March 15th, 2008
06:53 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama decries 'forces of division'

 Obama campaigned in Indiana Saturday.

Obama campaigned in Indiana Saturday.

(CNN) - Referencing the recent uproar over his former minister's controversial sermons, Barack Obama on Saturday denounced the "forces of division" that he says have become part of the Democratic race for the White House.

Speaking to a sold-out crowd in Plainfield, Indiana, Obama again said he sharply disagreed with the some of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's past statements, saying they remind him of the country's "tragic history when it comes to race."

"I knew him and know him as somebody in my church who talked to me about Jesus and family and friendships but clearly had – if all I knew were the statements that I saw on television I would be shocked," Obama said. "And it just – it reminds me that we have a tragic history when it comes to race in in this country – we have got a lot of pent up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding."

"But what I continue to believe in is that this country wants to move beyond these kinds of debates," he added. "That this country wants something different."

Obama's comments come one day after he formally repudiated Wright's sermons - recently posted on the Internet and the subject of an ABC News report - that have drawn fire. The campaign also said Friday Wright no longer had a leadership position within the campaign.

- CNN's Mike Roselli contributed to this report

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. GH

    Hillary should step down , her camp started this divison!

    March 15, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. In the Tank for Hillary!

    Obama is a real politician ... he lies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 15, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Not an Obamapologist

    When this story eventually breaks Obama will be lucky to retain his Senatorship let alone his nomination.

    The real story here is the media coverage of this story, and I gaurantee certain media outlets will be in real trouble for backing an anti-american stance.

    March 15, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Gail

    How can someone who supports Obama say CNN is biased in FAVOR of Clinton, and keep a straight face? You just aren't used to the kind of scrutiny the Clinton campaign has experienced all year.

    March 15, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Sabrina, Las Vegas, NV

    Mr Wright's comments, were not off key. Many blacks and other minorities feel this way. America has not been good to all it's citizens. Our experiences in this country are different. I don't know why that's consider wrong to some.

    March 15, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Dawn McNeal

    And who created this problem for Mr. Obama? Himself. Take reponsibility. Hillary Clinton cannot be blamed this time – nice try though. The kinds of conspircay theories this minister is spouting are vry bac for the black community – Mr. Obama should talk about that in his church and in his leadership role.

    March 15, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Geraldine Ciesielski

    You don't get 1/4 million dollars from someone and not do favors in return or go to a church for 20 yrs and not hear what your preacher is saying. Was he home on Christmas Day 2007 and if he was why did he and his family not go to church, We don't need another liar in the white house.

    March 15, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. jerry

    I think Barack should stop and step down after all this he can't win and he is going down

    March 15, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. mike

    Typical lying politician. He was just seemed slicker because the media wouldn't challenge him.

    March 15, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Del Davis

    Obama says he never heard his pastor talk about hateing white people but the Bible says that a fountain can not give sweet water and bitter water so if his pastor talked about hateing people once he must do it all the time. And remember Obama says his judgement is better than Hillary's experience what about his judgement on attending a church where they preach hate. I know if I did not agree with my pastor on his preaching I would leave that church

    March 15, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Not an Obamapologist

    Obama does not even deserve the VP postion now.

    The DNC will be INSANE to put this huy forward. Imagine the November election

    Anti-American Racist vs P.O.W. wouldn't be a smart choice...Go Hill

    March 15, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. MAB2

    I don't buy his whole notion that he somehow didn;t know that his spiritual adviser of 20 years hates America and whites. I am sure he wants to move on quickly around this (for his political gain) but the reality is that this is really disturbing and makes me question his judgment in a big way.

    March 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. NYC, NY, New Yorker

    His pastor Making comments about 9/11 piss me off. I hope alot of people see his videos. I glad i suppor Sen. Clinton my senator on 9/11

    March 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  14. gideon

    CNN, MSNBC and the corporate media are on a political witch hunt. But Obama is stronger that they think. And those people that see no divisiveness from the Clinton campaign are obviously biased.

    12 billion a month being spent in Iraq, a falling dollar and an economy in a recession s what we should be angry about.

    March 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. jujub

    Is anybody listening? Barack Obama is telling everyone something very important, including his pastor, and that is to stop the nonsense. And that only applies to Hillary. She is the one that is behind in total popular votes, total states, total delegates, yet she stays in the race making race an issue so that people will stop hoping and vote for her sleezy politics. What goes around, comes around.

    March 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. Laura

    This from the man who campaigns on how divisive HRC is. When something gets pinned on him he whines. I still waiting for him to apologize to HRC reagarding David Axelrod's comment that Clinton was responsible for Benazir Bhutto's death.

    March 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. m

    CNN and Clinton you will not steal the election from the American People. Is Client number 9 not Clintons suppoerter etc. Be objective. You are convering the news for an intelligent and educated public please. Clinton should take their tricks and dishonesty to animals.

    March 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. GH

    CNN, God didn't like you messing with Obama!

    March 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. Mandi Locke

    Critics of Obama are so desperate to make him look bad that they completely create negative news about him. Obama has not made this race about skin color; Hillary Clinton has, CNN has and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. The important things are the issues. CNN should stop perpetuating fear when it comes to their political reporting. They've become almost as bad as Fox news.

    March 15, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Derek

    Hillary apologized for her campaign member, Ferraro.

    I think Obama should make the same kind gesture and apologize to Hillary for the comments made about her by his campaign member.

    March 15, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. Chris

    The one thing that does bother me about this mess is that Barak says he did not know that Rev. Wright ever made these comments and he was never present when Rev. Wright spoke in this fiery manner. I find that almost impossible to believe. Having said that, may the best man/woman win.

    March 15, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Sarah

    No to division... yes to unity... Go Obama...

    March 15, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. daisybroad

    read todays chicago tribune online. the interview about obamas ties with rezko is well explained and makes sense. knock it off cnn. clinton is far more corrupt and dangerous than obama will ever be... even if he is from chicago.

    March 15, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. rick

    time for obama to step down. a person like him has no business running for president. He should resign. At this point, he wont win anyways. he has become more unelectable. I hope the superdelegates are smart to this man.

    March 15, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Bruce McDougall

    Anderson Cooper's interview of Obama about his apalling minister was right on the money. David Gergen and Roland Martin disappointingly appeared to be apologists for this kind of hate talk.

    March 15, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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