March 20th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
3 years ago

Clinton surrogate says issues over Wright remain

 Davis is a prominent Clinton supporter.
Davis is a prominent Clinton supporter.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the uproar has unfolded over Barack Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Clinton campaign has remained tight-lipped on the issue.

Top advisors to the campaign and Clinton herself have repeatedly refused to comment on the controversy, even as polls indicate the issue may be hurting the Illinois senator politically.

But Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to President Clinton and prominent surrogate of the New York senator, tackles the issue head on in a posting published Wednesday afternoon on the liberal Web site Huffington Post.

In the brief posting, Davis calls Obama's speech on the issue Tuesday "brilliant," but he says the Illinois senator has yet to answer two questions on the controversy that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain "will insist be answered in the fall."

Davis writes:

1. If a white minister preached sermons to his congregation and had used the "N" word and used rhetoric and words similar to members of the KKK, would you support a Democratic presidential candidate who decided to continue to be a member of that congregation?

2. Would you support that candidate if, after knowing of or hearing those sermons, he or she still appointed that minister to serve on his or her "Religious Advisory Committee" of his or her presidential campaign?

Davis, who often appears on CNN to promote Clinton's candidacy, also says he hopes his message "gets to someone in the Obama campaign - or to a reporter traveling with the Senator - who can persuade Senator Obama to answer them directly."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    One word for this guy: IGNORANT.

    March 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Charlotte

    DITTO!

    March 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Casey from Canada

    Question Lanny Davis: maybe you have not taken a look at what you and your kids listened to and watched in your media for years.

    Then no American is fit to visit another country.

    March 20, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Realistic

    Uh, gosh, but what about the candidate who has regularly tolerated adultry and immoral conduct in her own home?

    And between Barak, Hillary, and John, who will Christians vote for? Perhaps the ONE who regularly goes to church?

    March 20, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. matt

    I thought Hillary was staying out of it? I guess taking the high road was just to darn frustrating. He answered the second question in his speech, the first question is a pointless question that only fuels the racist fire. McCain will not ask that question as he has much more integrity than HRC.

    Good try Hillary.

    March 20, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Barbara McNulty, Tampa FL

    Once again, The Clinton News Network comes to try to save her. Best political team on TV? Hardly. Biggest Hacks on TV next to Fox.

    March 20, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Brent Christopher

    That is the problem. Too many surrogates trying to get us off the issues. Could we possibly return to the issues or do you just wish to destroy the democratic party?

    People like you are helping McCain so much. Are you that dense, really?

    March 20, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Smack dab on point, counsellor. The GOP videos of Rantin' Wright are already in rough cut. May I add #3: Could you elect an candidate who failed to even address much less personally repudiate his pastor who made these comments only after it became a huge political liability?

    March 20, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. kim p.

    Give me a break, have you heard of Billy Graham and is anti-semantic remarks to Lyndon Johnson? What about Jerry Falwell, Pat Robinson, etc... You have lost your mind. No, the issue is not Rev. Wright, the issue is your bigotry and the bigotry of the Clintons. Why don't you review that!

    March 20, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Annamica, OH

    Obama can't answer those types of questions, Davis! He gives speeches, but his rhetoric never adds up.

    March 20, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. I know you will not post this, but who cares?

    More spin huh CNN (Clinton News Network)? Milk it until it dries up, soon the American public will get tired of this nonsense and non issue. We need responsible news.

    March 20, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. BEST POLITICAL TEAM ON TELEVISION??? I HAVE YET TO SEE THAT!

    The Clinton's are tight-lipped over the issue but behind the scenes they are calling superdelegates and telling them to reconsider voting for Obama because the Wright controversy will be an issue in the general election. Now we know why the best political team refuses to accept the chalenges embedded in Sen. Obama's address two days ago..they continue to be pawns for the Clinton campaign and do her dirty work by continually linking Wright's sermon's to Obama's candidacy while the Clinton campaign is running a behind the scenes negative campaign!! When will America ever learn???

    March 20, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. EnoughAlready

    I write:

    1. If want don't stop McCain will win

    2. If want don't stop McCain will win

    March 20, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. A from VA

    Another indirect cheap shot from Clinton, as expected.

    March 20, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Rob, Indianapolis

    Translate this to:

    "Hey... uhh... don't you want to keep harping on this? C'mon guys! Really... We need you to keep attacking Sen Obama over this to hide the fact that we have no plan to overcome him in any meaningful way."

    March 20, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. LeftCoast Tim

    Big surprise here....a Clintonista claiming that "issues" remain. The Clinton camp has been trying to "remind" us that Obama is a black man since Hillary was defeated in Iowa.

    March 20, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. California Voter

    Just like that snake Lanny Davis: Start with praise and then dive into the mud. I'm sure Hillary will say, "no comment" in regards to his divisive slams.

    John McCain has his own preacher problems.

    March 20, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. dennis

    Those questions are right on the money...Way to go Lanny Davis ! I would not let my children sit thru 10 seconds of any church service with a pastor who does not talk about the lord and teach american values consistently ..

    dennis,

    March 20, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. Ms. Pisces

    Barack didn't make those statements, and that's it!
    He denounced them and that's it!

    Rev. Wright isn't going to get me health care
    Rev. Wright isn't going to provide me with a better job.
    Rev. Wright isn't going to bring my friends home from Iraq!
    Rev. Wright isn't the one running for PRESIDENT!
    BARACK IS!
    GET OVER IT!

    And if you really want to talk about something, how about we talk about the 25,000 jobs Hilary promised and didn't come through on!
    Lets talk about how she blamed her short comings in that situation on GORE NOT BECOMING PRESIDENT!
    That is pertaining to issues that matter, this Rev. Wright thing does nothng but make the Dem party look like a bunch of BABIES!

    C'mon people, when are we going to wake up??!!

    March 20, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Edwin Portland

    This is all Clinton has. Where are the accounts of your schedule that have been deleted, Billary?

    March 20, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Won't Work Lanny

    Duh, of course he says this, do you think a Clinton surrogate is going to say otherwise. Lanny is a lawyer, end of story.

    Tell him to defend Billy Graham, and what he said about Jews in the Oval Office.

    Obama 08

    CNN, I know you won't print this, you never do.

    March 20, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Mr. Davis,

    You asked:
    If a white minister preached sermons to his congregation and had used the "N" word and used rhetoric and words similar to members of the KKK, would you support a Democratic presidential candidate who decided to continue to be a member of that congregation?

    Here is my response: There was a time when white ministers not only preached it but they were tight lipped when the N's were linched and killed. Let us not go back and look in the closets of some of these white ministers who are still on the pulpits across America every Sunday. I we go seeking these minister there will be a lot of embarrased politicians.

    If you want to look forward we can do that, but if you we want to look backwards we can do that too.

    I have no pert affiliation, but i cannot help but notice that Hillary had nothing to say. I wonder if she has some racist minister in her past.

    March 20, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Amy in Iowa

    Clinton surrogates do her divisive work. Nuff said.

    March 20, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. David Day

    Get used to this, because it is not going away. It will only get worse if Sen, Obama wins the nomination and all your nasty blogs will not stop it.

    March 20, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Hattie / Chicago

    It is scary that Barack and his pastor are being made scapegoats for all of the racial problems this country has... Talk about the turth hurts... My Mom grew up in the same atmosphere as Baracks' Pastor and because of the way in which she was treated growing up in the south, she carries the same hurtful pain that Barack's pastor has. My sister and I have tried many times to tell her that things have changed and she's not heaing. I know that we should leave the past in the past but sometimes the hurt is so devestating it just won't heal.. Especially when you feel a wrong has been committed against you and the laws of that time were not designed to protect you and your family.. My mom says they were humilitated on every level.

    March 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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