March 18th, 2008
12:03 PM ET
6 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. Taylor

    This still doesn't explain the fact that this man was his mentor for 20 years. I'm sorry but I don't want someone who affiliates with peoplel like that running the country.

    March 18, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. kim p.

    Bob, all others who have an issue with Obama, your bigotry is showing. Be careful!!

    March 18, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. kd

    Great Speech!!!!

    Hhe needs to incorporate some of it into his speeches on the road while campaigning!!

    OBAMA 08

    March 18, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. zahida Syed

    Mr Barack Obama , You gave a wonderful Speach. Now news media should should shut up. You have the vote of the people to be a great President of UNited sates of America. .

    March 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Dan

    People, please! Can you stop writing "to" when you clearly mean "too"?! Maybe what our country needs now is less racial division and more education.

    While we're at it...rather THAN bickering over non-issues, we should put them aside. THEN the candidates can debate the real issues of our day.

    March 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Darlington

    If nothing is remembered from all this chasm, this speech ought to be

    "AMERICA IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ALL ITS PARTS"

    PEOPLE SHOW IT !

    March 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Billof missouri

    Whats that old saying ! Ii you walk like a duck quack like a duck your a? WAKE UP!!!

    March 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Bonnie

    Don't even comment if you didn't listen to what he said.

    He started out kind of stiff but by the end he had me thinking that I could never in a million years imagine Bush having the ability to put together his thoughts like that or give a speech like that.

    March 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Alexandra

    So proud of you Obama.
    God bless you.
    Don't give up. God will turn this mess around for good.
    Obama '08

    March 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. CClaudia

    Oh and for those who are calling him "brave" and "couragious" and "what a great speech". Ridiculous.

    He got backed into a corner, being exposed as a hypocrite and he knew the only way out of this is to give a "great" speech.

    Actions speak louder than words people and his actions are questionable and hypocritical. This man will never get my vote.

    March 18, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Marc

    He blew it and all the poetic language does NOT change the fact he subjected his children to a hate-mongerer on a weekly basis. Where is your fabled good judgement? It's too late, Obama. This is the speech you should have given to your congregation after Wright preached all that hate. Now, it's so much political posturing.

    March 18, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Rich,MA

    A double standard, If that was a white candidate in a church listening to a white preacher praise hatered towards blacks, that candidate would be out of the race.

    March 18, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Mike Birmingham, AL

    Ladies and Gentlemen – the next President of the United States.

    Awesome speech!

    I know the haters thought they had something here, but Obama just hit them all head on. GREAT JOB!

    Whatever happened to McCain's indiscretions with the female lobbyist? I think that's more of a story than this. Funny how that one died on the vine over the course of a weekend.

    March 18, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Harriet

    It is too bad that Obama reaches beyond alot of voters. He does not aim toward meaness, anger, politically correct or being untrue to who he is for a vote. I just hope enough votes carry him to Presidency, but most seem to want statis quo, and fear of change.

    March 18, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Glinda

    This speech is why I voted for Barack Obama to be my President of the United States because clearly he is the ONLY one who seems to be about change.

    March 18, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. kkk

    The most amazing speech I have ever heard!
    almost cried!!

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. NJB

    It had to come to this...White America will never know what it is like being Black in America...stop pretending...those who had a problem with Rev. Wright truely are clueless...Thanks Obama for being real...well spoken....and Black!!

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Marty

    There is no way I will ever vote for Obama.

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Jeri from Indiana

    His speech was nothing more than damage control. He is arrogant and a liar. The Democratic superdelegates better run, not walk, over to Hillary. The American people will never elect him.

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Phil

    It is amazing to see all the starry-eyed Obama supporters saying things like "Great speech – we just met our President". After all this time you still think that the best speech = the best candidate?

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Mike D

    It's funny how the people who choose not to listen and to refute the speech guaranteed were not even going to vote for him anyway under any circumstances, even before the Wright tape was released. Change is coming to you people whether you like it or not!

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Peggy

    EXCELLENT SPEECH.

    He was VERY Presidential in address is a very tough issue. No other candidate would even touch tough issues such as this, let alone take it head one like Obama did.

    You have my vote!!

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Bob

    YES WE CAN...Vote for Hillary. Your Speech did nothing for me but prove you are nothing but a LIAR!!

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Becky in In.

    The things this Preacher said were very frightening. Barack didn't move completely away from him, and should have. Just think about this he may be invited to the White House for functions. "I DON'T TRUST HIM"

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Nganenu

    Genuine and from his heart. Yes, we can!

    March 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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