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. Roz, IL

    well delivered speech Sen Obama.

    March 18, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Spike

    Sir, my Constitution is not "stained"!!!!! How dare you???

    March 18, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. maya

    Another speech

    ACTIONS (sitting in a racist hate-filled church and then denying that you ever heard the controversial speeches) speak LOUDER than YOUR WORDS

    Obama is not viable. Period.

    March 18, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Mary Lou Cruz

    Which of Obama's "truths" do we believe? The one last week where he said he was never present and never heard his pastor's inflammatory remarks or the one today where he said: "Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes...."

    FL Dem

    March 18, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. AA for presidency?

    so now im supposed to feel bad for the guy because he is an African American.

    essentially he wants affirmative action for the presidency – he wants people to feel bad for him

    OBAMA IS NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT!

    March 18, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Yeah

    Oblahma! We are tired of the speeches and empty rhetoric. We want Sen. Clinton! It's not too late. We already have buyer's remorse and luckily we can do something about it now!

    March 18, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. LandoftheFree

    It's not your race that scares me Obama, it's your tax and spend budget ideas. Big government is not the answer to us all getting along..

    March 18, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Xavier, Washington, DC

    Good speech. If only he would have included a segment addressing the Latino community, it would have been a great speech. At least, he's going to have people discussing the race issue without having to be defensive.

    March 18, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Noli

    Now that is the president I want. Someone who will not ignore the underlying issues bu covering it up with a lot of political banter and who is willing to take a risk to address one of the most controversial issues of our society. Tell it as it is OBAMA!!!!!! YES WE CAN!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. Shame on you America

    All I can say is EXCELLENT... I don't care who you vote for, all the candidates are good this year... but everything he said, needed to be said...

    Well done...

    March 18, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. Luis

    Wow. This is easily the most meaningful speech on race since Dr. King's "I had a dream." If Obama can deliver as a President as he did today... we're in for something special. If you haven't watched it, go find it and do

    March 18, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Yeah

    Oblahma! We are tired of the speeches and empty rhetoric. We want Sen. Clinton! It's not too late. We already have buyer's remorse and luckily we can do something about it now! Hillary for President !

    March 18, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Pete, Austin TX

    hi. i'm barack obama and i have a message of hope (and deceit)!

    March 18, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. jmw

    The best speech I have ever heard.

    March 18, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. Dian Mo

    Obama need to stop using racism as the weapon against the other people who are critiquing his campaign. This is the real problem that he is facing.

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

    As a white American, thank you for bringing ua all into the open and making race and the need for racial healing an okay subject to us all. It is now up to all Americans to try to understand each other. This understanding will make us A STRONGER AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Ohio Voter

    Senator Obama,

    YOU JUST HIT THE BALL OUT OF THE PARK!!!

    HOME RUN!!!!

    GREAT JOB!!!

    An Ohio Voter

    March 18, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Anna, IL

    This speech was an important one and perhaps historic one. Obama showed leadership and honesty that is rare in politicians today.

    March 18, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Dallas from God Forbid

    This is my president. This speech hit me very hard. I can't explain it.

    March 18, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Gilbert

    When does Hillary get equal free airtime? This speech was nothing more than political rhetoric.

    Miami

    March 18, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. ACTION

    A good speech, who wrote for him?

    the same time, we need the press conference too.

    March 18, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. obama supporter

    obama's speech was one of the most powerful speeches i have ever heard. it moved me beyond words. i hope people now realize that he doesn't believe in what Wright has been saying in the clips that have been floating. Obama is the only candidate that can bring people together and solve the problems of America. i have supported him from day one and will continue to support him on his path to becoming the next president of the U.S.!!!!!!

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Narayan

    Wolf, why did you have such a sorry face after the speech of Obama?
    Sorry, your Hillary does not have such intellectual depth regarding history, society and vision.

    March 18, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. JV

    I am interested to hear how ppl will take this. I thought he addressed the issue, which is what ppl called for and now he has elevated himself to another platue. He is a great man. I am PROUD to be a Barrack supporter.

    This was a great time in our immediate history that gives one a since of self and pride.

    GO OBAMA!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. Ohiobo, J

    Action speakslouder than words. Obama's candidacy is finished. If Democrates want to win, they should all get behind Hillary Clinton otherwise there will be President John McCain in January 2009.

    March 18, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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