WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., called on House Democrats on Tuesday to approve a resolution critical of Gov. Rick Perry for not having removed a racial slur from a rock at his family's hunting camp.
The racially charged name of the site, "N-----head," was first reported Sunday in a Washington Post article.
Perry's Republican presidential campaign disputed Jackson's account and said the rock at the entrance of the leased hunting area in Throckmorton County was painted over at Perry's instruction in the early 1980s. The Post cited seven people who had seen it and said the word was visible as recently as this summer, even after being painted over with white paint.
At a closed Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday, Jackson circulated a draft resolution that condemns Perry and calls on him to apologize. A Democratic staffer made a copy of the draft available to the Star-Telegram.
GOP candidate Herman Cain, who is African-American, sharply criticized Perry on talk shows Sunday as being "insensitive" on race.
Jackson's spokesman Frank Watkins said that the lawmaker, the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, made a case for a resolution on the House floor condemning the Texas governor for tolerating the slur.
"He felt all Americans were offended by this," Watkins said. "They listened very carefully. There was rapt attention.'"
Perry's spokesman Mark Miner said of Jackson, "This sounds like nothing more than a political ploy by someone who doesn't have all the facts."
Miner referred to two statements the Perry campaign issued Sunday in response to the Post report and Cain's comments.
"Mr. Cain is wrong about the Perry family's quick action to eliminate the word on the rock, but is right the word written by others long ago is insensitive and offensive," said Ray Sullivan, the campaign's communications director. "That is why the Perrys took quick action to cover and obscure it."
It is unclear whether the Democratic leadership will try to bring Jackson's resolution to the floor.