April 28th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: Obama and Wright do not share views

 McCain has begun to publicly address the Wright controversy.
McCain has begun to publicly address the Wright controversy.

MIAMI (CNN) - Despite his newfound willingness to make political hay out of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, John McCain insisted three separate times on Monday he does not believe Barack Obama shares Wright’s “extremist views.”

McCain, campaigning in South Florida, faced a series of questions about Wright from reporters shortly after the pastor made a defiant public appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, in which he defended his church and condemned the national media.

“I’ve said again and again, I do not believe that Sen. Obama shares Rev. Wright’s extremist views which he has stated, whether it be the United States Marine Corps or the flag or what,” McCain said. “I am leaving that issue to a dialogue between Sen. Obama and American people.”

In another press conference held Sunday, McCain broached the topic of Wright unprompted for the first time, despite previous suggestions that the Wright issue would be an out-of-bounds topic in the presidential race.

McCain said his shifting stance on Wright was justified because Obama told “Fox News Sunday” that the controversy surrounding his ex-pastor was “a legitimate political issue.”

The presumptive Republican nominee repeated that explanation on Monday.

“As I said before I am of the belief that Sen. Obama does not reflect the extremist statements that Rev. Wright has given,” McCain said. “I have no comments on it, but I also understand why millions of Americans may, as Sen. Obama said yesterday, view this as a political issue.”

However, McCain appeared to change his position on whether state Republican parties or downballot GOP candidates should exploit the Wright issue in local campaigns.

The Arizona senator last week told the North Carolina GOP not to run an ad linking the state’s Democratic candidates for governor - both Obama supporters - to Rev. Wright. But on Monday, McCain said he would no longer weigh on such matters.

“I will not be a referee,” he said.

soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Marshall in Nebraska

    Wow, an honest politician. Who would have though.

    April 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Comment is Awaiting Moderation

    WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HID MCCAIN...

    IS IT A SECRET PACT THAT YOU HAVE WITH OBAMA,

    YOU DON'T TELL MY SECRETS AND I WON'T TELL YOURS...

    DEFENDING AN OPPONENTS AND HAVING TALKING POINTS FOR OBAMA IS QUIT AMUSING, BUT HIGHLY SUSPECT, MCCAIN

    April 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. frank

    You see, McCain like Obama as his rival in the Fall, since he know he can win him.

    April 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Theresa

    What in the world is this "good ole' boy" up to? I'm cautiously optimistic by these statements. Confused but optimistic. Is he trying to make Hillary look like a raving idiot? She does that well enough on her own.

    Any Hillary supportor care to comment on Paul vs Clinton?

    April 28, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. The Dude

    I'm not a fan of McCain, but I do like how he's been trying to stick with the issues. The Rev Wright issue is stupid, and it's taking people's focus away from the real issues. I also respect that McCain tried to get the GOP to pull thier anti-Obama ad in North Carolina.

    ANYONE BUT MCCAIN '08!

    April 28, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. tomdavie

    Is this piece about Mc Cain, or is it really another corrupt attempt to participate in the news by shoring up Obamas credibility?

    April 28, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Grif

    He may not now.. But I believe Obama once did.. He's running for High Office... The thing is? Will it last....

    April 28, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Nausea

    McCain is right! I too do not believe if you follow a pastor for 20 years, have that same pastor as your personal friend and spiritual adviser, and give said pastor and the pastor's church thousands of dollars in monies to support their beliefs and cause you share any of the same views, values, or beliefs. The whole idea is ridiculous to the point of absurdity.

    April 28, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Herman LA, CA

    Your right McCain they don't but your still going to lose in the general.

    April 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Parag

    This is wha is called ingerity – something the Clintons sorely lack. I will be supporting McCain come fall as I believe Hillary will be the Dem candidate and I think the Clintons will be very destructive for the country.

    April 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Jesse

    ~~

    This makes me like McCain even more...

    Hell maybe someone should point this out to the Clinton attack machine!

    I have lost all respect for the Clinton's ... and have gained a lot for McCain

    Seems like Obama and McCain have more in common... mmm

    April 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Pam

    Here goes MSM with their 24 hour sound bites, yet again!!

    Politics as usual! It is only you...the people of America that can change this!!

    I ask you all, rise above it!!

    God Bless

    April 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. George from Minneapolis

    Obama does not have to answer any more questions about Wright. I hope he does as John McCain has done and say "I am not going to talk about that anymore."

    Also, I would like to know what Wright has said that was untrue in the last couple of days ?? If you have not watched the ENTIRE speech yesterday at the NAACP event and the ENTIRE speech and answer adn question session today, then you should watch them and then respond about Wright.

    I

    April 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. John Smith

    I just cannot believe how the Republicans are gradually winning this election, thanks to some "bird-brain" democrats. The Republicans consistenly outfox the dems.

    1. How can an "impeached family" be given this nation again (I mean somone who lied to this nation about sex, sex, and sex!)

    2. How can anyone even think that an individual with such high negatives can ever bring together other people to implement solutions in Washington?

    3. How can anyone put "wealth" over morality, integrity, and honesty?

    I weep for the Dems!

    April 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Jamal Kansas

    Mcbush is a Liar and He will not be President of the United States

    April 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Matt, CA

    That's what's going to make the McCain/Obama battle so interesting: It won't be all about vague connections, but it will be civil and about issues that actually mean...anything.

    Which is more than I could say if Hillary had won the nomination.

    April 28, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Hillary/08

    Nice try McCain, you know it will be a factor in November. Hillary has a better chance of beating you and you know it. How can someone sit in a church for 20 years and detest the preachings of that church. Rev. Wright has single handedly derailed Obama, and your just hoping he is the nominee so you can destroy him with his own words.

    April 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. JRC

    Billy Graham was an "advisor" to almost every President since Eisenhower. He publicly stated he hated the Jews.

    Clinton's religious advisor was Jesse Jackson, who at one time made a reference to "Himey Town".

    I don't remember anyone holding those comments against the presidents or insisting those Presidents held the same views as Graham and Jackson.

    Double Standard??

    April 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. 28 year old White MAN in FLORIDA

    i agree with REV. WRIGHT

    April 28, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Raphael Tx

    McCain is going to tear Barack apart if he is the nominee. He is a shark circling his prey waiting to attack. Mccain is just testing the waters right now.
    If we(Democrats) want any shoot of winning the Oval Office, Hillary is definately our candidate. The fact that Obama has the same ideoligical views as his pastor(Bitter small town Americans cling to guns and religion) is going to feed the Republicans with ammunition to win the presidency again.
    Get real Democrats.
    Go Hillary

    April 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. Jeno

    Good!! I do not see where Senator Obama should be held accountable for what someone eles is saying.

    April 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Maca

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The best candidate!!!!!!

    April 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. I LOVE MCCAIN

    If they don't share the same political views and the guy is an ex-pastor...why is this a concern to Americans. Also, if Mccain believes that why are is he making it an issue. Most people never heard the entire preaching. I haven't even heard the entire preaching....tell me how high gas will be and how weak will this dollar be?

    April 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. Robert in Toronto,ON

    I like how McCain tries to play "all good and chummy" with Obama on this topic, meanwhile last week he said that the terrorist group Hamas would prefer Obama in the White House, and then goes onto say "Well...Americans can make their own judgement"

    Seems like you made you OWN judgement there, McCant!

    NO REBUBLICANS IN THE WHITE HOUSE

    April 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. DAVE

    I DIDN"T REALIZE THAT JEREMIAH WRIGHT WAS A CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT. OR DOES IT JUST SEEM THAT HE IS? HE GETS AS MUCH NEWS TIME AS THE OTHER THREE . WILL HIS BOOK COME OUT BEFORE OR AFTER MAY 6?

    April 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.