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

Obama: We can move beyond some of our racial wounds

ALT TEXT

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. TO CNN MODERATOR

    CNN, I think that you should post the speech somewhere on site so that people can come to their own analyses of it. This partial reporting will lead those who already hold criticisms of Obama and his affiliation with Pastor Wright to continue to hold on to the same criticisms. The speech does a great job of giving insight into why these divisions exist and what has to be done to overcome it.

    Read it!

    March 18, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Sergio

    It is too late! Obama is linked to an anti-American...

    March 18, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. NickNasc

    NOW it is time for the die hard Racists to make the best, most open speech of EITHER party about a REAL issue that affects this country and SOMEHOW turn it into a NEGATIVE thing.

    1-2-3- GO!!!

    Sad thing is I am right but this won't get posted anyway..

    March 18, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Paulette, Cincinnati, Ohio

    You are a little late with your so call true beliefs Obama because no one believes you. I am so glad you could give Wright a plug of "being like family" in your speech. Saved you a little from your own race that have been hot and heavy on your views of wronging Wright. All I can say now is GO HILLARY '08

    March 18, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Terry

    What a great feeling to have someone speak intelligently and have the capability to give me a sense of purpose. I almost forgot what it was like to feel this again after some any years of being talked down instead of talked to. This was a brilliant speech by Mr. Obama, after several months I have decided he will get my vote if he wins the nomination.

    March 18, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Steve H minneapolis

    simply put

    He did well

    March 18, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. billie

    THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN SAY- WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Patricia - Ky.

    I am hoping and praying that I will never again see Rev. Wright in those clips that have been shown on every network for the past week.Please move on to the really important subjects and issues that we as a nation must remedy. Obama is the one to begin to get us there.

    March 18, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. John, N.H

    Barack, give us a Breakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    March 18, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Hillary 08

    Obama all talk, and we need Hillary for President !!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Mike

    Can we move on... another speech that really did not say anything new...

    I voted for change not the same old politics... Obama you started this mess with your mailers... thinking that Clinton would not respond... you continue to make mistakes by attacking Ferraro and then the media storm regarding Wright...

    Quit apologizing and making speeches... start talking about your plan for change... or is that all talk???

    March 18, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Lou

    You are in the middle of history here. For the first time in history the UNITED states of America have a real shot at chosing the first woman or first black president. Yet they spend time hurling stupid comments back and forth. YOU are making history by choosing one of them. We have got to come together and treat this nominiation process with the dignity it deserves.

    March 18, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. eddie, New York City.

    I was Moved. He's our man!

    March 18, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Eric

    If we can get the media to elevate the discussion about race, so will the country. The question are they brave enough or will they pander toward baser thinking to garner viewers. I believe we as a country can rise to the challenge.

    March 18, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Chuck in Oregon

    Amen, Ditto, Ditto, Ditto.

    March 18, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. clark

    WE ARE AMERICAN, NOT BLACK NOT WHITE. AMERICAN! HE IS WHAT WE NEED! For anyone who decides to criticize him for giving a speach 1. he has already had a press conference over this issue 2. thats all any president can do until they are actually president. ill vote for mccain before i vote for billary! and he is ahead SO WHY WOULD HE DROP OUT OF THE RACE? hillary should

    OBAMA '08

    March 18, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Sean California

    Thank you Barack. Well done.

    March 18, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. CHICANO ART, ARIZONA

    Obama's speech only addresses black and white relations. Blacks are not even the largest minority in this country, Latinos are the largest minority. I demand that CNN cover the anger and frustration of Mexican Americans and other Latinos. Obama does not represent the ideals of the Mexican American people. The Afros have turned on Hillary, Latinos stand to gain considerably if Hillary is elected.
    Go Hillary

    March 18, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Obamista NYC

    WELL THANKS TO HILLARY, THIS IS DEFINITELY GOING TO SWAY THE VOTES BACK TO OBAMA

    THIS IS THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    WE NEED THIS MAN....I'M IN TEARS.

    March 18, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Ziri

    I'm African American, but I'm not "angry." I don't like the way Obama paints our community, as if we're some angry black people. I've moved on and taken responsibility for my life and so should your pastor. Some preaching hate and calling it angry.

    March 18, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. @americans

    I agree. let's stop being devisive and confront the isssues that unite us!

    March 18, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Esteban - Indiana

    He is such a LIAR!!! Obama is full of it!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. NONONONO OBAMA

    Mr. Obama, you already failed in your speech..

    Poor guy, you still like to binding with this scared Pastor. Nobody can forgive your big lie!

    Obama, pls drop out your race now. American people do not need such a person as our leader!

    hillary 2008! Go Go GO

    March 18, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. vanchava

    This was truly a historical moment.

    March 18, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. king from toronto

    yes we can

    March 18, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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