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. Jerry from Illinois

    It's about time, Senator.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Mandy, California

    Hillary couldn't have handled this situation any better...she would have been ducking sniper fire!

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. RJD

    Wright doesn't deserve the attention he is getting. "Out of touch" is putting it mildly ....He is enjoying the attention as he shows his own true "color."

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Clint

    I cant help but think this is a bit contrived. Very convenient for Obama to criticize Wright at this time.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. JOSH

    oh man its on now wright vs. obamanation!!!!!!!!!!!! hill 08

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Rose

    Too little and way too late. Obama had no choice to make the remarks that he did, he has to cover his behind. Every time Obama speaks without this 3×5 cards or a teleprompter, all you hear is "and uh", and uh and more and uh. Wright wil continue to be a thorn in Obama's side from now on. Can't wait for Wright to respond!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. sb

    Its not the news media making this the big news, Its CNN and its cast of game show hosts making this a story that now the candidate feels he has to respond too.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. MD

    I am an Obama supporter. However, I think he totally mishandled the Wright situation from the start. Obama should have denounced Wright in his speech.

    It would have been the right thing to do, because Wright is an agitator and hatemonger.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Marguerite

    Finally! Does everyone have it clear now? Sen. Obama is not in any way represented by Rev. Wright & his pathetic rantings, nor is he a Muslim. Let's end this crap once and for all and get down to talking about the real issues that should concern us & we should demand the media report on: the failing economy (including prices of food, gas), the war in iraq, loss of jobs and/or home, global warming, healthcare, etc., etc.

    p.s. those of you who have negative comments on this can't have it both ways – Sen. Obama in your eyes is wrong if he keeps quiet on the subject and then wrong if he speaks out – well guess what? he did the right thing & now you're all worried that hillary will have nothing to help her win.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. JustMe Timberlake

    Isn't your today remarks about Rev. Wright a little too late, Obama?
    The country have seen the real Wright weeks ago and yet you didn't see that yet until now?
    How come we can see what kind of person Wright is much earlier and faster than you when you already know him since 20 years ago?

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Joi

    We all have come into contact with people that we may differ on views with. It's not a big deal to know someone who feels differently about something then you do. What is a big deal is that Obama is able to respectfully disagree and still be civil to someone he disagrees with. Rev Wright is just looking for attention now. Please don't pay him any mind. Instead, look at the wonderful example Obama sets to respect differences and behave the way you should want a President to behave. He's amazing, respectful, strong and isn't swayed by the media trying to sell stories...

    Go Obama!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    To all of you Obama folks who were defending Rev. Wright: Obama just threw him under the bus with his white grandmother. I've never seen a scene of such political expediency! Obama is a complete phony. He's SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOKED to see the real Reverand Wright.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Jamaal Kansas

    Obama you are the man Keep going we Know Wright does not speak for you Keep going Obama 08

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Abdul

    Even Roland Marin of CNN asked for this. I donateed $30.00 to your campaign after denoucing himRev. Wrong.

    Shame on him selfish poerson on a national disgrace

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Nick

    Once again, how about focus on actual issues. This has nothing to do anything for our country. /sigh

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Dee, Memphis, TN

    I applaud Obama for doing this...but thanks to the media and stupidy no matter what Obama says it will not be good enough for most people. How can you hold this one man accountable for something that his pastor said. How would it look for black Americans to blame every white person for slavery. The media says whatever they want to say and its ok because of they have freedom of speech as we all do. I have been a member of my church for 36 years and did not attend every Sunday. The media continues to say that Obama sat for 20 years and didn't say a word. How do we know what he said to his pastor. If we can not see that Rev. Wright is for himself, once again we are blinded by racism and hate. Let's start digging in everyone's past including those in the media and I guarantee we will find some disturbing things.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Lora B.

    So let me get this straight.....Obama says he is outraged the day after Rove gives him advice.

    Obama will say anything to get elected.

    My vote is with Hillary.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Mark

    Obama still sucks. A little too late bro. It's Hillary or McCain for this WHITE Democrat.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Travis

    Learn how to spell, Jay.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. BRT

    Hopefully, someone will reveal who invited Rev. Wright and for whose benefit he was paid to speak on behalf of. It certainly was not the church.
    Nor should anyone believe that he did this for himself other than for his pocket. Just talking to people casually today everyone knows he is part of the black pastor white politician game where they connive behind the backs of African-Americans for votes. That has been the true role of the black pastor and his black church in politics. Obviously Rev Wright benefits–but for the same reason as Judas. It is disgusting that in the day and age where many young people under the age of forty, beneficiaries of Dr. King, are now being subject to the same divisive issues that have hurt them, as well s this country, in the past. Here we are a country in the midst of an economic global crisis and the best we can do is stir up mess so that Hillary can be president. No, no, no, this has nothing to do with Rev Wright and the black church-this is about the same old thing: politics and corruption.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Obama for President

    This whole Wright episode had no real legs in the first place. The spin masters are responsible for destroying a good relationship between Obama and his pastor.Those who love Obama saw past the spin and looked within. I am personally hurt by the opposition and the MSM and believe this will work in favor of Obama. People will vote for him in droves.

    Obama '08

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Wendy

    I admire Obama for taking this stand–it must be difficult and disappointing. He didn't try to duck and hide (only Hillary does that and only in Bosnia). Rev. Wright was invited to speak at the Nat'l Press Club by a Hillary supporter. I think the rev. got caught up in the Q&A and didn't realize what he was about to do to the relationship. Since he is no longer the pastor of the church Obama and his family can still worship there without al the distractions. Funny how Hillary seems to have her hands in all of the scandalous cookie jasrs....hummmm. Just sayin'

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Larry Buchas

    Both are getting a bad rap by the media. The Reverend is correct his words were taken out of context and he's not the hate figure they portray him to be. But, at the same time, some of his comments are based on paranoia.

    Obama didn't throw the Reverend under the bus and defended him during his famous speech. But Barack is correct to state the facts with some of Wright's comments.

    Barack speaks the truth (unlike Hillary).

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. mic405

    it speeks to Obama's ...ha, dare I say it...JUDGMENT!

    Obama is not ready to be President...Nor does the country need this rediculous side show that Wright will no doubt keep going, and going, and going... Great for his book(s) sales.

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Big Whoop

    So, he took Karl Rove's free advice. Finally. Now, can we focus on the economy, healthcare, War in Iraq, gasoline prices, food costs, or housing foreclosures? Or is it too far away from the GE still?

    April 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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