April 25th, 2008
12:50 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama: I expected Wright to disagree with me

Obama held a press conference with reporters Friday.

Obama held a press conference with reporters Friday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama said Friday he expected the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to take issue with his recent denouncement of Wright's past sermons.

"I understand he may not agree with me on my assessment of his comments, that’s to be expected," Obama told reporters Friday at a press conference. "He is obviously free to express his opinions on these issues. I have expressed mine very clearly."

Obama's comments follow recent remarks from Wright in a PBS interview to be aired Friday night. According to released excerpts, Wright did not back away from his controversial comments, and said of Obama, “He goes out as a politician and says what he has to say as a politician.”

“I continue to be a pastor who speaks to the people of God about the things of God,” Wright also said.

Earlier: Wright breaks silence, says attacks 'unfair'

soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Frank, San Diego

    Obama seems to think that just disagreeing with one or two of Reverend Wright's sermons is going to insulate him. That will only work with his hard core of supporters.

    He may want to fundamentally change politics, but what he can't change is the fact that he will have to carry enough states to win the electoral college ballot.

    And to do that, he is going to have to come up with a convincing answer to the question of why he sat in Reverend Wright's church for nearly twenty years.

    He may or not be able to do that. But he hasn't done it yet. And now would be a better time than later.

    April 25, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. karl

    Please stick to the issues at hand, it's about the candidates, not their surrogates, supporters, members on their political campaign team, both employees and volunteers, that we as intelligent people should and must focus on. This goes for both of the democratic candidates. I support Obama because of what I believe are his principles when it comes to the issues, not anything that is personal, and yes we don't agree on everything, and well that we shoud not.

    April 25, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Tamika

    Thank you CNN for posting me earlier!! restoring my faith of blogging!!!!

    Here is a quote: (google Paul V Clinton for more info):

    The first law suit in American history to bring a President and a Senator to court for defrauding the Senator’s largest campaign donor and his public company will be set for trial and discovery at the Case Management Conference before Judge Munoz. Discovery and depositions of key witnesses, including the Clinton family, Al Gore, Ed Rendell, Terry McAuliffe, Harold Ickes, Howard Wolfson, Kelly Craighead, Barbara Streisand, Brad Pitt, Larry King, Mike Wallace among an array of political and entertainment leaders, will present an inside look at a culture of corruption that will shock the public.

    April 25, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. mitch from ark.

    what's funny,is,if you hear the reverends' entire sermon,he's telling the truth.

    April 25, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Mike

    The bottom line is Obama attended, listened, contributed money and even got tapes of missed sermons from Wright for 20 years. He made Wright a spiritual adviser on his campaign after these comments were made. Obama knew about his church publishing Hamas material through it's website and Trumpet publication.

    Obama only denounced everything after the media made a big deal of it.

    His supporter Oprah left Wright's church around the time Obama showed up.

    If this controversy would have happened to Clinton or McCain their candidacies would be over.

    And we haven't eve talked about Ayers and Rezko either.

    April 25, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. DD, New York

    Sadly, this democratic primary is more about race then gender. A lot of folks don't want Hillary to get the nomination because she is a Clinton, not because she is a woman! Conversely, a lot of people don't want Barak to get the nomination because he is Black! (I know, I know, he is also white...) I think he has not answered more fully his affiliations with Rezko, Ayers, and Wright. AND the subject of SINCLAIR has never even been broached.

    April 25, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Hope

    Politics and religion should be as two seperate and independant forums. when you start to mix religion and politics you end up with situations like Northern Ireland. A persons religious and spriritual beliefs should be kept private and be reflected in their way of life and way of living as opposed to what their political beliefs are. I think that is what the Rev was saying when he said Obama is a politician on a political careeer, he is on a different forum.

    Church and State should remain separate.

    April 25, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Charlotte

    . . .I often wonder why it is never mentioned that Bill and Hillary invited
    Rev. Wright to the white house during his impeachment. The picture
    was shown in the media. Something tells me that if they don't leave
    this Rev. Wright thing alone, more things are going to come out about
    the Clintons. Aren't they due in California for the Paul vs. Clinton fraud

    April 25, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Karen, TN

    What "god" is that? I think Obama has been unfairly judged by his pastor's comments, but I also think the pastor has been way out of line. As a Christian, I don't want people to confuse this man's version of god with the truth.

    April 25, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Simone

    Obama is the Man that can bring Americans together and stop the madness. McShame is one that wants the Bush War to continue for 100 years and he has a pastor that is a racist along with himself but of course no one wants to talk about that. Clinton and her husband are racist and no one wants to talk about that. They are all afraid to let this man get into the Oval Office because he is going to pull the covers off of all the shameful things that the Bushs and Clintons have done. The Bush and Clinton Administration want the madness to continue along with the Media.

    Redan, GA

    April 25, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Concerned Democrat

    To say the Rev. Wright issue is not an issue, is an under-statement. Let this go already people. There are BIGGER problems facing us today than what a Pastor said.

    April 25, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. rj


    April 25, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. John Smith

    When I hear someone say that– "people are not as dumb as the Clinton's think", I tend to disagree strongly.

    Just look at the folks who are still out there talking on behalf of an "impeached family"; someone who lied to this nation again and again!

    Look at the people who continue to donate their hard-working $$ to someone with $109 million, who can afford to loan her campaign.

    Most people in this nation are either "dumb" or are simply "racist". Give me a better explanation than the above. I will read your comments.

    April 25, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Steve

    Can we please focus on the issues again. I am tired of this crap.

    April 25, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Concerned

    According to Hillary, In politics everything is fair game. That means that race and gender will be an issue and only an ignorant person would try to act like these issues don't exist. Why do we fear race and gender issues? And how can we consider this country a "Model" for other countries if we are not couragious enough to tackle these issues ourselves? Ignoring these problems does not make them disappear. These issues just rurface in our churches, schools and living rooms. And then pastors like reverend right get hammered for expressing thoughts that the world choses to ignore? That's obsurd!

    April 25, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Burt

    It will be interesting to hear Rev. Wright's angle on this. What was reported is that Wright was disappointed in Senator Obama's denouncement. Rev. Wright admitted that Obama is the same as all politicians: he would say anything to get elected.

    April 25, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. demagogue

    Oh Master spinner...
    please spin how you sat in the pews for 20 years.

    please spin Rev Wright's own comment that you will say whatever you NEED to say, as a politician.

    So much for change and hope.


    April 25, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. Rich

    "The ultimate irony for the Obama supporters (the smart, educated people) to ponder:

    IF Obama is the democratic party nominee it will be because the Washington Insiders that he speaks against (Super delegates) GIVE it to him."

    Hardly an irony. The super delegates were behind Hillary much earlier in the election, giving her a 100+ delegate lead for a long time. Until (if) he gets an equal number of super-delegates, this is no help to him. In case you didn't notice, he's further ahead of Clinton before you factor in the super delegates.

    April 25, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. And the superdelegates cannot make a decision?

    Clyburn, Wright, Avry, Michelle, white Grandmother, typical white person, race card, wont' wear the american flag pin.

    Hillary is going to "steal" the election and destroy the democratic party. "She" is the one that is negative, she is the liar, she should drop out. Obama keeps whining – coddled by the Media. Brought in tons of money and still cannot close the deal.

    The list goes on and on and its not over yet. This is who might get the Presidency – God help us.

    April 25, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. C

    Even Rev. Wright thinks Obama will say anything to get elected. How is Obama different from Clinton? So much for your precious 'change'.

    April 25, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Stewart from North Carolina

    To Irony...this race from the very beginning was Hillary Clinton's to win or lose...she had the name recognition and the machine behind her when it all started. Now she looks like a baby stomping her feet because she's not winning. Obama may have his faults, but he did not go around the country telling bold face lies about Bosnian sniper fire to enhance his credentials. If folks want to vote for a known liar and exaggerater like Hillary, then so be it. When they look me in the eye and tell me they support her that tells me a lot about their character, or lack thereof.

    April 25, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. jack texas


    April 25, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Tony Z- MD

    Please before commenting at least here the entire sermons for Rev. Wright. Matter fact find the interview with Sec. of State Rice.

    April 25, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. rolandsmynewbuddy

    I thought this guy was about change and hope at one time. It seems now he's another john kerry. Were not gonna loose because of the clintons! this frigin guy is a phony politician looking for are vote.

    And I thought he liked me even though I was white 😦

    He just needs me to fill his backgrounds at his speeches with another whitey to make him not look racist.

    April 25, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. wwf

    I want to know why there is zero coverage of the Paul vs Clintons issue. A federal offense! Oh, I forgot, it happend years ago so it does not mattter in the Clintons case. If the media is so Obama biased, why the cover up by all of the networks. Just like what a Clinton campaign spokesperson said in Canada. Heard about it one day with a name attached, then it vanishes, just like the screw them comment. However, if Obama coughs while talking, he is making some kind of slur.

    April 25, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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