March 18th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama to deliver speech on race, ex-pastor

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, who has mostly avoided focusing on race during his campaign, is delivering a major speech on the issue Tuesday after spending the weekend on the defensive over racially charged statements from his former minister.

The senator from Illinois' biggest challenge is the same as that faced by Republican Mitt Romney, who gave a major speech during his presidential run to reach voters unfamiliar with his Mormon faith: Obama will be looking to explain the Trinity United Church of Christ and its worldview to voters who are aware only of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's headline-grabbing comments.

And Obama's most pressing task will be his attempt to take control of the campaign narrative after days of tough headlines.

- CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Peg

    Kevin...totally agree! I wanna know how its logical to say hes racists?
    Your point was FAB!!

    March 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Grady Queen

    I am white and Obama has just hit a grand slam, anyone not voting for this man for president, is either part of the establishment hell bent on distroying the dream of a peacefully United America, or just an unforgiving racist.

    March 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. La Petite Sorciere

    Bill will say that is also a myth!!!!

    March 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. Black Man

    No Obama as VP on Clinton ticket

    March 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Nina

    Step down Obama!!

    March 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Jed in Texas

    A very good speech so far,as a nation we must unite and move forward.

    March 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Tom Swift, Shopton

    What I want to know is this... now that we have heard Jeremiah Wright's racial comments, where the heck is Al Sharpton? Shouldn't he be calling for him to be fired or something ?????

    March 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. katie

    his speech today is nothing short of a campaign speech and free air time for Obama.

    March 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Lin

    Blah, blah, blah. He is really so full of himself – paints himself as the great "savior" of U.S. What a joke!!! I don't buy it. He's simply not ready.

    March 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Jacob

    Barack Obama you have my support!

    March 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Jackson

    Obama's reaction to this is how he will handle future controversy. A lot of excuses and no real action. Wow, another speech, what is that going to do for us and how does this handle the situation at hand? It doesn't.

    March 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Alex from IL

    Truly amazing speech. He's right, lets move beyond our devisions and fear, and start talking about the REAL issues that plague America.

    March 18, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Sheri

    Obama dosen't have to use the race card his campaign workers and his supporters are doing it for him.

    March 18, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Alexandra

    I just watched Obama's speech and i am so touched.
    This man is special and a true leader.
    God bless him.

    March 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Ana Santana

    I found Barack Obama's speach today inspiring and rivetting. However, from the very beginning he should have also stated that the founding fathers also failed to recognize women as full citizens.
    Hillary retains my vote, however, as specific policies and solutions will giude my choice for the next leader.

    March 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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