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. Dutchboy52

    Home Run

    March 18, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Helen

    What a BIG FAT LIAR...Why do you people (and CNN, Obama's best buddy) not see this person for the fake and charlatan that he is.

    March 18, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Rich in Seattle

    I am so proud to support Obama. I am also pleased that my son was able to watch his speech with me.

    Thank you Mr. Obama, your words were moving and touched me.

    March 18, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Independent

    I am extremely so very glad that I got to hear the whole speech myself - instead of the filtered version the media will be sure to air. The speech was perfect on all accounts I can think of. Obama was sincere, honest, scholarly, and presidential. This speech is simply a masterpiece for the history books.

    March 18, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. keith

    so tell me why he first stated he did not hear his pastor talk like this now the truth came out that he did and he is the candiate of change why did he not leave the church that puts america down why would he let his daughters listen to that kind of sermon???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????that is kind of fishy to me!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. David, Gilbert Arizona

    lol. Leave it to the CNN moderators to block anything the might make Obama look bad. Why even offer viewers the opportunity to posts messages if they immediately get deleted?

    March 18, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Jane

    He insults me as an American and a white person. He can't distance himself from this horrible man. He can have this man, just leave politics HE DOES NOT BELONG.

    March 18, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Michelle Brian

    The question is why Obama?

    Why american people should trust a person who has been in a racist church for 20 years to be the uniter??

    March 18, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. John Dolan

    He stll has not said he was in the pews when 1 of those derogatoery statements were made....... THe Rev insulted all those who died in the 911 attacks........

    March 18, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Midwest Chuck

    Barack Obama again reminded us of the opportunity we have as a people to be inclusive and solution oriented. His speech transcended politics and addressed what this country can be. I would like to see him continue this discussion with Senator Clinton and Senator McCain.

    March 18, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Taylor

    Obama you are exactly rght.

    March 18, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. MNDem

    If this speech doesn't inspire you to work hard to make this country a better place for all, then you are just an angry person and would love for the country to continue down the treachorous road we are currently on.

    March 18, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. David, Gilbert Arizona

    I still find it extremely hard to believe Obama can sit in a church for 20 years and not know the true racial feelings Rev. Wright harbors.

    March 18, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. OPO

    I think is was one of his best speechs. You have to listen to the all speech to put it into context and not just short quotes and one-line snipets. Great speech!

    OBAMA '08

    March 18, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. horace from The Golden State

    Very moving speech. To the point and on the point. He really shows what kind of person he is and how dedicated he is to uniting our country and bringing about the changes that we need to be as one.
    Lots of common sense and a lot of presidential presence.

    March 18, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. KC, Texas

    We can always move beyond wounds no matter what happens, however, it's not easy to move beyond what could happen from a man who sits in a anti-America church for 20 years. This is an election. We do need to evalute your background and we can't just ignore it.

    March 18, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Anacostia

    Essentially Obama asked America to take a look in the mirror. Oustanding speech.

    March 18, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Candi South Carolina

    I am proud of Obama speech but we still have stupid people that want let old dogs die. If Hillary wins the election it will not last because of impeachment just like Bill. If Hillary had an ounce of sense she would have turned over her taxes and everything esle. No because she want that glory before she goes down in the hall of shame.

    March 18, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Cecilia,Calgary,Canada

    Great Speech,historical lets see if Americans are dumb not to move on!

    Obama is the future!

    March 18, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Realistic

    Great speech, one for the ages.

    March 18, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Jane

    I see this largely as a stump speech to garner more support in Pennsylvania, and especially Philly. Free cable coverage will go a long way.

    March 18, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. GLENDA Hudson ,Fl

    Obama is anti-American. Wake up America before it is too late!!!

    He will say or do anything to get control of our country.
    He sat in this church for 20 years and is well aware of the
    remarks of Pastor Wright. Why???
    Vote Hillary.

    March 18, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. gene o winger

    mr obama well done/ keep being yourself, speak from your heart

    March 18, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Joe in Indianapolis

    Way to go Barack!! As a 25 year old white male I support you 100%.

    You tell it like it is and people like myself and other's around the country respect that.

    We need to move beyond race and face the realization that you are the only candidate capable of bringing about change in Washington.

    March 18, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. MARY

    A WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING, HE SHOULD DROP OUT NOW!

    March 18, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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