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. Monika

    Truth always comes out,

    Yesterday it felt like Senator Obama was lying on Anderson Cooper....

    March 15, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. jaylo

    If he wants to move past this anger and bitterness so much, then why did he an Axelrod attack Bill Clinton and Ferraro so aggressively. Because he is a hypocrite and a B.S. politician-that's why.

    March 15, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Steve H minneapolis

    MSK what information do you bais that on ?

    March 15, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. Mo Voter

    How can you attend a church for 20 years, and then claim that you had no idea that your pastor preached hatred and bigotry from the pulpit? Wright didn't turn this way over night.

    March 15, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. NYC, NY, New Yorker

    I know CNN is not going post this beccause they biased for Obama

    This guy talks about judgement. Yet his judgement to go His pastor church was bad one and know rezko. He blames Sen. Clinton for having bad jiudgement to goto IRAQ.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

    Clinton/Powell '08
    Yes She Can.

    March 15, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Independent in IA

    I don't buy for one second that Obama was unaware of the racism of his pastor of 20 years, or that he doesn't agree with those views. He's both liar and hypocrite and the Democratic Party as a whole should distance themselves from him completely.

    March 15, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. Steve H minneapolis

    CMT try empathy it works better that way then you will understand

    March 15, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. Stacey

    Good job, Barack... You need to prove that you are strong enough to go against "tough" pressure from the media, etc.. it's only going to get tougher in the general election, and you need to show that you can indeed handle it... stay on the issues, and you'll be okay.

    Come on dems... we can do this!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mccain scares me... I want better for my babies.

    March 15, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. Steve H minneapolis

    Integrity Integrity Integrity Integrity

    March 15, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. IA

    I think we've heard enough lying now out of the guy that's supposed to be showing us a new kind of politics. I agree, Obama needs to just step down and quit destroying the democratic party.

    March 15, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. GirlTexas

    Of course Obama wants to "move beyond it." He has no clue how to handle the anger of white, religious America that this is engendering. He has no clue how to "bring people together." He has no clue how to "change" things. LEAVE THE RACE NOW, OBAMA.

    March 15, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. zzz

    MP _ PA... you need to shut your dirty mouth... go and watch wright' video..

    March 15, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. rrr

    Stay the course Barack......we the public can no longer be fooled by misdirected rhetoric and bias against your campaign. Continue to gather the delegates and there is no way anyone can take the nomination away from you.

    March 15, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. bk

    Apparently the people from Indiana haven't seen the video of Rev. Wright yet. Obama will never get elected.

    March 15, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. MGPGH

    Pennsylvania voter here and people are outraged. This is the biggest story of the election cycle and it will not go away. The tide has turned.

    March 15, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. gb


    March 15, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. John, Portland, Oregon

    This is what happens when you give the main stream media 6 weeks between primaries, they go back 3 and half months to find dirt and then hammer each candidate for going negative. These so called journalist are worst then K-street lobbies and lawyers.

    March 15, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Terri

    Maybe people here criticizing Obama should actually do a little research into the man's life. Try to find one iota of anything that is different from what he says here, then come back and post something that actually shows a kernal of truth. Uninformed voters is how we ended up with the president we have now.

    March 15, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. simon

    This man found "his truth" with Rev Wright.
    Oprah found "her truth and it is Barak Obama"

    Talk about 'bamboozled and okeydoked"; read Obama's first book and then prepare to meet the "flim flam man".

    March 15, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. Mark Hudson

    Nice try, Obama. We still think you are deceptive and a liar.

    March 15, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. L. Tran, TX

    Obama smoked [the Pastor's sermons], but he did not inhale.

    March 15, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. TM

    Obama sat and listened to twenty years of screaming racism and anti-American hatred. He only repudiates it now because he's running for President. That's called being a politician of the WORST KIND!

    March 15, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. kendall

    The pastor's comments were made a very long time ago and now, only now, Obama is denouncing them? Why did he keep him around so long, stay allegiant to him? Clinton dumped Ferraro within a few days. Obama kept this guy onboard for a year or more. Shameful. Obama is an ultimate politican. He has many fooled. How Obama could seek spiritual advice from a guy like this is beyond me.

    March 15, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. Devon

    Will this country come together for our children's sake? Or will we have another generation or two of not trusting each other..

    This election we will see. i can only hope for the former..

    Obama we are with you.

    March 15, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. Sharon

    Anyone who would vote for Obama after hearing that pastor's sermon would be an absolute idiot. Did anyone hear Obama on Anderson Cooper? The man is a master at taking any story and twisting the truth. He attended that church for over 20 years and this pathetic pastor was his mentor. Wake up America,

    March 15, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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