WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Rev. Jesse Jackson told CNN Thursday that a South Carolina newspaper misinterpreted his comments when it reported he said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is "acting like he's white."
"There's an unfortunate misinterpretation," Jackson told CNN's Kiran Chetry on American Morning. "The fact is, I endorse Barack without hesitation and support him today unequivocally."
Jackson, who ran for president in 1984 and 1988, endorsed Obama’s White House bid earlier this year.
The State, a South Carolina newspaper, reported Wednesday that Jackson was highly critical of Obama and the other presidential candidates for not paying more attention to the recent racially-charged incident in Jena, Louisiana. Jackson reportedly made the comment after a speech at Benedict College, a historically black college in Columbia.
When informed the newspaper intends to stand by its reporting of the quote, Jackson said, "I have not in any way engaged into the degrees of blackness debate. He's black, authentic and brilliant. I support him and I stand by that position."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney