March 25th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Clinton resurrects the Wright controversy

The economy once again may be the dominant campaign theme.

The economy once again may be the dominant campaign theme.

(CNN) - After staying out of the Barack Obama controversy over his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Hillary Clinton has now weighed in big time. She was asked about the flap when she met with the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today. “He would not have been my pastor,” she replied. “You know, you don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”

A few moments ago, at a news conference, she essentially said the same thing before the microphones and cameras. And as she did earlier in the day, she noted that she had spoken out last year against Don Imus for his racially-charged comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. “I gave a speech at Rutgers University saying that hate speech was unacceptable in any setting, and I believe that.”

Suddenly, the Rev. Wright uproar has returned to the forefront. The other flap of the day – her embarrassing and erroneous description of her 1996 visit to Bosnia – has been pushed a bit aside. She acknowledges that she made a mistake in describing the scene of her arrival at the Tuzla airbase.

All of this must be seen within the context of this incredibly close race for the Democratic presidential nomination. With four weeks to go to the Pennsylvania primary and the 10 other contests that will follow, every utterance by the two candidates is critical. The scrutiny all around will be intense because the stakes are enormous.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. Democrat

    Let's get real . .. . . . . you CANNOT resurrect and issue that has not died.
    The Obama /Wright controversy will not end the the rest of Obama life. As long as he remains in the political arena this will follow him just like he follows his former Pastor and mentor.

    No matter how you try to spin this the public will follow his lead – Obama cannot walk away from his former Pastor so he is on vacation. When he returns he will be reminded of what he left behind.

    March 25, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Madelyn Green

    Rev. Wright went to the White Breakfast and pryaed for Bill when he was in trouble. The sermons the REV gave was seven (7) years ago. I guess it was ok for the so called racist to pray for Bill when he was President. GIVE ME A BREAK!

    March 25, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Charleen A Breckenridge

    I can;t believe how dirty the clinton campaign continues to be.She and her husband Bill started the dirty campaigning.Obama tried to ignore the sly remarks.He was between a rock and a hard place as the saying goes.He had to try to find things to discredit her.
    How dare her say that she would have left the church and denouned the minister.How many women said that they would have left her husband for what he did to her.He is not her blood relative either.
    She is only bringing it up today,because it seem to be going away and Obama's speech seem tohave helped him.
    Sometimes I hope she wins,because God don't like ugly.She will have the hardest time in office then she can imagine.

    March 25, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. vicki $$$$$$$$

    This would have been a perfect time for someone to truly look at Hillary's record . She claims 35 years of experience. I f you read her web site ,she has done alot of work with minorities and children and women while admirable,, this is not experience for commander and chief. Why won't someone call her on this biggest lie of all her lies.. claiming she has 35 years of realitive experience .. If Obama told a bold face lie like this you all would be ripping apart every word he ever said
    Hillary's been lying since day one .

    You all won't even say the word, lie

    A mistake happens once not over and over and over

    March 25, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. From Virginia

    Living in Amrica- very perceptive.

    Rev. Wright is not a racism – he is an old black man who grew up during segregation. His feelings reflect most black men over 60. I was married to one! It is not racism, it is frustration of being forced to use separate facilities and walk the streets with eyes down so as not to offend white women. This is a different time now and Hillary is trying to stir the pot – but it is not going to work.

    Barak is bi-racial. My relatives who are biracial love both parents and see themselves in both worlds.

    March 25, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. ralph - Ellicott City, MD

    I KNOW that we're not comparing characters Mike!!!

    Hillary is a big disappointment. She has taken politics to the republican South Carolina level of 2000. She is just horrible. But, you go ahead with the "Kitchen Sink" tactic. It's working just fine. Don't ya think?

    You are disgracing the party just as your husband did. Your win at all cost is not working for anyone – especially YOU!! You need to get back to your "It's an honor to be on this stage with you Barack" state of mind.

    You had the support of the people then, but "a wheel must have come off" or a screw came loosened. Hillary, just go away PLEASE. You are really making yourself look bad, to put it mildly.

    March 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. CClaudia

    These Obama fanatics are too funny for words.

    The woman was asked a question and she answered it. What did you expect her to say? At least she is smart enough NOT to condone the behaviour of a hate-ful racist preacher with a chip on his shoulder and Sen Clinton is RIGHT.

    If you do not like it when people keep bringing this very legit piece of Obama's mis-judgement into play don't hate on Hillary, hate the reporter who asked her the question and just as an FYI Obama may have swept this under the carpet in the hopes that it would just go away but it will not. Poll after poll after poll just states that over half of the people feel Obama didn't address the issue with this hateful preacher accordingly.

    It's okay for Obama to have a racist as a spiritual advisor but heaven forbid a white person does the same, they will be condemned. Double standard? Absolutely. He may have fooled some, but he hasn't fooled everyone.


    March 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Roberta, NC

    I can't believe I'm responding to such an idiot story but, here it goes again...

    In 1996 my daughter was stationed at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. The flight there and back took her through Bosnia. COMBAT LANDING AND TAKEOFF into and out of Bosnia were ROUTINE due to the increased possibility of SNIPER FIRE AND MISSLE ATTACK! My daughter clearly remembers the landings because it earned her the nickname "HURL". Hillary may have mispoken…but, the landing and reason for it was correct!

    March 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Debby

    Wolf, she was asked a question and answered it like she said. She exaggerated about Bosnia, but she went shook hands with troops and visited a military hospital there when it was a war zone. Where is Obama's video with the troops. We sure see video's of him lounging in St. Thomas though.

    March 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Boomer

    Hillary Clinton has made a HUGE mistake. After lying about Bosnia, she has now made it clear that she will say ANYTHING to win. This isn't about principles; it's about HER. If the Democrats nominate her, the Obama people will desert her in droves. McCain will win the presidency. I used to be for Hillary and now I hope she loses. Indeed she MUST lose for the Democratic party to win.

    March 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Monoaba

    Rubbish, tell the people what you are able to do for them.
    I could heve been surprised that you stay quiet on this issue.
    I'm obliged to support OBAMA, finally.

    March 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Tim

    Hey Blitzer, in the eyes of the people, the Wright thing is old news, long settled. Hillary admits she "misspoke" about several blatantly false sentences when she described the trip. VIDEO EVIDENCE shows no such things happened. She is a LIAR and you need to call her on it.

    March 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Takem Tabi

    A big lie is a big lie.She just needs to say she's sorry.We need some straight talks and people we could believe in.We don't need manipulative strategies.
    It's disgusting.We need more positivity and transparency.

    March 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. sb

    As a Canadian, Iam surprised that it seems so few of you Americans have not attended a predominatley African American church at least once. if you had you would have known some, but not all churches include social and religious commentary or sermon. It is an entiltlement to ones history and the shoes you've walked in or your fathers' father have walked in. It is not racist to challange ones own country or even unAmerican to burn a flag.. I thought it was a right and a freedom for all your citizens to have their voice heard. Or am I wrong.

    March 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |


    MC CAIN 08

    March 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Soldier in Iraq

    Nice job Wolf, you let her bully you. She scared you when she got upset with you by always asking her the first debate question. And now you not asking her the real question so people can hear the answer to. Does anyone out there know the question of the day? I'll givea hint? Sniper

    March 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Ga. latino supporter

    I mean Hilliry, do u go to church at all? If u do what, church is it that u go to that supports a negative talking individual as yourself

    March 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. Lola she did not "acknowledge she made a mistake" (as you say), she says she 'mis-spoke'. There is a big difference. Great leaders actually acknowledge that they make mistakes and don't mince words like she has. Face it, she lied.

    March 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Funny

    Funny you guy's fighting about this, this is nothing compared to what the Republican Machine is going do with this REV in November.....all you koolaid drinkers will have to learn the hard way.

    March 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. tiredofthecrap

    Mike – "Obama's whole response to the Rev. Wright issue was to throw his own grandmother to the media wolves to dilute the Wright issue. What kind of man puts his own grandmother that raised him in the political crosshairs and calls her a racist in front of millions of people to save his own political skin?"

    Pretty pathetic thats all you heard from that spech or what your brain could comprehend i guess. Not belittiling really just saying that its hard to belive thats what you got from that speech. I guess the saying is right "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink..."

    March 25, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. Jan

    Good for Hilary! By the way, I could care less about her "tax returns". All those bloggers that do care must have huge incomes from parents–that has to be the reason why it is an issue. I only care about my future and the economy and health care. Selfish? Maybe. The Clintons deserve all the help they can get from the IRS. They have worked for the poor and minorities for most of their lives. Can Obama say the same? We don"t know.

    March 25, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Jackie

    Barack's BAD JUDGEMENT issue will not go away!

    Hillary ANSWERED A QUESTION!!!!! Stop making BARACK's decision to stay with a church who's pastor is a racist bigot her problem!

    MAN UP BARACK – DROP OUT!!! Don't take the Democratic party down with you! You would have never made it this far if the PRESS had done their job and reported this story months ago!

    March 25, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Mel

    Hillary Lied period. I guess lying runs in the family. This really shows how far the Clintons go to win.

    March 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. kevin from alaska

    Didn't I just read a post this morning about Hillary preaching party unity?

    March 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Celeste

    Just when I thought that I couldnt lose anymore respect for her. She wants to win at any cost, but her strategies only paint her as diabolic. 'By any means necessary' – even at the expense of destroying the Democrats chances in November. The sad thing about it is that SHE WILL NEVER WIN THE NOMINATION AND SHE WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I decree this, and I declare this. Amen.

    March 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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