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. Bob

    Just Words Obama? Is that what they were, Just words? To late! You only are speaking out because you look bad. Just like every other person you say you are not!! You showed us who you really are Obama.

    March 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Peg

    What is Hillary hiding? We demand the answers!

    March 18, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Seattle Sue Seattle, Wa.

    This speech seemed very racial to be. I believe Obama has been using the race card throughout has campaign

    March 18, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Pamela

    Thank you Obama for addressing the elephant in the room. That took courage. Unlike the the desparate Clintons who constantly flame the fires of hate and fear.

    March 18, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Sam- Hershey, PA

    THE BEST SPEECH EVER GIVEN...PERIOD!

    WELL DONE MR. PRESIDENT!!

    March 18, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. steve

    In this new generation: a birth of a genius in American political sphere.
    A master-piece with insight into the future of this nation to bridge the past and future at the same time bring the much needed healing for unity.You got my vote.
    Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Kevin, Louisville, Ky

    You are a true leader...great speech and thanks for tackling the racial issue head on...

    March 18, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Bruce

    This speech clearly lays our fears, anger, and resentment on the issue of race. This is historic and i'm glad to have witnessed it.

    OBAMA on a new level.

    OBAMA 2.0

    March 18, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Charlotte

    Same ole, same ole!!!!!!Great speech as usual, but they're just words. Rev. Wright, just words. Too late because the seed has been planted.

    March 18, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Chris

    It's time to move beyond RACE!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. larry

    I feel the issue is over now let's move on and stop allowing the GOP to stop our focus.

    March 18, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. John Stevens

    Just more song and dance .........

    March 18, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. isaac

    a beautiful speech,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    March 18, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Jacob

    You are Correct Barack , That was the Best Speech ever .

    Obama 08 !

    March 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. George

    "We can move beyond some of our racial wounds – yes we can". I think that Obama made a good speach. However I had a feeling that he implicitly (without ever expressing so clearly) presented an unspoken "threat" – if you don´t vote for me (being a black candidate) it will not be possible to change. If so – that would be racism.

    March 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. gman

    I watched his speech….he proved why I support him for President. It's time to turn the page on what keeps us apart and come together. Black, white, asian, latino, and native american…we all have the same concerns and problems…none is greater than the other. But working together we can begin to slove our problems.

    March 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Deb

    Where was the Apology?

    Obama didn't win back my vote!

    March 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Amanda From Virginia

    Yes We Can!

    March 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Fred, Reston Va

    Wake up people. I don't care if we are in a recession or depression. Nominating Obama to stand next to McCain is political suicide. Here we have a spiritual mentor saying "God D America" next to a POW hero for God's sake. What are you Obamabots thinking? His "judgement" argument is null and void against a 71 year old folks.

    And one more thing. Kerry got close because of anti-Bush voters. People do not hate McCain like they hate Bush.

    March 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Republican from Ohio

    The speech was brilliant. This is the first election that I have been able to hear the same morality that I feel in a Presidential candidate.

    We need to listen more to what he says and not the rhetoric that others say. Anyone can put words into someone's mouth or change the context. But when you hear what he feels from his own mouth, it makes you remember that he will make a fantastic president.

    This forward thinking and fairness towards everyone is just what our country needs.

    March 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Cheryl

    Straight from the heart!! We support you Barrack you are the least racist of all the canidates.
    OBAMA 08

    March 18, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. Coy

    This is history. May God bless this country and Barack Obama!

    March 18, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Henry - Florida

    I no longer believe anything this man says. Things he said in his speech contradicted what he said in interviews.

    You can't choose your grandmother, but you can choose your pastor.

    Wright also ranted about Hiroshima and compared it to 9/11.
    My father died in the Pacific during WW2. I had more of a problem with that statement than any other. I am a democrat, but I could never in good faith vote for Obama

    March 18, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Uptown

    After this speach, I think we just met or next president!

    Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. adrain_andrews

    I do belive this is what we ask for in a presendient someone whoe look at us as a hole. This is change. This is what make our country home of the free and the land of the brave. I do belive we can get past racism as long as white and black can come together and understand our problems are not a race problem but a nation problem. I will vote for Obamma Now

    Obamma 08 ( UNITE OUR COUNTRY U HAVE THAT IT ABOUT U .

    March 18, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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