(CNN) – The civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., who ran for president twice in the 1980s, traveled to Caracas Thursday to attend the funeral of Hugo Chavez, the staunchly anti-American Venezuelan leader who died earlier this week.
In an opinion article on CNN.com, Jackson explained that in the South American nation he would "meet with political, religious and community leaders" to reiterate the official message from President Barack Obama's administration that the United States hopes to foster better ties with Venezuela.
(CNN) - His son, the former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., spiraled from a position of promise to one of disgrace over the past year. It began with his mysterious disappearance from the halls of Congress, word of mental health issues, his resignation, and then a guilty plea to misusing campaign funds.
The elder Jackson said in an interview Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room" that this was a sad, but "perhaps not the last chapter" of his son's service.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., on a leave of absence from Congress since early June, is suffering from a medical condition more serious than initially disclosed, his office revealed Thursday.
Jackson Communications Director Frank Watkins said in a written statement that the nine-term Illinois Democrat "is undergoing further evaluation and treatment at an in-patient medical facility." and "will need to receive extended in-patient treatment as well as continuing medical treatment thereafter."
(CNN) – Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, condemned the charged political atmosphere of the moment in harsh terms Friday, comparing some conservative and Republican opponents of heath care reform to enemies of the civil rights movement.
"These days will live in infamy, as the scenes of our elected representatives shouting, 'you lie' and 'baby killer' echo inside the halls of Congress," Jackson said in a statement released by his office. "We've stooped too low when protestors begin hurling the 'n' word at African American congressman, and start making direct and indirect threats at representatives who supported the historic health care legislation."
"These and other radical statements from members of Congress, conservative talk show hosts and "protestors" are drawing ideological lines – states' rights versus federalism, harkening back to the cultural lines drawn over the civil war and modern civil rights movement," he said. "They revive our worse fears and divisions."
Read Jackson's full statement after the jump:
Washington (CNN) - Lawmakers reviewing the impact of the federal economic stimulus program say they are finding a need to more directly target the African-American community, where unemployment figures suggest the jobless picture is worse than the country at large.
At a hearing Wednesday, the Congressional Black Caucus released findings that show blacks comprise nearly 18 percent of the unemployed, even though African-Americans make up less than 12 percent of the labor force.
"The so-called Great Recession has been absolutely crushing for the African American community," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, in a statement accompanying an analysis by the Joint Economic Committee.
Federally sponsored jobs that have come from the economic stimulus program are not reaching black unemployed, according to Ben Jealous, the head of the NAACP. After his testimony, he told CNN, "We have 2,900 job centers around this country and when somebody walks in they only see 10 to 30 percent of the federally funded jobs that are being created - that's outrageous."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A longtime civil rights leader called Sunday for the nation’s first African-American president to be more engaged with the black community and for greater government action to address the needs of the poor and unemployed - especially those in the African American community.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said that he and other African-American leaders “want to engage more fully with [Obama] because there is a lot of unfinished business.” While Jackson noted that the president has met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and with some African-American mayors, Jackson said he has yet to sit down with Obama.
Jackson said on CNN’s State of the Union that he was confident, however, “at some point in time, we will meet.”
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (CNN) - Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. - who was cited in a criminal complaint against Rod Blagojevich - has been an informant for at least a decade with the U.S. Attorney's office, and has informed on the embattled governor of Illinois, though not in the case currently under investigation, Jackson spokesman Kenneth Edmonds told CNN Tuesday.
In addition, two sources close to Jackson told CNN that, in 2002, Blagojevich - then running for governor of Illinois - solicited a $25,000 campaign donation from Jackson, which he did not get.
At the time, Jackson's wife, Sandi, was a candidate for the job of director of the state's Lottery Commission, a post she did not win, the sources said.
After Blagojevich took office, in early 2003, he told Jackson something to the effect of, "You see what $25,000 would have done?" the sources said.
In 2006, Jackson reported the incident, which he believed to have been an attempt at a shakedown, the sources said.
The report, the sources said, came three three years later because Jackson's memory was jogged by another case - that of developer Tony Rezko, whose fraud and corruption trial included testimony about $25,000 donations to Blagojevich.
Jackson did not endorse Blagojevich in his initial campaign and tried to stay on the sidelines during the governor's re-election bid, one of the sources said.
Blagojevich's office did not return calls seeking comment.
(CNN) – With less than three weeks left in the year, the Yale Book of Quotations is out with its list of the 10 quotes for 2008, and statements some politicians probably wish they could take back dominate this year’s list.
This year had “a particularly important and dramatic election,” said Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, about the fact that so many political quotations appeared on the 2008 list. “An election that had a cast of characters among the candidates,” Shapiro added
Indeed, Tina Fey’s “I can see Russia from my house” impersonation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took the No. 1 spot on the list.
Palin herself was not far behind at No. 2 with an answer during one of her interviews with Katie Couric. "All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years,” Palin told Couric when the CBS anchor asked the then-Republican vice presidential candidate what newspapers she read.
McCain economic adviser and former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm took third place for saying “we have sort of become a nation of whiners,” about the struggling economy in a July interview with the Washington Times.
(CNN) - The McCain campaign is targeting Barack Obama over recent comments from the Rev. Jesse Jackson suggesting the Illinois senator would fundamentally change U.S. policy toward Israel.
"It should not surprise anyone that Obama’s supporters see what others, from the terrorist group Hamas to Iranian President Ahmadinejad, have seen: an Obama presidency would bring real change to America’s policy of support for Israel," said McCain senior foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann.
Jackson's comments came at the World Policy Forum in Evian, France last week and were quoted Tuesday by New York Post columnist Amir Taheri. According to Taheri, Jackson reportedly said that under an Obama administration, the "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" will come to an end and as would America's policy of "of putting Israel's interests first."
"Obama is about change," Jackson said. "And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it."
Officials from the Obama campaign immediately distanced themselves from the comments, noting Jackson is not an adviser to the campaign and does not speak for the Illinois senator.
"As he has made clear throughout his career and throughout this campaign, Barack Obama has a fundamental commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and he is advised by people like Dennis Ross, Daniel Kurtzer, Rep. Robert Wexler, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Senator Joe Biden who share that commitment," Obama national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said in a statement.
But the McCain campaign, who has long sought to portray Obama as naïve when it comes to foreign affairs and capitalize on the fact some Jewish voters have yet to warm to the Democratic presidential nominee, said Jackson's comment is telling of the kind of foreign policy Obama would pursue.
"Barack Obama expressed support for Jerusalem being the undivided capital of Israel and switched his position 24 hours later in the face of criticism from Palestinians," Scheunemann said. "Barack Obama has said it is a 'disgrace' that the United States has not met unconditionally with leaders committed to Israel’s destruction. Now, Barack Obama claims to be a strong supporter of Israel but his supporters - here and abroad - know better."
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - The Rev. Jesse Jackson - who was hospitalized after suffering stomach pains - was released Friday after being treated for food poisoning, his spokesman said.
"Reverend Jackson has just left the hospital. Doctors say he is recovering nicely and is expected to make a full and complete recovery from food poisoning. Doctors do not expect the reverend to suffer long-term side effects from this illness," said his spokesman, Sam Chapman.
Jackson, 66, a long-time civil rights activist, admitted himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital around 3 p.m. Wednesday, complaining of stomach pains, hospital spokeswoman Latoya Porter said.
Doctors diagnosed him with viral gastroenteritis and severe dehydration.
Viral gastroenteritis is commonly referred to as the stomach flu and is not considered serious for most people.
CORRECTED 3:05pm to reflect that Jackson was not working on behalf of the Obama campaign at the time he fell ill.