Apologies flew from Reverend Jesse Jackson to presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama on Wednesday over remarks he made about the Illinois Senator on Fox News that were accidentally captured on tape.

Now America finally had the opportunity to hear exactly what Jackson said to stir up a hornet’s nest of controversy.

In advance of the airing of Jackson’s derogatory comments about Obama on Fox News last night, the Reverend was already backpedalling from the slurs captured on tape as quickly as possible.

“For any harm or hurt that this hot-mic private conversation may have caused, I apologise,” Jackson said in a written statement, according to CNN.

“My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.”

Rumours flew throughout the day on Wednesday about what exactly Jackson said, but America had to wait until the evening broadcast of The O’Reilly Factor to hear the quotes for themselves.

The commentary, captured by a hot microphone, was recorded while Jackson was unaware he was still being taped. So what did Jesse Jackson say that has stirred up so much controversy?

The quote that launched a thousand news articles and blog responses was: “See, Barack been, um, talking down to black people on this faith based… I want to cut his nuts off.”

Watch the video of Jackson’s on-air slip below.

According to Fox News, Jackson’s rant referenced Obama’s recent speeches in black churches.

By way of explanation, Jackson said he was trying to emphasise that Obama’s moral message should “not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy.”

Jackson also told The Associated Press on Wednesday he was “very sorry” for his comments about Obama. He called his comments “a side light in a broader conversation about urban disparities.”

Obama, meanwhile, has accepted the apology from Jackson over the comments.

A statement released by Obama’s campaign spokesman Bill Burton on Wednesday said that the Senator will “continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Rev. Jackson’s apology.”

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