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Emanuel Not Ready To Endorse Either Jackson Or Halvorson

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Former Illinois Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (left) and Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (right) are running against each other in the 2012 Democratic primary in the 2nd District. (Credit: Brendan Hoffman/Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Former Illinois Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (left) and Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (right) are running against each other in the 2012 Democratic primary in the 2nd District. (Credit: Brendan Hoffman/Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Congressman Jesse Jackson has received a most graceful let down from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said Tuesday he has not yet made an endorsement in the 2nd District race against former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Jackson has issued a list of people who have endorsed his re-election bid, a list that includes the names of President Barack Obama and Emanuel.

Jackson has acknowledged neither Obama nor Emanuel has endorsed him publicly, but have given him private assurances and he expects their public endorsements soon.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

However, on Tuesday, Emanuel said he considers Jackson a good congressman and a good friend, but the time’s not yet right for an endorsement in the Democratic primary race between Jackson and Halvorson.

“Jesse Jackson Jr. is a former colleague of mine and a friend,” Emanuel said, adding that they’ve worked together on issues like mass transit.

But he said the Democratic primary race is a contest between two good people. Halvorson, who lost a re-election bid in the 11th District two years ago, is now running in the recently redrawn 2nd District against Jackson.

“He is a good congressman for the people he has represented and they will make the choice, not me, whether he will continue,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel stressed he’s not angry with Jackson, saying he has Emanuel’s support, which isn’t the same as an endorsement, exactly.

“I understand he’s also said that about President Obama. I’ll make the choice of when and where I do that,” Emanuel said. “I understand what he’s trying to do and I get the politics. That doesn’t bother me, I understand that.”

Emanuel said he respects Jackson.

“We worked together as colleagues, served together for six years and I’ll make my statement when it’s necessary. I don’t get drawn into politics when I don’t think it’s the time or the place.

The mayor said both Jackson and Halvorson have been good congress members. He said he recruited Halvorson to run when she first ran for Congress, but said he’s not endorsing either Jackson or Halvorson yet.

An Obama campaign official has confirmed the president told Jackson privately last fall that he would endorse Jackson’s re-election bid.

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