Barack Obama thinks that the government should oversee how these faith-based organizations are using their money, who they are hiring. Do you agree with him on that?" Jackson replied "yeah," but then immediately shifted towards listing all the limitations of faith-based initiatives.

Jackson's off-mic remark, which has now been repeatedly replayed, featured the reverend whispering to his fellow guest, Dr. Reed Tuckson, "See, Barack been talking down to black people on this faith based -- I want to cut his nuts off."

Towards the end of the piece, co-host Clayton Morris tried one more time to draw out positive comments about the faith-based concept: "But you have to be encouraged though that both candidates spent the last week talking about faith based initiatives and something in a reassessment of what they felt maybe President Bush didn't go far enough, but laid the groundwork for and so both these candidates approaching that, right?"

A partial transcript of the July 6, segment, which aired at 9:35am, follows:

DAVE BRIGGS: So, reverend, I know the screenings have already begun. Tell us what people need to know, where they can be screened as well.

JESSE JACKSON: You know, you know, one of the young ladies at our Rainbow Push convention this week took a screening at the convention and found that she was almost in a comatose state. Did not even realize that high blood pressure can creep up on you so quickly and then you are just out of it. You can be driving and you blank out and you die. And so, while I'm very concerned about the focus now on faith-based, I'm concerned about a government-based commitment to give us structure and equality, whether it is education or health care, because we know unemployment is a factor in people's health. And so, today, with jobs leaving the urban areas and farmers losing their farms in the rural areas, we need a real commitment now to stop jobs and investment leaving, and drugs and guns from coming because the rising violence in our society is also a health care crisis.

...

AINSLEY EARHARDT: Now, reverend, you mentioned faith-based. We've been talking about the faith-based initiatives of these candidates all morning long. Barack Obama thinks that the government should oversee how these faith-based organizations are using their money, who they are hiring. Do you agree with him on that?

JACKSON: Well, yeah, you know, but the faith based program has severe limitations. It will not address structural in equality. I think that ministers are good at inspiring faith. We need some government based commitment to address the needs for jobs and health care, adequate schools, adequate housing. Stop the home foreclosure crisis. Get our economy moving. We need some real government commitment to deal with structure and inequality in the downward trend of our economy.

CLAYTON MORRIS: But you have to be encouraged though that both candidates spent the last week talking about faith based initiatives and something in a reassessment of what they felt maybe President Bush didn't go far enough, but laid the groundwork for and so both these candidates approaching that, right?

JACKSON: Yeah, my concern is you look at the inner city and the suburban schools-- that structural gap will not be resolved with faith, but rather with investment. We're looking at a structural inequality. You look at the high unemployment in urban America, that is not a matter of faith, that is a matter of job training and jobs once you get the training. You look at these first class and second class schools, we need a real commitment to have government-based, along with faith-based, to, in fact, get our economy moving again. When our economy moves, when our economy moves we'll all feel better and we all do better.

AINSLEY EARHARDT: So, You agree more with Obama than McCain. Guys thanks so much for being with us. What an honor to have you on.

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