Clinton criticized Obama's pastor Tuesday, her first direct comments on the matter. (AP Photos)
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton would have long disassociated herself from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright if she was a member of his church, the Democratic presidential candidate said Tuesday - the first time she or her campaign has commented directly on the issue that has swirled around rival Barack Obama's campaign in recent weeks.
"I think given all we have heard and seen, he would not have been my pastor," Clinton said in a press conference in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The comments came hours after the New York senator made similar comments to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in an editorial board interview. (Watch Clinton's comments)
"You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend," she told the paper. Clinton also repeated those remarks in the press conference.
An Obama campaign spokesman said Clinton's comments were part of a "transparent effort to distract attention away from the story she made up about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia."
“The truth is, Barack Obama has already spoken out against his pastor’s offensive comments and addressed the issue of race in America with a deeply personal and uncommonly honest speech," Obama Campaign Press Secretary Bill Burton said. "The American people deserve better than tired political games that do nothing to solve the larger challenges facing this country."
- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Peter Hamby