J.B.-a Culpa: Pritzker apologizes for dishing on black pols in Blagojevich call

With Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White at his side, Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker apologized Tuesday for portions of a newly revealed wiretapped conversation with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in which he pitched White as the “least offensive” choice to fill then President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat.

“I regret some of the things I didn’t say and some of the things that I did,”  Pritzker said of the Nov. 14, 2008, phone conversation with Blagojevich in which he described then-Illinois Senate President Emil Jones as too “crass” for the job and joked along with the governor when Blagojevich suggested appointing Obama’s controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to fill the vacancy.

“God damn America!” Pritzker repeated after Blagojevich, who was mimicking Wright.

Pritzker didn’t specifically say which parts of the call he regretted but admitted he was “not my best self” on the call and that he should have “pushed back” against some of Blagojevich’s comments.

With other African-American supporters of Pritzker arrayed around them, White told reporters he was not offended by Pritzker’s comments captured on the wiretap.

“I know where his heart is,” said White, who described Pritzker as a friend of nearly four decades.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White speaks Tuesday at Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker’s news conference. | Marcus DiPaola/Sun-Times

The call secretly recorded by the FBI was reported Monday by the Chicago Tribune, its second such report using materials gathered in the federal prosecution of Blagojevich.

Pritzker called on the newspaper to release any more such recordings in its possession.

Source: Chicago sun