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. Jewish Women for Obama

    I blame the media for these distractions! How does this BS help me afford $4/gallon gas or help me avoid foreclosure or healthcare?
    The media is being irresponsible by continuing to air these distractions.
    Those of us with common sense can see through this dirty political games and believe we can CHANGE this country!

    YES WE CAN!!!

    Obama '08 & '12

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Tee

    Obama is truley Presidential he has handled this lynching with dignity
    Hillary would have cried then lied then start blaming everyone.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. robmac

    Can someone tell fox news to let it go..... tell them to find a fire or some drug deal to report.... Obama has raised the bar by facing, and addressing this issue professionally... now let's get back to finding solutions to the 3 million plus problems that face americans everyday..... and what ever happened to freedom of religion.........

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. LAL

    Thank you! Continue fighting for the important issues and moving past the divisive distractions that others use to try to throw focus off improving the United States of America.

    You will make an excellent president because of your ability to unite. That is what we need. God bless you!

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Police 1

    Good Job,but i believe it is to late. You should have done this from the start, but you waited until your ratings started down and then you decide to distance yourself. I wish we could believe you.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. robert

    Its about time , that raving self serving biggot thinks this whole election is about him. It time we let that albertros go. Now we can talk about the issues. Talk about ones friend being once great enemy. How can he say such hateful things about OBAMA when he cannot apologise for his negative and racist remarks about America. He is not going to apologise about saying those thing and some how want to rationalise them. You much be kidding me. I will throw him under the bus. Wright is like a bad mannered Uncle that you tolerate as a member of the family, but we a talking about the greater good here and he is not helping the obama campaign.
    Get rid of him now. He is going to rant and rave anyway regardless of what Obama does.
    Its a long time before november, we will smooth this over before then.

    Obama needs to be more ruthless and clean house, heck spring is almost over. get it done.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Paul

    Obama aligned with Wright when it was politically opportunistic to do so to get votes in Chicago. Now that Wright is a political liability, he's distancing himself. At best, he's no different than any politician: an opportunistic liar. So much for his message of "change." At worst, he's a frightening individual who has bought into Wright's racism for 20 years and is unfit to be president.

    Hillary or no one...

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. a

    i think Obama got sucked into the hype. he should have left it alone. now they will question why he didn't do this earlier. now they will keep this going to work against him for the rest of the election.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. NObama

    Oh, NOW he's outraged?

    Why wasn't he at the time these sermons were actually orated?

    It wasn't until the nation found out what this guy has been listening to at church for so long, that Obama denounced his "spiritual advisor".

    Rev. Wright now refers to Obama as a "politician", which is expressly what Obama has been touting he is NOT for several months now.

    Methinks Obama will pander to whatever he has to to appease the American public.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. justin

    indeed no need to explain Barrack...We all realize you are a phony by now.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. PAULA

    If only he wouldn't of sat in the pew for 20 years. Theres no way he is being truthful about not knowing this side of him.


    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. Dave W

    IN 1960, campaigning for President, John Kennedy gave a speech in Houston to a group of Baptist ministers who were concerned that the leader of his religion, the Pope, would influence the decisions of his Presidency. Kennedy made it clear that this would not be the case. Kennedy clearly enunciated the separation of his religious beliefs from his government. I wish that politicians today took that view.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Rand Conger

    Well done. Now let's get this stupidity behind us and move on. If anyone wants to know what Obama thinks, they should read his books, not listen to his pastor.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. yoohoo

    Mccain will win

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Ben

    What really gets to me is Rev Wrights ego. He placed himself in the light and wasn't concerned about Obama. I hope now people will let this go and realize Obama isn't anything like Wright.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Eddie

    Oh here comes some more 5 cent rhetoric. He wasnt outraged all those years sitting in his church – he sure didnt complain when he posed as a faithful church goer to get the support of that church and community to win his first election. He's appauled, he's for Latinos, Asians, against free trade – he's whatever he is where he's speaking. I am sure when Puerto Rico votes, he will start talking about his Puerto Rican uncle. He's so phony – it would be a real shame if he wins.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Danica

    I hope this doesn't hurt Obama too much. I know this might help Billary Clinton. At a time when he will the next two states. I am very disappointed @ Rev Wright. He had to do it to hurt him. They asked him not to go before the Press, but he was defending the churches!! Baloney.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. Ponder this

    yeah Obama .......tell this man to go sit down somewhere ....on sunday he was good and monday terrible.....Obama 08

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. bskahn

    It's time to throw the good Rev.Wright under the same bus he threw Obama under yesterday.Rev. Wright knew what he was doing -he could have waited until after November to fire back at his critics. What an egomaniac! Barack took care not to hurt his old friend before but now is the time to knock him out. We need more of this.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. izzy from ohio

    if this sermon would have been preached form a white pastor preaching racism towards blacks, the riots would have already began. but since wrights sermons speak bad about whites this is acceptable? not to me. no racism is to be acceptable in america. thats the way it needs to be. i dont beleive obama never heard this message in this black african church. the website for trinity stil lists wright as senior pastor. so much for him being retired. obama just said he didnt realize any of this yet a few weeks ago he said he had known about wrights views. obama knew about wright before he ran he just thought it would die down and it wont cause white america wont elect a president that is against them because of their skin color. check out the trinity church website you muct adhere to all black africa views. it is hate and racism in its purist form and i willnot vote for obama i will vote for hillary in 08

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. Steve

    "Obama is just saying this get elected his views are the same as Wright."

    You can read minds! How nice for you.

    Personally, at this point, I prefer Wright to Obama. (The AIDS stuff is wacky, but a lot of the rest of what Wright says is valid. Oh, and I'm a white guy.) At least Obama the candidate; the Obama I gave money to is the complex thinker revealed in his books. I still support him, but the compromises one must make to be a mainstream politician really are discouraging sometimes.

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Tjaye

    Isn't it interesting how you people consider Rev. Wright to be crazy and unbelievable UNTIL he says something against Obama...and then you believe him.

    You people are infected with Clintonisms.

    Obama O-8!

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Larry

    I'm not sure Obama can ever distance himself far enough from this guy. It has hurt him badly. Wright's ego is too big for any church. Now the media has given him WAY TOO MUCH exposure on the national stage. Time to move on. Wright is not going to solve the problems of this country, he will only be a footnote in the history of this campaign. Hillary, McCain, Bush, FOX and the Republicans would love to keep this story going for another 6 months. There are too many REAL issues out there that need to be discussed. Move on.

    April 29, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. Still for Sen. Obama

    I am of the African American community and Rev. Dr. Jerimiah Wright does NOT speak for me. Although the things that he's said were TRUE. White America just has a problem with some of the awful things that they have done.... I don't care how much proof Rev Wright supplied you with, you choose to believe what you've been told....... Having said that, Rev. Wright spoke those words not Sen. Obama and if you were going to vote for him you still would and those who weren't are still not......

    April 29, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. Mark

    It is great to see that the Kool-Aid all the Obama supporters have been drinking remains available. We may run out of rice and flour, but as long as the Kool-Aid is still being poured by the media (Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, CNN, etc..) and drunk by the American people, then that's all that counts, right?

    John McCain 2008!

    April 29, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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