March 18th, 2008
12:03 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama: We can move beyond some of our racial wounds

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Watch portions of Obama's speech Monday. (Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday he chose to run for president because he believes "we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together."

Speaking to supporters at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center, the Democratic presidential candidate said he rejected racially charged comments made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but explained the root of his remarks.

Wright used to preach at the Trinity United Church of Christ, where Obama worships.

Obama said that his belief that all people want to move in the same direction comes from his "unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. Alex from IL

    Amazing speech. Lets move beyond, and talk about the issues.

    March 18, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Albert

    So now Obama has acknowledged that he WAS in church when his pastor made those hateful comments, contracting his denials he made this past weekend. So now we know – he's a hypocrite, a liar, and a political opportunist.

    March 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Ben

    Let's focus on the essential: Obama admits being there whe his pastor said those things, and he has NOT disavowed his hate-monging pastor.

    Period.

    Sorry Barack... you've lost my vote.

    March 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. rj

    I find it interesting that the Clinton campaign is steering clear of this issue when they started it in the first place.

    March 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Amy, Kazoo

    Did every Catholic leave the church when pedophile priests and Bishops were uncovered? No. Some did, but some stayed on to practice their faith and try to restore their church's image. Why would we expect otherwise from someone in politics?

    March 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Bob

    To Little To late Obama. You lied on TV and said you were never at Church when he spoke, now today you say you were? Im confused??

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. RealityKing

    The greatest challenge of our time is terrorism. And no, we cannot fight that when divided and in retreat..

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. latrice

    !now that was a speech vote obama

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Historic Speech

    B A R A C K O B A M A

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    All you got to do is listen to him and u know that he does not agree with the rev. HE still has my vote

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Will SF CA

    I don't buy it. As an African American I’m appalled by the remarks Obama has allowed his two, young, easy to influence children to. This would have been a moving speech if he would have made it BEFORE the news broke.

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Ann Richardson

    Quote: "Not once in my conversations with him (Wright) have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. "

    I am speechless after hearing this. What a LIAR…

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Dan Conner

    Fantastic speech. Obama is right. In order for our country to rise above our current position, we must ALL work together to be a sum greater than its parts. Let's get together!!! Obama inspires me Hillary doesn't.

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. Jay from San Diego

    Great Speech...I was personally moved by senator Obama's words.

    He looked so Presidential on the podium.

    March 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Historic Speech

    Mr. President B A R A C K O B A M A

    March 18, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Jay

    Obama confirmed in his speech that the change he seeks is change in black America, not all of America. That scares me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. George

    Brilliant speech – "PRESIDENT OBAMA"!

    March 18, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. JERRY

    HE NAILED IT. HE DID NOT TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT.

    WE NEED TO MOVE ON. I'M SURE THE MEDIA WON'T

    March 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    Dealing with issues head-on.

    How refreshing for a politician, eh Hillary fans?

    March 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. lastochka

    Mr. Obama is a liar and a hypocrite. Bye, bye, Mr. Obama :)

    March 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. MCS

    The United States may never have the oppurtunity to elect a person like Obama again.

    March 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Le troubadour

    Yes we can!

    March 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Matthew Taylor

    Starting with CNN we can move beyond this. Statements like "Clinton's widest gains in the state are among white voters, who now back her over Obama by a margin of 28 points." have no place in 2008 politics.

    March 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Brian

    Sen. Obama's speech was absolutely tremendous.

    March 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Bill the Obamacan

    This speach put everyone on notice. He challenged us all to take a good look inside and be bold enough to move to somthing better.

    March 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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