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

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

CNN

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. nuff!

    First they called us Wal-Mart democrats.

    Instead of peeling away the college educated, high income Hillary supporters, we saw through the hype of hope propaganda.

    We strongly united behind Hillary, the champion of ALL democrats.

    We stood in solidarity behind ALL democrats regardless of race, ethnicity, income, age, geography, gender or creed.

    The strategy of hate while preaching unity will not fool nor win over voters.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Michael Hudson

    WHY DOES THIS CONTINUE ON AND CLOUD THE REAL ISSUES IN OUR GREAT COUNTRY TODAY? HAS ANYONE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT WHY SENATOR OBAMA SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REMARKS OF OTHERS? REGARDLESS OF HIS CURRENT OR PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIP AND INTERACTIONS WITH THE PASTOR, WHY DOES HE NEED TO DEFEND HIMSELF FROM THE REMARKS AND OPINIONS OF SOMEONE ELSE, ESPECIALLY SOMEONE WHO IS NOT AND WILL NOT BE PART OF HIS ADMINISTRATION OR POLITICAL TEAM? CASE CLOSED, LETS REMOVE OURSELVES FROM THESE DISTRACTIONS AND DISCUSS SOME REAL ISSUES INSTEAD OF THE SAME OLD POLITICAL GAMES OF THE PAST.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Flyin Mango

    A friend of mine has a theory: Rev. Wright's reappearance, right now, at this moment in the election campaign, is a result of Clinton inspiration...whether it be in the form of promised donations, support from the White House, whatever...the kitchen sink, if you will.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. nancy

    I think Obama is great....but I knew white americans would never let a black man be president....you have all heard the remarks behind closed doors...in reality blacks are better at most things than whites and whites need to keep them down or they will take over the world....right?

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Chicky49

    I have been a Democrat all my life, if Hilary wins the nomination I will vote for McCain. As for CNN I have always respected you guys for fair reporting but now I think Hilary paid someone off at CNN.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Mecca

    The issue is that how can we believe Obama, in 20 long years, never heard any of Wrights insults to the american people? Even Wright said Obama was just being a "politician" when he denounced him! How much do we not know about this candidate? We are talking about the presidency of our country and we hardly know him! Think, America, this is a very serious decision, it's our future!
    Mecca
    San Juan,
    Puerto rico

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Beervana

    Barack.........your minster would like a word with you...............

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Hillary Will!

    The painfully obvious arrogance and pompous attitude doesn't fall far from the "spiritual" tree!

    Funny how the tax returns of Sen. Clinton were such a big deal (smoke screen).

    Obama thought he could cruise on into the Oval Office with no vetting, and no transparency.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. Alicia Wallace

    This article is great but you fail to mention that is NO LONGER WRIGHT'S CONGREGATION..... he is not the pastor anymore and Mr. Obama is no longer sitting under Wright's teaching.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. David Sattanni

    Obama has completely mesmerized the American public with his repetitive speeches and catchy slogans.

    It's kind of like being able to hum that simple song you hear on the radio.

    But, simplicity is not what it takes to run this country.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Alex Walton

    Wow, The ignorance of this country never fails to amaze me. The man has been at the church for 20 years. Now maybe everyone is telling the truth, and Wright did indeed all of the sudden start preaching hate (and that is the only thing to call it) in the middle of an election year. BUT I DOUBT IT! This man agrees with everything Wright stands for or he wouldne have been there for 20 YEARS, he wouldn't have been MARRIED BY HIM, he wouldn't have let his children be BAPTIZED BY HIM. OBAMA IS A LIAR, plain and simple. He i clearly saying what he HAS TO SAY to have anychance of getting the nomination. you are all FOOLS if you think there is one bit of sincereity in this man. He will not get the Democratic nod, and he would CERTAINLY NOT beat McCain. WAKE UP AMERICA OBAMA HAS NO......HOPE

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. kimere

    It is wrong to mix politics with religion even though these have become unspoken bedfellows. Obama has fallen to the whims and caprices of the media but he has evidently done what could be to his best interest. Wrigth should have left the young man alone to pursue the inspiring and veritable political embarkment. He should have delved into this sought after lime light without riding on the back of the best hope America may have come across in a long time. In dancing to the tune of the press I hope the press will let this go away even though I know this may be some kind cof wishful thinking. Wright had his generation to ride on but instead he chose to activate discord in the unifying tendencies of the present. It is right that wright still dwells in the past and should go home and enjoy his retirement. Let the chickens go home to roost. Like he said God's plan will always come to fruition.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Judy

    Obama and Rev. Wright one in the same. Rev. Wright had it right, Obama is just a politician who will say anything to get elected.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Marlene

    I want to thank Obama for steping up once again to the plate and trying to show this country that is not about teaching hate, and to let go of the past, and to focus on a new future. I think Rev. Wright needs to let this go now and allow Obama to do what he is trying to do for this country and that to make a change. Now i want to say this, Rev. Wright was not place into the media, until Obama start running ahead in this campaign. The only other people that knew highly of Rev. Wright were the Clintons also. Its my own view, but i say this much, Hilary if you and your group are behind this, God dont like ugly.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Joyce

    First Obama throws his grandmother in front of the bus now his pastor. Wow, spoken like a true politician.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Mel in San Antonio

    Obama's claims of surprise at Rev. Wright's extreme opinions are just beyond belief. There is no way he learned this for the first time yesterday and that in 20 years he never heard these opinions from Rev. Wright. This is nothing new. Wright or others will respond and counter Obama's claims, likely with video and/or statements from others. Obama just gave them an opening to prove him a liar, whereas he could have simply said he doesn't support those views and genuinely explained his own views.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Rodger

    Why did it take Obama this long to see, what most of Americans saw in a few minutes of video tape? That should tell us something.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. EMH

    how could hillary be at fault for the rev wright and obama debacle? you truly think, 20 years ago, she orchestrated what church obama selected? then, all of these years, controlled him into maintaining the relationship with the paster, telling him where to be married, have his children christened, who to invite to and honor at his rallies – even AFTER he announced his candidacy and into the primaries? let's hold the involved parties responsible for decisions and choices they have made and stop blaming the competition for everything.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. Venus

    This is a test Obama! You did a great job Obama!

    Rev. Wright will make a come-back but you will have to shot him down!

    When people hear you and your values – Rev. Wright is way out of the ball park!

    I couldn't believe what I saw yesterday when I was watching Rev. Wright!!!

    I can understand some of the things Rev. Wright said – but his conduct was shocking and yes, we have some issues regarding race – but Rev. Wright is not willing to bring us closer together to get the ball rolling!

    OK. We shall continue on this march – every thing is OK.

    I know Hillary's and Mc Cain's supporters are licking their chops but – Rev. Wright is not going to stop us.

    Obama is going to be the next President.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Miguel Gomez

    Well, Rev. Wright said that you were being a politician before when you spoke regarding his las sermon, I guess that has changed now, you're talking now like a what ..??? ppplease ...... give me a break, I've got a 151 IQ. Put your mask on for those Obama fanatics that will never see you doing anything wrong even if you're caught red handed.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. Mike in Orlando

    Yeah, Rev. Wright was very disrespectful to Obama in his comments. It's only going to hurt him going forward. Obama has every right to be outraged.

    One thing about it though, I find it really funny that people are going after Obama over this still. The man hasn't been anything but honest with his constituents. Last I checked, the one candidate in this election that outright lied to the American people, was Clinton.

    But that's in the past.

    I hate this, I really hate the demonization of the two democratic candidates by the media, and by each other. Clinton and Obama are so much alike on the actual issues, the only thing really separating them are aesthetics. However, one will come out on top in the end, and whichever one that is will have my full support.

    Obama is my first choice.
    Clinton is my second.
    But with the way they've divided the party, most likely we'll have McCain in the Oval Office. Sad.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. NY Girl

    Even as Rev. Wright stated, "he's not running for President." Let's leave it at that and focus on winning the primaries.

    Go Barack!

    Obama '08

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Jim , Maine

    What a waste of our time. Get down to the real problems we have in this country .. The economy .. the war .. social security .. medicare ... healthcare etc. We don't have a religious crisis. What next ... somebody's doctor .. dentist .. school teacher .. shrink .. Get my vote by talking about the important things .. not this b.s.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. dagim

    People still care about issues not Pastor Wright's comment. Let's move on. This is a distraction from real issue.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. ADTX

    Too late. Obama is a liar. I can't believe you people fell for him. He & Wright have alot in common: Egomania!!! Go away. If you really love your country, Obama, you will step down. Enough of this nonsense. Make like a peacock & srut away. Now.

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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