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. preview

    Preview of the new presidency:

    There are so many problems facing Americans and all Obama wants to do is play the race card, create racial division and then speechify on it.

    Is this a preview of the Obama white house?

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Jennie Laurie

    But Obama said Wright was like an old uncle, that he couldn't disinherit any more than he could disinherit his grandmother! Even if Obama becomes the Democratic candidate, in November Swift-boat-type groups will play these remarks until there is no chance of Obama winning the general election. Who benefits? McCain does.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. tboi

    Great job Obama!
    The media will never be satisfied. Don't address this again! MOVE ON! Preach your message to the people. I am with YOU!!

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Ali

    I am incredibly annoyed with the media for making this issue such a big deal when it is not and to make Rev. Wright important when he isn't in the election. The Hillarites as usual keep contradicting themselves, first they want Obama to break with Wright and now that he has they say it is just for political reasons. I think that you should look at your candidate and all lying and cheating that she has done and will keep doing in the future.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. KiloWhiskey

    Everyone in a political office is, by necessity, in close contact with hundreds, if not thousands of people. To equal a man with each and every one of these contacts is absurd. Wright has clearly found himself a national podium now with the media – and he's going to take quick advantage of that. To equal him with Obama is wrong.

    However these politicians should be held to accountability for their own words. Mrs. Clinton seems to have a great difficulty with her memory – not a good trait for a president.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. sb

    TOO LATE!!!!!!

    WRIGHT WILL BE IN EVERY AD UNTIL NOV ELECTION!!!!!!

    UP AND DOWN DEMOCRATIC TICKET IS IN TROUBLE–

    YOU ADD "GOD DAMMED AMERICAN" AND OBAMA STATEMENT CLINGING TO GUNS AND RELIGION THE DEMS ARE IN BIG TROUBLE

    BY THE WAY, OBAMA HAVED CLINGED TO WRIGHT FOR 2O YEARS AND NO PRESS CONFERENCE CAN FIX THIS!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. John

    Obama needs to bow out of the race now, he can't win

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. A Canadian bystander

    Is anyone asking who, if anyone, encouraged Rev. Wright in this play for the national stage ...... the timing seems so co-incidental, Hilary.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Jessie

    I thought Obama handle the subject matter with dignity and an admirable composure. Had it been Hillary, McCain, or Bush, the situation would have been handled with the all to familiar underhandedness we see so much in our Political agendas today which is a direct and current result of our Countries demise. You have my vote Barack! Wake up America.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. supermn3

    Sometimes one brillance can be borderline insanity. He, Rev Wright is just looking for a big paycheck. Obama lets get the job done. I will always be in your corner. A proud (African American) American.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. White Independent

    This is quite possibly the dumbest thing I've ever seen a politician have to defend. What a preacher says at church? Not anything he has said or done, but what people do that he happens to know. Hillary is personally involved in crooked land deals, insider trading, illegal campaign contributions, firing of white house travel agency, and a ridiculous health care plan but we want to talk about what some preacher has said in a sermon. The stupidity of the media and the American people never cease to amaze me.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Louis Jacinto

    Vote for Obama? The last time I did anything trendy was in 1975!

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Still Shaking Head

    Good. You should be outraged.

    Now, about the judgment that you tout so often... where was it during the 20 years you sat in that man's pulpit?

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Mado in Canada

    I found Rev. Wright very entertaining, a little like Gerry Lewis or Robin Williams on steroids actually! However, he has done some temporary damage to Obama's campaign, but, anyone who takes him seriously should have a reality check. He is an egomaniac and finally has had his 15 mins. of fame. Obama will go on to 4 or 8 years as President and I look forward to better things for the USA. If Wright lied about certain things, he should plan a trip to Bosnia with Hillary, I think he would fit right in with Hill and Bill, the best liars ever!!

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. WOLF

    I think Mr. Obama did what he had to do. All this Reverand did over last couple of days is drag us through the muck of the past. Mr. Obama is the future.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Lake side

    Obama still has a much better chance of winning than Hillary.

    Despite all of this, Obama is still more popular than Hillary is.

    Hillary's latest negative rating is 54 percent- that's right, a majority of Americans don't like her. And 60 percent of Americans know she is a liar.

    All of this, along with her writing off of black voters, will doom her in November.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Wake up People!!

    Obama in 2008! The media needs to focus on the issues and NOT tabloid sensationalism.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Jordan

    Obama needs to be held accountable for his actions and the fact of the matter is that he has been listening to a preacher that has preached hatred against whites for 16 years. Obama must have known that the church he began to attend in 1992 had a mission statement that emphasized black liberation theology and that his minister supported black liberation theology. If Hillary Clinton listened to a white supremacist for 16 years would that be acceptable for the future president of the United States? No. So, i believe that Obama must be held accountable for this and that we need to question whether he can win for the Democratic party based on his actions and character.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. pat

    it takes 20 years for him to denounce him, bs. don,t be stupid america this man will do anything to be president. no one knows what the truth an what not but i no it wouldn,t take me 20 years to find another church.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Anna

    Wright is definitely a Clinton operative. The prayer dinner for her husband who fell from grace. The Clinton supporter that arranged the press club speech. That tells you a lot about Clintons abiilty to do anything to win.
    Obama is terrific, his message of unity shines through.
    And he is right on on the gas tax relief. If we want to save 25 bucks we can drive a little less. The gas tax is trying to keep money in the oil companies pockets by making us feel safe and comfy. Big gov will take care of us, throw some a few dollars our way so we will have to pay more in the future.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. jan.

    Hey Barack – I'm outraged too but at you for sitting in Wrights church along with your family listening to this man rant and rave. You'll have a hard time convincing me you never heard this kind of hate sermon and if you were not intelligent enough to sense (after 20 years) the message being sent forth – then we certainly don't need you running this country.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Rae

    Obama is just denouncing Wright because he finally sees the damage that the Rev. is doing. Again, just another politition!! Just cannot believe him!! He will say whatever he needs to say to get elected. Too late!! Clinton in 2008!!

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Slickiii

    It's moot anyway. Why haven't the Democratic Nominees and the Democratic party figured out that Republicans are selecting their nominee by "crossing over" in primaries and voting for Hillary. They see her as easily beatable against McCain in November. And rightfully so!

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. Joel goldman

    Seems like interesting timing indeed. If this isn't political posturing, then I'm not sure what is!

    Is Obama actually listening to Karl Rove's suggestions?

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Joe Rogers

    We should all just move to Canada where things are normal.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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