March 19th, 2008
06:07 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama: Wright controversy has 'shaken me up'

 CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Obama Wednesday.
CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Obama Wednesday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama told CNN Wednesday the recent uproar over his former pastor's sermons has reminded him of the odds he faces in winning the White House.

"In some ways this, this controversy has actually shaken me up a little bit and gotten me back into remembering that the odds of me getting elected have always been lower than than some of the other conventional candidates," the Illinois senator told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive one-on-one interview. (Related: Behind the scenes: Anderson Cooper asks Obama if the controversy has damaged him)

Obama declined to speculate on whether the controversy surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah's Wright's sermons may damage him politically, but said his campaign does best when it doesn't follow the "textbook."

"If I was just running the textbook campaign– doing the conventional thing, I probably wasn't going to win because Senator Clinton was going to be much more capable of doing that than I would be," he said. "We had tremendous success– and I think we were starting to get a little comfortable and conventional right before Texas and Ohio."

The exclusive interview came one day after Obama delivered a major speech on race and politics in Philadelphia, during which he denounced some of Wright's comments, but said he could not repudiate the man himself.

Full story

Catch the full interview tonight on Anderson Cooper 360, 10 p.m. ET

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (332 Responses)
  1. Jeff Lane

    Obama is the man he is today because he sat in those pews and listened to PAstor Wright. If Pastor Wrights words moved Obama to want to end racism and fight for equality and get America to the point where any child can believe they can grow up to be President then I applaud the Pastor for being such a good 'bad' example.
    Obama at home had to listen to his Mother state she was afraid of American black men, in church he listened to his Pastor say he should be afraid of rich white men.
    Today he stands up before America and says he wants to stand for all Americans, be they white, black, men, women, rich, or poor.
    Thanks to his upbringing in the church, home, and in his communities where he worked and lived he has become a man who is willing to stand up and make a difference in this country.
    I, as a 40 year old white male, look forward to changes he wants to put into place for the betterment of all Americans.

    March 19, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Laura Roslin

    Hillary Clinton is boasting that she "won" Michigan, when her major opponents were not even on the ballot.

    Her surrogates are in control in PA and FL, and engineered this mess from the very beginning.

    Dems in Florida supported the move up of primary, and hoped it would bust the system open.

    Letting big states like Florida jump ahead of the line hurts candidates like John Edwards who don't have the multi millionairs supporting them, or who can't loan their campaign $5 million at the drop of a hat.
    (Tax returns for the past 8 years hillary?)

    That is why the DNC lets some smaller states go first, so that we actually have more candidates to choose from.

    If Michigan and Florida are done over, how is that fair to the candidates who weren't on the ballot or didn't campaign?

    How is it fair to their supporters?

    Edwards can't get back in the contest now, nor can the others.

    It was engineered from the beginning.

    March 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Seam

    Everytime i see or hear him, the whole wright messages comes up to my mind. i'm sad because i thought he could be the one but he is just the same as the rest...

    March 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Dan R

    Ok lets just be honest about this. The people in Michigan and Florida did have a vote when they voted to put the party leaders in office in there states. Then thoughs party leaders decided to break the rules and move there contests up to the dates in which they did, knowing the outcome. Hillary agreed to this early on as well. An frankly the only CHANGE that Hillary brings is CHANGE to the rules of the game. Go Obama!!!

    March 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Kevin

    If he is "shaken up" by this, how can he not be shaken up if another country attacks us?

    A little disappointing of him!

    March 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Larry Buchas

    Enough said, Joe?

    Maybe you prefer Bush?

    Barack Obama's views have been exposed for the world to see. He faced this race issue where no one else has since Dr. King. He was completely honest and courageous. He would be criticized by the likes of If he left his church.

    The views of Reverend Wright are not those of Barack Obama. But you can't accept him saying that? He has far too much cojones than you will ever have. It's people like you that are too frightened to post your full name. Sounds like a Republican to me.

    March 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Sled Dog

    What does Barack mean when he describes the others as conventional candidates? He seems to be the one making distinctions.

    I do not believe the odds are against because he is multi-race, but because he as a man has demonstrated poor judgement in regards to his relationships.

    The more I hear him speak after this whole Wright issue, the more annoyed and angry I get with Obama. I think he has a real problem, but he just keeps dancing around it. He tries to make these insane analogies to help us understand his perspective, but they just make me feel like we're hearing from a high schooler.

    March 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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