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. Elisabeth

    He is afraid to meet Clinton in the General Election

    April 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Stacy Clarks

    McCain is so full of crap...he is not going to be a "referee" if he is all about "MORALS" as he keeps saying, he will do everything to stop the ad

    mroe, over the weekend, he made reference to Wright....HE IS A LIAR LIKE THE REST OF THE POLITICANS!!

    IF YOU WANT CHANGE, VOTE OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. trellskig

    Best thing this man has said through out his campaign but still not voting for him...lol

    April 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. HD

    How can Hillary be responsible for the duties of her office if she is found guilty and sitting in prison for the fraud charges that are being brought against her?

    Google 'Peter Paul Hillary Clinton'

    Lots of good stuff...

    April 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Ray, Gainesville VA

    "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.

    But because Hamas wants Sen Obama to win, does that mean he reflects the beliefs of them? Double-speak if I ever heard it.

    April 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. mitch from ark.

    frank.stop talking in 'baby-talk'.it isn't working for hillary ,and you're not doing her supporters any favors,by attempting to have a conversation, when you are obviously illiterate,or a third-grader.

    April 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Tejano

    How do you know that he doesn't share his views. Are you able to look into his mind. No one knows except Obama. All we know is from our own experience. We, church goers, attend churches that reflect our values and share the same ideology. If the pastor or thedenomination doesn't agree with us or espouses hatred towards our country. We run away as fast as our feet would take us from that scene.

    We arealso products of our early years, and Barak"s early years don't speak very highly of him. That is my opinion. An opinion supported by
    Sociologists for years.

    April 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. I LOVE MCCAIN

    Obama watch out what everyone says...some how you will be blamed for it. Even if you don't know them but they support you, you better denounce what they say. Somehow my thoughts right now could ruin your campaign, cause it is your fault.

    April 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Rick from NJ

    McCain is going to attack Obama very soon. Hopefully Obama will not be the Democratic nominee. The Democrats don't have a prayer with Obama as the nominee.

    Wake up Obmamama's and support Hillary.
    Let's be realistic and support the only one that could win.
    Support Hillary or McCain will win.

    April 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Mike from CT

    America not that dum to put Rev.Right stuff on Obama.

    April 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Alex

    This is intresting,
    ummmm......the man attended his church and was apart of the congregation...and his family too.......regretfully, you to think maybe some things he privately supported in Rev.Wrights services.
    all those years he attended, anything is possible......still respectfully,
    I like mr.Obama..he seems like a pleasant man and intelligent and cordial,.........but i feel still....Hillary Clinton...gets this nomination...somehow in the end.....this will be a dogfight all the way to the convention in Denver..late this Summer....intresting...just a have a feeling.
    But regarding Rev.Wright....and Mr.Obama in his church services and his views....anything is possible....but there is no evidence of his support of this,
    So he did well in distancing himself from all of this....good move...and makes good common sense!!!

    April 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Independent

    Marshall – how can you say he is honest? He was against attacking Obama on the issue before he was for it. He said it wasn't legitimate political discourse and now he says it is. He said that he was against the attack ads and now he says he won't be a referee.

    Who are you kidding?

    April 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Debra, MO

    @Elisabeth, Hillary will not make it to the General Election. You can count on that. LMAO

    April 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. The Truth

    This whole thing looks like attempt for the media to tear down the most promising candidate this country/world has diminish him only for the least probable candiate to thrive and make himself look good ?????????? Conspiracy?? Just to ensure America stays on course for war in pursuit of power in control but yet causing our own dimise!

    April 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. a4

    Hope this gets posted, cause all my other posts just await moderation and never get posted.

    One question.

    Do we have to hold the politicians who are Catholic for the actions of their priests against children. For some of them have been going to the catholic church since birth, were baptized, took first communion, got married and continued the cycle in the same church.

    If we hold Obama to his pastor then it just seems fair to say that all politicians who are catholics would/should be viewed as pedophiles too. THINK ABOUT IT.

    April 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Uncle Sam

    I too have made my judgment about Sen. Obama. When Hamas, Farrakhan, Wright, Ayers, Rezko, etc. are your supporters, if it's all the same to you, I'll side with the other candidate.

    Americans for McCain '08

    April 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Paulinus, Canada

    McCain is an honest man. How enlightening was Rev Wright yesterday and today? Super. That makes Obama electable? Sure

    There is hope.

    In church today, I listened to a Catholic priest preached about Hope Vs fear. It struck me that Obama is preaching Hope while Hillary is instilling fear into the minds of the American people.

    Hope Vs Fear

    Hope Factor => Obama
    Fear Factor => Hillary

    I followed the last two democratic primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania and have deduced that most Americans live in fear. In realizing that, Sen. Hillary Clinton has embarked on the fear factor to secure her wins. She was able to instill fear into the minds of the undecided voters with her fear and negatives ads. What a way to win.

    From a spiritual perspective, people should leave in Hope and not fear. Does Hillary have any Religious affiliation? It is surprising to see that a high percentage of Catholics embrace Hillary. Are they being indoctrinated into Hillary’s spiritual beliefs? A true Christian should belief in Hope and not Fear.

    If people continue to live in fear, there will always be mistrust, divisiveness, and wars. Hope is what we need to counteract fear, which will bring people together and ultimately help Americans work together as a United Nation.

    April 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. OBAMA WON THE DEM NOMIATION

    RACE IS TECHNICALLY OVER.

    THE RULES ARE SPECIFIC. IT IS A DELEGATE RACE.

    HILLARY CAN'T CACTH UP. IT IS OVER.

    MSM STOP GIVING FALSE HOPES. IT 'LL MAKE IT HARDER FOR DEMS TO RECONCILE

    OBAMA 08

    April 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Deward Bowles

    McCain better keep his mouth shut, otherwise he had better make "religious intolerance" one of his campaign planks.

    I can see it now, McCain standing with Hagee and Parsley behind him saying the "Catholic church is the great prositute" , a "cult" religion and Islam is a "false" religion that should be "exterminated". That should be a great ad for him.

    As far as Clinton I am waiting for her to "walk out" of her church after her pastor wrote a letter saying Clinton was wrong about Rev. Wright.

    April 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Al

    I don't agree with a lot of McCain's policies, but at least he seems like a good guy.

    April 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Pat

    If McCain wins the Presidency; I'm going into the "Shoe" business: horse shoes, people shoes, and shoe repair......

    April 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. a4

    Where is my post????

    April 28, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. STOP THE MADDNESS!!!!

    Well that's one kudo for the old man!

    April 28, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. Paulinus, Canada

    McCain is an honest man. How enlightening was Rev Wright yesterday and today? Super. That makes Obama electable? Sure

    There is hope.

    In church today, I listened to a Catholic priest preached about Hope Vs fear. It struck me that Obama is preaching Hope while Hillary is instilling fear into the minds of the American people.

    Hope Vs Fear

    Hope Factor => Obama
    Fear Factor => Hillary

    I followed the last two democratic primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania and have deduced that most Americans live in fear. In realizing that, Sen. Hillary Clinton has embarked on the fear factor to secure her wins. She was able to instill fear into the minds of the undecided voters with her fear and negatives ads. What a way to win.

    From a spiritual perspective, people should live in Hope and not fear. Does Hillary have any Religious affiliation? It is surprising to see that a high percentage of Catholics embrace Hillary. Are they being indoctrinated into Hillary’s spiritual beliefs? A true Christian should belief in Hope and not Fear.

    If people continue to live in fear, there will always be mistrust, divisiveness, and wars. Hope is what we need to counteract fear, which will bring people together and ultimately help Americans work together as a United Nation.

    April 28, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Pat

    CNN, you might want to think about what's going to power your digital signal and how many Americans willl be able to afford to receive it?

    April 28, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7