Pritzker apologizes as Emil Jones calls on him to withdraw.

By John Dempsey, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO)  Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate J.B. Pritzker is apologizing for insulting various black politicians in a newly released audiotape.    The Chicago Tribune on Tuesday released the tape of Pritzker talking with now imprisoned ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2008.   Pritzker advised Blagojevich on potential choices he could make to replace then U.S. Senator Barack Obama, who had just been elected President.

The tape was recorded by the FBI while it was conducting undercover surveillance of Blagojevich in the months leading to the ex-Governor’s arrest in November of 2008.

On the tape,  Pritzker tells Blagojevich that if he gives the Senate seat to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, “It covers you on the African-American thing.” “Correct,” Blagojevich replies.

Pritzker also referred to White as the “least offensive” African American candidate that Blagojevich could choose.  “He’s totally, you know, uh, he’s Senate material in a way that Emil Jones isn’t, if I may say,” Pritzker says, referring to former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones.

On Tuesday afternoon Pritzker appeared with Jesse White and other African-American politicians at a West Side restaurant,  apologizing for his remarks.

“On that call I was not my best self.   I can be better.   I have been better and I can do better, and I have, and I’ve tried to live up to the values my parents have taught me.”

Jesse White told reporters he accepts Pritzker’s apology, saying  “I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing J.B. Pritzker for almost 40 years.  I know where his heart is.   I know where he is.  I know about our relationship and I was not offended by it.”

However Emil Jones is refusing to accept Pritzker’s apology.   Jones, who endorsed Pritzker’s opponent Chris Kennedy, told reporters Pritzker should drop out of the race.

Kennedy and other Democratic candidates are also blasting Pritzker.

Candidate Bob Daiber told “The Big John and Ramblin’ Ray Show” on WLS, that Pritzker is in trouble.

“There are many better choices and I think I’m one of them”, said Daiber. ” I think it’s going to be detrimental to the Democrats in the fall having to defend this when we go door to door.   These conversations I think were known about when he got into the race and he should have been prepared for this, and I think this is damaging to all individuals who’ve endorsed him, and to us moving forward.   I don’t think he’s going to win.”

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