Jackson received 311 death threats

WASHINGTON -- Jesse Jackson said today the low point of his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency was the 311 threats against his life recorded by the Secret Service.

One of the high points, Jackson said, was the registering of more than 2 million new voters.


Jackson, a Democrat, used his appearance on the NBC 'Today' program in part to make a pitch for donations to help pay off a $500,000 debt run up by his campaign.

Asked the highs and lows of his candidacy, Jackson mentioned bringing home from Syria downed Navy flier Robert Goodman, his speech at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco and watching new people run for office and win.

'I suppose the low was we would get constant reports about threats,' Jackson said. 'I received 311 threats officially, according to the Secret Service, more than anyone who has ever run before. Once the 14th person had actually been arrested there came a point where my staff had to convene members of my family and I had to face my children face to face about the implications of operating on a journey so dangerous and so treacherous.


'So that was a low, perhaps the lowest of all, because one would think in a society as free as ours one would not be faced with those options,' Jackson said.

Secret Service spokesman Jack Smith said it is the agency's policy not to discuss threats made against people it is assigned to protect. He did say, however, that agency records indicated only nine people, not 14, had been arrested because of threats made to Jackson.

'In the course of the campaign an exploding high we kept going in the sense that we registered more than 2 million new voters, about 30 percent young voters who voted for the first time, that was a constant explosion,' the Chicago civil rights leader said.

Asked if he plans to run for the presidency again, Jackson said, 'Perhaps I will,' but added, 'First, I have about a $500,000 debt I must wipe out if I am to get matching funds by Dec. 31.

'By the way,' Jackson pitched, 'If you want to help, Jackson for President, 2100 M Street. I'm really making that appeal.'

At the conclusion of the interview, Jackson said, 'Don't forget the $500,000 debt.'

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