April 29th, 2008
02:51 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama says he's 'outraged' with pastor's comments


Watch Barack Obama comment on his former pastor.

(CNN) - In his harshest criticism yet of his former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama said he was “outraged” by Wright’s comments at the National Press Club Monday, and “saddened by the spectacle.”

“I have been a member of Trinity Church since 1992. I have known Rev. Wright for almost 20 years,” he said at a Winston-Salem, North Carolina press conference Tuesday. “The person I saw yesterday is not the person I met 20 years ago.”

Obama said he was outraged by Wright’s remarks that seemed to suggest the U.S. government might be responsible for the spread of AIDS in the black community, and his equation of some American wartime efforts with terrorism. And he seemed to signal a complete break with his former minister.

“What particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing,” said Obama, who added that Wright had shown “little regard for me” and seemed more concerned with “taking center stage.”

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (866 Responses)
  1. John McCloy

    McCain is "glad" to be endorsed by pastor John Hagee who said Katrina was New Orleans' payback for its decadence. Why aren't you guys wringing THAT story dry?

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. R.Gurely


    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. rosemary

    Kentucky for Obama...
    Yes we can..
    I moved to Kentucky four years ago to get away from Hillary...
    Obama all the way...

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. lou

    Ok, so Obama has a nutty pastor. If that is his only baggage I'll gladly take it over Clinton's impeachment, Colombia dealings, Peter Paul, presidential pardons...and on and on and on. Clinton keeps saying we know all her baggage. Well, we know a lot of it and it is criminal compared to Obama's.

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Lee Ohio

    If you believe everything WRIGHT says, then you agree that the US created aids, and is responsible for 911; which will it be people you can't have it both ways.

    I believe Obama did the right thing at the right time.


    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Kel from Auburn, AL

    Good job, O. I know that was tough to do. I really love my pastor as well, but man you were left no choice here. You made the right choice with a tough decision.

    You're the man. Obama 08!

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Tor Lars

    It's good that all this lefty crap is coming out now, before it ended up as policy.

    wright is as obama is: a far left socialist demegogue that is full of himself

    glad to see them both off the stage

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Mike O

    Sounds like he did a great job, actually. However, it means one of two things (or both):

    1) He’s smoothly bailing for political reasons, probably in coordination with Rev. Wright. In which case, he’s just matched the Hildebeast on the hypocricy meter.

    2) He really doesn’t know how to judge the ‘content of character’ of someone he’s known for 20 years, nor has he listened much in church.

    Neither scenario encourages me that this is the kind of person we want in the White House.

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Darlene

    Too little, too late! He should have done this the first time, but he didn't. This is not over, we will not be POTUS!

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Sandra

    Senator Obama and Rev. Wright are 2 separate individuals. Rev. Wright obviously doesn't speak for Senator Obama. Why has no one mentioned that fact that Rev. Wright was invited to the white house to counsel Bill Clinton after the Monica issue. This is so idiotic.

    Go Obama!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Gail

    What they didn't show was the phone call Obama made to Wright just before his performance: "hey, don't take any of this personally, I don't mean it at all, I just need to distance myself from you in a really firm manner in order to win. So, are we still on for dinner Sunday after church?"

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Concerned Voter

    While Senator Obama claims that he does not hold the belifs of Rev Wright, it is telling that this is the person he has had as his spiritual leader. I for one, want nothing to do with Senator Obama. As a nation, we have gone past this hate. I do not want to go back.

    We have two choices: Hillary Clinton or John McCain. Obama is out of the picture for me.

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Yes we can!

    It's sad that he has to continue to defend himself on this issue. Everyday the media continue to spin this and advise on what he should do to overcome this. If you don't like Obama for whatever reason and was never going to vote him than let it Go....those undecided I pray that you will do the right thing and seperate the man running for president and his "former" pastor. Those who already voted for him or are supporters I pray you keep Obama in prayer. He was marked before he announced his run for presidency and there are many who are against him for the wrong reasons. I pray the media get back to journalism 101, gather facts, learn to seperate lies from truth, stop playing or repeating soundbites and report the entire story. i guarantee you throughout the rest of this day the media on all levels are still going to judge, did he say enough, was he too soft, he didn't reject wright, this is policts etc etc......the man keeps getting knocked down and yet he continues to gain delegates on a daily basis. everyone is not falling for the dirty polictics i thank Gof for those who sees beyond this circus and see the man behind the suit. Go Barak (which means blessing)!

    April 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. L VA

    LOL! You are so done – your sense of judgement is rated a big fat zero!

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. sandra

    Let's move on............there is not much Obama can say. Many people have known Rev. Wright for years.......GO Hillary!

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Nina

    Obama is a Man without church now, who only kows how to say: "Yo".
    All about Yo,Yo,Yo,Yo and more of YOYOYO'S!

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Jay

    It is too little too late. The fact that Rev. Wright was his pastor for 20 years, and he never heard him saying this stuff before is very political. I agree with Rev. Wright on this one. Go home Obama we need a real President like Hillary.

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Larry

    Where was Michelle Obama? She should have been there to show support for her husband; unless she doesn't agree with Barack's view on Rev. Wright.

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. R.Gurely


    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. JJ

    It's taken too long. Trust me, when someone says something about you or contrary to your beliefs it doesn't take commentators, media or others to tell you what to do to win the people of this Country over. Obama and his pastor are playing a game to make everyone believe they are fighting against each other really to benefit Obama at this point. Like the man said, he will continue being a pastor regardless if Obama wins or not, and he's retired so he has nothing to lose–he'll be living in a nice home, if you haven't already seen it, and be taken care financially etc. by his church so this is nothing to him.

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Lamont Jackson

    NOBAMA! NOBAMA! Wright has been saying the same thing for 20 years, now you repudiate him??? I'd vote for McCain/Bush before I ever voted for Obama

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Audrey Thompson

    About time! Sen Obama we have your back and we were waiting for you to come out and not only denounce and repudiate Rev. Wright, but perhaps think seriously about changing your Church. Of course that is your decision totally and we love and respect you either ways.

    You have our vote there is no doubt about that, but it is being revealed that everything seems so "fishy" about the way the NAACP suddenly decided to invite him to speak and then he has this enormous interview with the Press and now he is in the limelight.

    Think about this Mr. Julian Barnes I understand is a firm, loyal supporter of Sen. Clinton isn't he a "big shot" in the NAACP?!! Go figure people, something smells rotten and I do not like it.

    Senator Barack Obama is too close to victory and someone, somewhere is desperate, desperate people stoop low and hit below the belt!!

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Bernard Martinez

    Obama, listen to the people.

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. william

    What took so long to finally do this. Hmm could it be you see the golden ring slipping from your grasp and you wuld do or say anything to get it. Why would we want some one who took so long to denounce this man to be our next president. Our next president needs to be ready t o make tough choices from day one. Its taken you months to make this one. Your to young to be president and at one time i thought you just needed eight years to be ready but now im not sure if you will ever be.

    Hillary 08
    Hillary 12
    HMmmm who in 16 Not You

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. Brett

    ...Mr. Obama said "maybe I didn't know him as well as I thought". WHAT THE HECK DOES THIS SAY ABOUT THIS MAN'S JUDGMENT?!??!


    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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