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. Tom,des moines

    I personally think that Hussein Obama is arrogant,cocky,selfish,rude,mean and a nasty person. GOODBYE HUSSEIN OBAMA.

    April 14, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  2. Avis, Richton Park, IL

    To Christian – I'm a christian also, however I do believe in evolution. I also believe in medicine, science and that dianosaurs roamed the earth. So, that being said do you go to the doctor or dentist when there's a problem? You can do both, I believe church and science couldn't exist without the other ! Everyone calls on god when their going through something, but you also go to your doctor to make sure that everythings okay.

    Obama is the first politician that I've seen in a very long time that will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear just to get votes.

    It's amazing to me how Hillary Clinton has been caught in so many lies, yet people will still defend her and vote for her. This is why young people have come out in droves, their tired of the BS. I have faith that this country will be saved as long as Obama is in the White House. And if that's not enough, at least we'll get the truth!!!

    April 14, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  3. 2012

    So, Barry, when you sit down to lunch with Amadenajad, is that what you'll do....listen and acknowledge his values and ideals? Those being the complete destruction of Israel and the United States?
    How about maybe learning how to make decisions, especially the crucial ones, then come back in a few years and try again? "Present" isn't going to cut it on the world stage, nor will socialism cure our domestic problems....unless you consider Stalin, Mao, and Castro to be great successes.
    By the way, that "deeply held tradition" is called the Second Amendment. Don't mess with my constitutional rights.

    April 14, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  4. frank

    Obama think people go to Church just because they are bitter. Do you believe he believe in God.
    He also promise he will not accept money from lobbyists, but he has accepted a lot of money from the spouses of the lobbyists according to today's CNN fact check. Can you believe what he have said?

    April 14, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. Biased Media

    An example of CNN's media bias:

    When Obama attacks, he is fighting back against....

    When others criticize Obama, they are taking advantage of some situation....

    Hillary is using Obama's comments etc etc.

    But Obama is the only one slinging the dirt- both by his original words and deeds, and then again each time he tries a new approach to defend and justify his original words and deeds. Starting with Comments against America, then Theology fueled hatred and bigotry, then his condesending and demeaning comments, then mocking and ridiculing both McCain and Clinton. And criticizing others for the very things he masters- drinking a beer, bowling, basketball games, free tickets, rock concerts and videos... all of that is HIS pandering.

    Why does the media protect his right to be vile- but looks for every way to put a negative spin on things to slam Clinton?

    April 14, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  6. John

    Hilary is really desperate and it is apparent. If that commercial doesn't turn people off I don't know what will. I plead that anyone from PA or anywhere for that matter who is being persuaded by Hilarys attack do some thinking of your own. Actually look at what Obama said in its entirety. He wants people to vote on issues most important to our country.

    April 14, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. Voting Values in the NW

    Obama "is" clearly a strong Christian and a patriot. Most "Christians" and most "patriots" in this country don't agree with each other about defining was a "real" anything is... but let's get out of the mud already and talk about issues. People disgree, so lets get on with the voting... all those for more of the same, please step Right.

    BTW, the Dem race is over already. Doesn't everyone know that yet?!

    April 14, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. BILL


    April 14, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  9. Christian also

    @ Christian.

    "I don't see how Obama can claim to be a Christian and believe in evolution at the same time."

    The Bible is not a literal text, it's a moral one. And by the way, even if he did join the church because someone suggested it is not a bad thing. You should be happy that he is that much closer to salvation.

    April 14, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    NO, OBAMA WILL DO OR SAY ANYTHING TO GET ELECTED!!! He has an excuse or speech for everything and copies everything Hillary says or does!! He has NO ideas of his own !!!

    April 14, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Mary In AL

    Abortion has been legal before,during and after the Reagan administration, the Bush administration and the past 2 Bush W administrations. What is that? At least 20 years! We have a Republican Supreme Court that stole an election away from Al Gore and gave it to Bush W. This republican supreme court does not see fit to change the current abortion laws and never will. They don't want to, because it is the one issue that keeps a republican in the White House. Americans will go to war, sink into poverty and vote against an economic plan to help them, just to say I vote pro-life. To heck with the lost lives of the people fighting in an unmeritied war. I'm pro-life! This issue is just a smoke screen for the republican party. I do not drink and I do not smoke. It is all around me. I choose not to do these things even though they are legal. Women will just have illegal abortions and go across borders to get one anyway. What about their health? I don't want anyone to have an abortion or to be in that situation, but we do have these laws that the republicans and their republican supreme court have allowed to continue year after year.

    April 14, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  12. No Way Obama08

    Obama has said what he said, and did not retract it but has tried to spin it to be something other than what he said and meant.

    He has dissed America. America will diss him back in the general, if he gets that far - hopefully, he won't!

    Obama is not presidential material. He is sadly mistaken if he thinks America is going to forget all of this BS.

    April 14, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  13. Independent

    I am glad Obama finally feels God and Guns are ok. The man running for president finally agrees with the rest of America!

    I am glad he is so enlighted. It came to late after finding out what he really believes. This will not go away. Nor should it. Religion is very important to people.

    Apparently the Obama campaign found religion, no pun intended, and realized the seriousness of his comments. He just had his John Kerry Moment. He just lost it.

    April 14, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  14. Edgar

    Obama is not about issues, Obama is about making promises of which he has not explained to this date on how he is going to provide all of those promises he makes to the American people.

    Obama supporter and undeciders, stop seeing CNN and stop being tricked by the media...look up Obama and she who he really is a rich, Harvard educated politician with arrogance.

    Why am I the only one (and HC supporters who see it) who is not on Obama kool aid.

    April 14, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  15. tupac

    This is what actually maturity and realism. Instead of trying to parse his words so that he can score a few political points (depending on the audience) and he gives a truthful and common sense answer. No calculations involved on how is this going to change the polls (oh, by the way whoever believes in that crap, I mean the polls?) Seriously, anyone in their right minds would vote for a candidate based on how they stand on the issues and not on some stupid polls conducted by some people with their own agendas

    April 14, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  16. John in KY

    God belongs in our souls, Guns belong in our hands, but we also need the intelligence to use the appropriate one, at the appropriate time! (unlike our current administration)! or McBush!!

    April 14, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  17. TW

    Sad but true.....Yes, I agree with Obama, that folks are sick and tired, bitter, angry, hungry for a breath of fresh air in the USA. The Truth hurts doesn't it? Why is everyone getting sooo defensive anyway....is it wrong to feel bitter because the government screws us everyday with ridiculous taxes. Of course, we are bitter, and people do clinch to whatever it is they believe in in hard times like these. All the crime that is taking place now is because the economy is in a terrible financial state because of previous Presidents . Wasn't it bitterness that got us into this WAR in the First Place. You see, Feelings of bitterness towards someone whose done wrong to you is HUMAN, doesn't mean you have to go killing innocent people! The Truth hurts but its' still the TRUTH!

    April 14, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. Janice in SD

    There's not supposed to be a religious test for high office – period and what does it really mean if someone goes hunting or carries a gun or not. I think we are going too far with all of this. There's not supposed to be a religious test for office so why does it matter? How does whether you hunt or carry a gun or not impact the work the President does.

    I wouldn't care if we had a Christian, a Native American, a Jew, a Hindu, or an Athiest and whether they were a member of the NRA or never touched a gun, if they did a good job keeping us out of and preventing more wars, addressed global warming, turned around our economy, and solved the health care crisis. Anybody who can do that will get my vote.

    April 14, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. Tom,des moines

    Hussein Obama, As far as I and million of people across the america r concern, u r done. Hillary or McCain.

    April 14, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. Voting Values in the NW

    Many I love that Obama will talk about values and acknowledge that there are worthy values on both sides of an issue. We really need that kind of leadership. When was the last time you heard Bush talk about (and I mean really try to understand) the values of people who disgree with him?

    Obama, Obama, Obama!!!

    April 14, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. The truth hurts

    Help me understand something here. Ed Rendell calls pa racist and nobody gets upset. Obama said pa people are bitter and they come out the woodworks angry. What is this world coming too? I guess they must be racist and Obama will never win that state anyway.

    April 14, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Susan MO

    SHAME on Obama for insulting the people of Pennsylvania. We do not need a president who slams the people, and then 'makes light of it'. That's like laughing at the people in Pennsylvania that he insulted.

    We thought about him at first, but not after seeing how critical and rude he is to people.

    Now For Clinton

    Clinton 08

    April 14, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  23. David

    Its too late Obama-the deed(s) is (are) done-you're a liar-you've stained any success you'll have in this process.

    April 14, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  24. Mike

    Lou Dobbs is the only cnn anchor with journalistic integrity. The rest has let the american people down months ago when the didn't do there job and report about Obama's neg side.

    April 14, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  25. Kirk From Michigan

    I'm Still Shocked !!!! , Obama said last night he would rather his daughters at the age of 12 or 13 years old have Abortions ,Then be punished by having a baby .

    This Is Your Canidate Of Change & Hope ???

    April 14, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
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