Wright ad muddies water for Cubs' Ricketts

May 19, 2012 at 2:18 PM

CHICAGO, May 19 (UPI) -- Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Chicago Cubs, dismissed the idea he would bankroll a potentially racially offensive attack ad against U.S. President Obama.

Ricketts' family is the backer of a super PAC said to have been developing an ad featuring controversial black pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, which critics have said amounted to race baiting.

Ricketts told the Chicago Sun-Times he and his family were not ones to play the race card and said the uproar, which was triggered by a story in The New York Times, did not truly reflect his family. "It isn't us to do anything as racially insensitive as some of the things in that proposal," he said. "People who know us know that's not who we are. We just hope those who don't know us don't jump to conclusions."

The Sun-Times noted that the controversy is more than an embarrassment to the Ricketts family. Ricketts has been working with the city on an ambitious $300 million deal to renovate Wrigley Field, which involves Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who happens to be Obama's former chief of staff.

The newspaper said Ricketts reached out to City Hall to apologize in person but the mayor didn't take the call. "We look forward to setting aside some of the emotion and focusing on the fact that this is a great project and a great deal for the city," Ricketts said, adding he understood Emanuel's schedule has been pretty full with preparations for the NATO summit in Chicago.

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