Jackson makes two stops in city Churchgoers urged to vote tomorrow

March 02, 1992|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Staff Writer

An article in yesterday's Sun incorrectly stated that Sen. Tom Harkin telephoned the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson to apologize after Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was harshly critical of Mr. Jackson upon being erroneously told that Mr. Jackson was endorsing Mr. Harkin. It was Mr. Clinton who made the call.

* The Sun regrets the error.

The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson took to the pulpit yesterday and urged the Democratic presidential candidates to stop attacking one another and start talking about those that have been left behind: America's cities, industries and family farms.

"We see the candidates attacking and counterattacking," Mr. Jackson said during Sunday services at two Baptist churches in Baltimore. "We need to hear talk of urban policy and rural recovery and salvation of our children."


Mr. Jackson urged several hundred parishioners at Sharon Baptist Church and later more than 2,500 churchgoers at the New Shiloh Baptist Church to vote in Tuesday's primary.

But he stopped short of endorsing any presidential candidate. And he mentioned none of their names.

"Vote for whoever inspires you, who you can trust," he told an early-morning congregation at Sharon Baptist Church. "For the right to vote we have marched too long, bled too profusely and died too young."

During an interview between his appearances, Mr. Jackson said that the Democratic campaign has focused largely on the middle class but has mostly bypassed farmers, industrial workers and the unemployed.

The former Democratic presidential candidate also said the United States needs to convene an industrial summit conference of business, labor and consumers to prevent the loss of jobs at home and the transfer of jobs overseas.

"I'm appealing to all of them to broaden their message," he said. "So far the messengers have not spoken to those needs."

Mr. Jackson, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, declined to say if he would endorse a candidate before July's Democratic convention. "That's too far down the line," he said.

All five Democratic candidates have agreed to campaign with Mr. Jackson, who said he was concerned that the early primaries may "front-load" one candidate far ahead of the pack.

"Sometimes candidates grow as they travel," he said. "Unfortunately, most of those campaigning do not know America well."

This week Mr. Jackson and Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin plan to make a campaign swing through South Carolina, which holds a primary Saturday.

Rep. Kweisi Mfume, the Maryland Democrat whose 7th District Mr. Jackson visited yesterday, also is taking his time to decide which candidate to support.

But he is encouraged by Mr. Harkin's discussion of the homeless, drugs and education.

"That's stopping short of an endorsement," the congressman said. How short? "Very short," he said, holding two fingers an inch apart.

The reverberations continued yesterday over Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and his harsh attack on Mr. Jackson, after he was erroneously told that Mr. Jackson would support Mr. Harkin.

Mr. Harkin later telephoned Mr. Jackson to apologize.

"I was disappointed," said Mr. Jackson. "It was an error in judgment. I'm not going to allow myself to become a negative in the process."

But the Rev. Alfred C. D. Vaughn, senior pastor at Sharon Baptist, kept the issue alive yesterday by telling his congregation a candidate "messed up" and "insulted my friend Jesse."

He did not mention Mr. Clinton's name. And he did not back any of the presidential candidates.

"The Lord hasn't said anything to me about anybody running for president," he said.

"I think Governor Clinton's remarks may have added confusion to the minds of some voters," Mr. Mfume said later.

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