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. Jesse

    Okay. Hillary will do anything to get elected. Alright.

    What about Obama? He's doing the same. The only think is people are buying what this snake oil salesman is selling.

    False hope and only change in color.


    April 14, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. Grif

    Anybody's God is an Immigrant... Illegal when it comes to Kids being programmed...

    April 14, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  3. Real people believed in Obama

    Yes we can. yes we can and we should listen to the other side of the issues.

    Obama say it as it is even though people want you to paint everything colourful for them all the times.

    The truth is bitter, but everyone have to acknowledged it someday.

    No one like to standup for the ordinary Americans.

    Hillary and John Mccain want to hide the suffering and frustrations jobless people feel.

    I will also talk about the truth even if it hurt people's feelings.
    God love people that says the truth.

    Obama went to a Catholic school so he was baptised.

    April 14, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  4. IllinoisVoter

    All this proves is he is back-peddling for his stupid remark about Pennsylvanians - more doublespeak to cover his major blunder -

    Lets consider - he seemed to support Christianity and encouraged and enjoyed the endorsements from Rev. Wright, until Rev. Wright appeared on Youtube - now Rev. Wright is Rev. Wrong, and Obama doesn't know who he is.

    Lets consider - he seemed to support and preach about a campaign based on real issues - well he has strayed far from that path - constant media coverage from his camp about HRC in Bosnia, HRC and her tax returns - last I checked, these are the "real major issues" facing our nation.

    Lets consider - as a native from Mr. Obama's state - his voting record (or lack thereof) indicates to me a MAJOR LEADERSHIP FLAW - he piggybacked with everyone else insulting HRC's ads about the 3 am call - AND HE CAN'T EVEN VOTE YES OR NO....

    Bottom line - Democratic voters need to focus on the important issues and how Obama and Clinton stack up in presenting LOGICAL SOLUTIONS for our future - and forget about the minutia - thats for the tabloids to talk about.

    April 14, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  5. Amazed

    Obama does it again. He talks like a real person. Most of us know that solutions lie somewhere in the middle, but the status quo for politicians is to divide and conquer. As in his speech on race, he shows that he understands the values of all parties involved. Do I dare hope that this guy will be our president? Yep!

    April 14, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  6. Bill in Texas

    The last I checked, the only requirement to be a Christian was to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. No mention at all about a creationism litmus test.

    But hey, thanks for playing.

    April 14, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  7. Bill

    I am an Independent who at times makes comments on here. Bottom line is that these two have got to quit going after one another. I fear this is just setting up McCain for a cake walk regardless of what people think. If the candidates would spend half as much time beating on McCain as they do each other, he would not have much of a chance come fall. As supporters of both, I think you could do a better job of expressing your views without being so childish and at times sexist and racist. I wonder what people in other countries think who read the posts here. It is bad enough that they think our leaders have a screw loose without thinking that the American public does as well.

    April 14, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  8. April in Texas

    Well I wasnt a christian before I had attended several churches and then a sermon suddenly hit me. While I beleved in God it wasnt until after that I truely felt a christian and saved. What Obama said I get as I tend to pray more and such when times are tough. Christmas or Easter sunday doesnt make me more a christian and neither does missing a few sundays make me less. Yes I am BITTER and will be until the government changes for the better.

    Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  9. Red

    Christian, you can be a Christian and believe in evolution. How do you know how God created the world? Do you really think it was in 6 earth days? The Bible talks about giants that walked the earth. To me, that's always meant dinosaurs. There is physical proof of dinosaurs. That's evolution. We once wrote on walls in caves and walked hunched over. Crack open a book, then free your mind. It's why God gave us brains.

    Oh, and lay off of Obama. Does an intelligent man who doesn't tote the party line scare you that much?

    April 14, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  10. Ryan from New Mexico

    What does a Harvard boy like Obama know about Guns and God

    Obama is such a fake, he makes me PUKE

    April 14, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  11. Bademus

    Obama is not afraid to address the touchy issues in our society. He does so with an understanding and tolerance for those with differing beliefs. He is inclusive and will work for all of us to find common ground. Unlike Mrs. Clinton who just plain vindictive.

    April 14, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  12. dl

    Obama once again talks out of both sides of his mouth..
    Annie go get your gun and vote for Hillary..
    Thanks Obama for that one.

    April 14, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  13. dave

    "Barack Obama's name pops up unexpectedly in Rezko trial
    Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama's name came up unexpectedly again at the Antoin "Tony" Rezko corruption trial today in Chicago and in a way that earlier filings in the case did not telegraph.

    Stuart Levine, the prosecution's star witness, said he and Obama were at a party Rezko threw at his suburban Chicago Wilmette mansion on April 3, 2004, for Nadhmi Auchi, a controversial Iraqi-born billionaire whom Rezko was trying to get to invest in a South Loop real estate development.

    Auchi, now a citizen of the United Kingdom, has faced criminal charges in Europe. He also figured in the revocation of Rezko's bond early this year after attempting to wire him more than $3 million. Upon learning of that attempt, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve declared Rezko a flight risk and ordered him held in a federal jail in the Loop.

    The Rezko party in 2004 was designed to induce Auchi to pour money into the South Loop investment. Obama's presence at the party of one of his major early fundraisers and political supporters was not previously known.

    At the time, Obama was fresh off a surprise win in the Illinois Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate and was riding a crest of national publicity. The freshman Illinois senator is not accused of any wrongdoing, but this is yet another unknown aspect of his relationship with Rezko, which Obama has said he now regrets." Los Angeles Times; April 14, 2008.

    April 14, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  14. leon PA

    I think hillary on her last leg i hope she go a way.

    April 14, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  15. M Jordan

    PLEASE, someone from CNN read this and do a story. Obama's choice of mocking Annie Oakley was a terrible blunder - many of us regard Annie Oakley as a true American heroine. The inrony of him choosing this person to mock is unbelievable. Go to this link to read about her:


    April 14, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  16. come on now

    christian, how can you possibly say it was a political move to join the church when he did it like twenty years ago?

    April 14, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. Vig

    Obama is about Obama. I think he made that pretty clear from the books he has written to the words he spoke in San Francisco

    April 14, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  18. Freddy

    This man has more honor than Clintons will ever have. Honesty means somthing to OBAMA.

    April 14, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  19. David D Kollie

    All voters should be about issues not the fight that is going on between O and H. Voters interests should be the most important things on the agendas of all politicains period. No not bickering.

    April 14, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  20. JO

    Somebody needs to just slap Billary and bring her back to her senses. Has anyone verified her statement in Ohio that she 'had worked the night shift' or does that rank with her statement on Bosnia, NAFTA, shooting a gun, etc. etc. etc.
    I have a bet that if she doesn't win the nomination that she will dump Silly Willy... come on Billary do it.. stand up for us women that work overnight at minimum wage so we can send our kids to a community college...and besides I really could use that $10 bet...
    Obama needs to change his campaign to'WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE' and let Billary have it with both barrels....

    April 14, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  21. Bill

    He is not an elitists, he is an intellectual

    April 14, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  22. Nick

    To poster "Christian" ,

    I am a Catholic and believe in evolution. You make think that makes me not a "real" Christian either but I don't think the two have to be mutually exclusive.

    April 14, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  23. Please convince me

    He sat in the pews for 20 years and didn't have a clue what his pastor's views were. He was absent EVERY TIME the reverend made a hate-filled remark. His friend was a bomber. We are so depressed over the economy we gravitate to despicable positions like religion, control of the border and believing the 2nd amendment is important! I started out wanting to vote for this guy. But, I mean Jeeez.....

    April 14, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  24. Vanessa

    "By the way, why is it that when Obama rebuttals, Hill supporters call him arrogant and mean, "

    so true! Hillary attacks, then when he volley's she says he's negative and unelectable – rofl

    @ Christian... umm, millions join churches because someone recommended it – it's not a "political" thing – esp. if he joined 20 yrs ago. Also, I know a ton of Christians and preachers that believe in evolution. It depends how you interpret Genesis (literally or figuratively)

    April 14, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  25. Brett

    Obama has no idea what he gonna to say, just likes to bark anywhere and copy other people's words. that is his job.

    April 14, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7