April 14th, 2008
07:50 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama talks guns, God


Watch Sen. Obama discuss firearms and abortion.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama continued to try to put his recent controversial comments about rural America behind him Monday.

"Can a Democrat talk about guns, God, and immigration without getting in trouble?" a news executive asked Obama after his speech at the Associated Press annual meeting.

Obama laughed. "I actually think it's possible," he responded. "Not only is it possible but I think it's necessary," he added.

Obama pointed out that attitudes toward firearms in his home state of Illinois are representative of "two realities and two traditions" in the rest of the country.

In downstate Illinois, closer to Kentucky, gun ownership is viewed "as part of deeply held traditions that are passed on from one generation to the other," and failure to appreciate the importance of those traditions "means that you're ignoring something essential," Obama told the room of journalists.

But, he added, "What's also true is that in Chicago, so far this year, there have been 22 Chicago school children who've been gunned down on streets, most of them faultless victims"

Obama painted a similar portrait of the tensions surrounding abortion. "Those of us who are pro-choice have to acknowledge that there's a moral element to the abortion issue." "When we fail to do so, then we're denying something that is deeply held and understood by millions of Americans, including those who support a woman's right to choose," he added. "At the same time, I think it's important to recognize that women don't make these decisions lightly."

"The point is, on all these issues, what's most needed is an ability to listen and acknowledge the values and the ideals of those who are on the other side of a particular debate," Obama said.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Jacqueline, NY

    Please, somebody, make Hillary go AWAY!!!!

    April 14, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  2. Laurence, N.N.,VA


    April 14, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  3. Antoinette


    They told him since he was doing good things for the church, why not attend it

    It wasnt a political move

    And i honestly could care less when you find god, so long as you find him

    There are many people who believe in science and religion

    April 14, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  4. robert

    Who cares about Barry Obama?

    Obama will go down in history as a fade, like the hula hoop.

    Obama is an elitist, visit his high school at http://www.punahou.edu

    Michelle Obama said she cannot make end meet on her $370,000 annual Univ of Chicago salary. She is awful.

    We can trust Hillary!

    April 14, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  5. Dan J

    Obama is taking some cheap shots. People aren't upset about the word "bitter." They aren't upset about the "clinging to religion." They ARE upset over lumping the religion with anti-immigrantion, and disdain for people "that are not like them," as if to suggest that all those things are equally backwards.

    And to say it to a wealthy, liberal crowd in a closed-dorrs fund raiser, well, it makes me wonder what Obama really thinks about a lot of other things.

    April 14, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  6. Peter Harris, PA

    I really admire this man!! What conviction, time and time again, he doesn't duck issues. Here's the deal CNN, even if he doesn't get the nomination, he will have changed the way Americans view their world and the world around them. Bravo Obama, fine man.
    Peter Harris Sr.
    Pround Pennsylvanian

    April 14, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  7. zorba

    To Christian: Huh? I am a devout Christian and I believe in evolution. It's called being able to use your God-given brain to think in complex terms. That is what we need in a president, not another idiotic pseudo-Christian like George Bush.

    April 14, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. Obama the other typical white meat

    All I know is the Clintons gave 10% of their money to charities including the Nelson Mandella fund.

    Obama gave his money to Rev. Wright's church. Obama's funds allowed Wright blame America for 9/11. Travel with Farakhan to Lybia to visit with Khadifi. Also allow extremist Islamic Hamas group to publish through Obama's church website and Wright's daughter's Trumpet reader magazine.

    So you decide what is important to what candidate.

    April 14, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  9. Obama isn't different

    Obama is a smart man. He is woo-ing the American people like I've never seen before. However, he claims to always sees both sides but rarely ever picks one.

    What kind of leader is that?

    He's a politician, just like the rest of them... he just does a very very good job of hiding it.

    April 14, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. ????????????

    Then perhaps you should go back to Chicago and talk about guns and religion. They seem to have a great need for that speech from you.

    April 14, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  11. the mask is off

    The mask of peaceful unifier has been pulled off this pompous demogogue...

    No one with a brain is still listening to his self-impressed rhetoric- or lecturing or speechifying.

    CNN- Hillary is the news. She is the substance.

    Stop covering this empty man's lofty rhetoric... well mostly not so lofty until 2 or 3 or 4 corrections.

    Don't parse my words... what I really meant was...

    Words matter- so what if I re-cycled my just words speech?

    Empy soulless elitist demogogue.

    Never the president of our great Nation.

    April 14, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  12. the mask is off

    I do not listen to pigs.

    Go tell it to your parrish where they love to hate other Americans.

    April 14, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. Floridian

    I'm a protestant Christian – I believe in evolution. I don't think that evolution and Christianity are in any way incompatible, Christian. We know that evolution occurs now, and we know it occurred in the past. That will never diminish my faith in the Lord.

    April 14, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  14. LennyInDelaware

    Yeah right Obama.

    Now you are trying hard to explain and cover your "Elitist" persona.

    You're busted!!!

    Now go back to Rev. Wright and ask more advice from him to make you feel better.

    I bet he will say God D??? America

    Or go talk to your wife is so for the first time is proud of America because Barack Obama was called the "Snake Oil Salesman."

    Slowly... the true color is shedding!!!! lol...

    Keep it up Obama we love you for that!!

    Hillary 08 for President!!!

    April 14, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Bob

    Obama , UH , UH , you an your wife can , sit this one out. For all the
    mistakes you have made , an still have not learned to much.

    Said it before , an I will say it again. You are not smater than a fifth grader.

    Go ANNIE OAKLEY , Learn this boy how to salute the flag, an stand up for this country, this is America, an sorry it took his devoted wife so long to realize , this is a great country.

    JUst say NO to Obama an Baggage. NO

    April 14, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  16. Debby

    So now Obama knows Kentucky traditions. I wonder if his were similar growing up on those streets of Chicago. LOL

    April 14, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  17. Ed K.

    Looks like everyone except CNN is sick and tired of hearing about Obama. It doesn't matter how bad Obama sticks his foot in his mouth CNN always paints him in a good light.

    April 14, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  18. Biased Media

    CNN stop your bias.

    I have posted- well re-posted- a dozen hateful comments.

    All I did was change the name involved from Hillary to Obama.

    You posted them from the Hillary haters, but when I changed the name to Obama just to test your bias- you did not post a single one for the past 2 days.

    Moderate OUT the hateful and vulgar and name-calling posts. That gains no one any wisdom.

    April 14, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  19. Jim

    This is the Obama thats unbeatable.

    April 14, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  20. Lino "Hussein"

    Obama is the only one that approach these issues in a rational way, not trying to separate but unite. This is what we need right now.

    To Christian: I've always been a Cristian and I also believe in evolution and I don't see anything wrong with that... This is our problem today, because I believe that there is evolution in some areas it does not mean I believe in everyting the evolutionists preach...

    April 14, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  21. An American in Canada

    Christian April 14th, 2008 10:00 pm ET

    I don't see how Obama can claim to be a Christian and believe in evolution at the same time. He joined the church just because someone thought that he should join it, not because he was saved and baptised. It was more like a political move to join the church.


    April 14, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  22. lisajkv@yahoo.com

    Obama drop out now, you cannot win !!!!

    April 14, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  23. RAFi68

    obamaniac are not going anywhere he go ggu ga gaa guuu to much , ma cain will clean the floor with this guy , no big stated to win no jude , now no white women or man , all he got is the black vote and his priest , and the wife , that soon will not be proud of america anymore....

    April 14, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  24. Dennis in WA

    I wonder how the gun slingin' shot drinkin' Democrat-cannibal will survive when back running for Senate again? The numbers game is over. She already lost. Somebody take the drink and the gun out of her hands.

    April 14, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  25. lisajkv

    Obama do us a favor and drop out. Why do we have to drag it out when you clearly need Clinton to toughen you up?

    April 14, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
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