March 15th, 2008
06:53 PM ET
7 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. Henry

    Remember how Obama said that Bill Clinton is not black enough because he can't dance. Was Obama saying that WHITE PEOPLE can't dance? And you have to be able to dance in order to be black enough?

    March 15, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Alison

    How gullible does Barack think we are? He didnt know???? Sell me the Brooklyn Bridge folks. Bill was right ... this guy needs to be vetted.

    March 15, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Greg

    Isn't Obama supposed to bring people together? He has exposed Blacks to be vee very racist. Did Obama ever get anything off of affirmative action and what is his stance. His ancestors were not slaves in America but they could have sold many into slavery. My ancestors were discriminated against not his.

    March 15, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Edgar

    Cnn no posting the truth about Barak Obama! Where is SNL? Stop with the speaches and promises and get to the real Barak Obama.

    March 15, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. JJ

    Obama says..." if all I knew were the statements that I saw on television I would be shocked,"

    The key word here is 'all': Does this not imply that he did, indeed, know about the statements he saw on TV and having known them STILL had this man in a 'leadership position within the campaign'?

    THINK about this America. What kind of judgement did Obama show here?

    March 15, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. ProudOklahoman

    Oh Yeah Please let it go! Go back to putting Hillary down. I don't think so! Let's get all the facts out about obama.

    March 15, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. matt

    Shame on you barack Obama! this is absolutely Absurd!

    My question to all of you! if you know somemone for 20 years and dare call them a ( spiritual advisor )

    you better know them well!

    .. look

    THE TRUTH CAME OUT OBAMA IS RACIST!
    attending a church his own mother wasnt allowed to attend
    he knew that

    March 15, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Ken, San Diego, CA

    It's absurd and belittling (to the voter) to think that Obama did not know of Wright's philosophies or teachings. Obama has been a member of the church since 1991 and a friend of Wright's for even longer. For a guy preaching "transparency" and "honesty", why not be a bit more honest and less insulting to us....

    And, here's the big question: if you don't believe in Wright's ideology, then why did you maintain your longlasting membership in his church?

    March 15, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. Edgar

    I see a double standard and get out jail free card. Lets all see who really is Barak Obama! After 20-years he now separates himself from hatred comments towards whites.

    We need a President with better judgment then that and most of all an upfront President!

    March 15, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. jim kelley

    To late Sen. Obama. You should have questioned him years ago. Not now because it is in the news. I have to think that somewhere there is a vid of you standing and applauding Rev. Wright as he downs American and whites and Jewish people. Too late Se. Obama

    March 15, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Lynda E Evans

    I agree Mary. Im also a white women and yes I will continue to support Barack. Like you I will never vote for Hillary. She is so dis-honest and we cant trust her. Barack was on CNN last night ans he set the record straight. Im also glad that he came out fast and denouced his-EX pastor. Look at McCain pastor he said that Catholics are the anti-chirst...

    March 15, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Audrey

    cmt, you can offer something different when you have your mind made up to do so. I know from experiences in my life. Obama is trying to help heal the differences we have between each other. Give him a chance.

    We all have to want a change. I do!!

    March 15, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. Mike in Cleveland

    I could be wrong but I was under the impression that there was no formal tie between the campaign and Rev. Wright

    Regardless, Hillary and Obama aren't racist and we need to move on, get this race over with soon, PLEASE

    March 15, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  14. Charles Hardeman

    Erm......

    i just posted a comment asking why pelosi hadnt endorsed obama straight up...

    and its been blocked...

    how is that excusable in any way, CNN anoraks?

    March 15, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  15. ebeth

    Hillary will keep us safe.
    please don't vote Obama!

    March 15, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Angela

    Obama should step down. He is causing a division ............he will usher in McCain if he is the candidate. Change Obama Vote Clinton !!

    March 15, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Charles Hardeman

    CNN is obsessed with perpetuating the importance of race in politics.

    It's transparent and inexcusable.

    March 15, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  18. newz4i

    Senators Obama and Clinton are duking it out over race and religion. Bush/McCain have moved on to the White House for a third term. Is there a way we can bring back the hope of a third party to take back our country?

    March 15, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. Lovely

    Are you Obama supporters crazy. Please read through this man, he is a liar and a hypocrite. His man point is only to get in the whitehouse at whatever cost and we all will suffer in the end. I am a black female and what I have learn from my pastor in pastor is example. And he was sitting in the pews and want admit it.

    March 15, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  20. LYDIA

    I'm tired of the divisions and divisive nature of our America. Yes, I love my country but I want us to begin to heal. No one said it would be easy but we have to try.

    YES WE CAN!

    March 15, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  21. Carol

    Barack,

    Shouldn't you have thought of that during the 20 years you sat in those pews at Trinity and pumped thousands and thousands of dollars worth of donations so that this anti-American racist filth could prepetuate itself? You are just a hypocrite and I cannot be convinced otherwise.

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

    Remember when Democrates had a problem with "Righties" religious values. Watch how this magically becomes not a big deal.

    March 15, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. 1love

    The awakening has begun...

    March 15, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. Tanya

    Why Obama did not repudiate this man after 9/11?

    March 15, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Lovely

    Are you Obama supporters crazy. Please read through this man, he is a liar and a hypocrite. His main point is only to get in the whitehouse at whatever cost and we all will suffer in the end. I am a black female and what I have learn from my pastor isan example. And he was sitting in the pews and want admit it.

    March 15, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9