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. Ilona Proud Canadian


    Why would he lie? for the very same reason that he is saying all of those terrible things about your country! I admire Sen. Obama for denouncing his remarks. I was also proud that Barack did not denounce Rev. Wright the man, but after Rev. Wright's last fiasco I would not be surprised if Barack does denounce him now. Barack heard and saw Rev. Wright's latest deranged speech on TV. I would not blame him if he completely severs all ties with this man, who it would seem lives a double life, and boy he definitely is enjoying all of the attention he (Wright) is garnering from the American people and the media!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. yen

    Rev Wright is nuts.What a loser. For a while I thought he was a spiritual leader.He is out there to promot hate and division and he is enjoying the lime light. Rev. Wright pls go away. We need to pray for you.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. zivo24

    And lastly,

    If we're going to hold people accountable for the company they keep...

    Let's remember that both Hillary and McCain have alot of friends who have said and done much worse things...some have spent time in prison for their deeds.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Rob

    I agree

    Now that this is over between him and Wright and its obvous that Obama doesn't hare this man's views...Can we PLEASE get off Rev Wright for god sake...

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. ladybmore

    Nobody in their right mind agrees with some of rev.wrights thoughts on hiv and 911 comments. The Media keeps rev. wright in the lime light not rev. wright. The man is going to say what he wants as long as he gets you attention and coverage. You need to be fair if you gave hagee who endorsed john mccain the same attention about what he said about katrina then let sleping dogs lye.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. right for us

    OBAMA O8!!!!!

    Okay, can we move on now, CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, & FOX

    We still do not have a resolution to these high gas prices, higher cost of food, education, health care, the environment & other life-long problems. Lets see more of these stories. Rev. Wright is not a presidential candidate.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Susan MO

    Wright very well might be telling us the truth. He has known Obama for a long time. This should say something.

    This may turn out to allow us to see the real Obama, and may turn many people against him.

    I wondered why Wright began talking this late, but maybe he knows he should let us know about Obama.

    As voters. we want to know the truth.

    A real concern.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. JJ

    The pastor turned this into a black church issue just like Obama did his twist of things when he turned his issues into a racial issue.

    The thing is that the pastor and Obama have the right to say, think and do what they want but it's different when your trying to win the American people who have a sense of judgement to determine what is what.

    Just like riding a roller-coaster, it's great to be right up front and go with the ride.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. atlien

    I guess the 5th ammendment doesnt apply in politics

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Paula

    Can't we all just move on....

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Scott L

    Wright for Hillary '08!

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. vivian

    I am amazed how this pastor can claim the "Black" church as his. Is there any other African-American pastor who can stand up for the rest of us (Blacks)? I do not share this pastor's idea that his views ARE all Blacks views. If that is the case, we better have the FBI inside these kind of church.
    Obama, do not play dumb now, you and your wife know what kind of rethoric this pastor has been using in HIS church.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. karen from va

    I thought Wright was his own person – funny and super intelligent. So what if he poked a little fun. I found it fascinating to watch the entire NAACP speech and then see how the media disects it and chooses to publish soundbites in order to promote a specific agenda. Don't trust the media.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Lourdes

    I love how he took this on head-on. He tried to take the high road and not throw the man 'under the bus' but neither Rev. Wright nor the media would allow it. I respect Obama more than ever for his willingness to find middle ground and not bend to the will of the media. He has handled this ON HIS OWN TERMS, and I applaud his poise and respectful manner in doing so. Honesty and strength of character, at his best.

    Go Obama!

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Obama08

    Wright is using this as an opportunity and a platform to do what he thinks is stand up for the black community. I think he's wanting to stay in the headlines and make the transition to an Al Sharpton-like figure. Obama is doing the right thing by distancing himself from this rhetoric. Throughout this "process", Obama has been steadfast and shown his leadership (and political) skills dealing with this controversy, which has undoubtedly hurt his campaign as well as the entire political process, primarily due to the media's fascination with Wright.

    I continue to stand by Obama and I continue to look at the issues and not the media circus.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. James of Long Beach

    No matter what you do, you will be haunted by these shady people, Wright, Bill Ayers, Rezco, Farrakahan, it will never stop. If I were you, you should drop out of the race now with your little dignity! While you're solving the Wright mess, HILLARY is out there, solving our country's problems: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. Obama: still giving speech on race! Ridiculous! How can your disillusioned supporters still support you???

    How can we elect you as a President if you cannot even control your pastor!!!! Being weak is not a good trait, we need a fighter, we need HILLARY!

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Evelyn

    My concern now is that Jeremiah has left a bad taste in the mouths of voters with his perception of black and the black church. Preachers and Politicians (Obama excluded) are the most hypocritcal group of people. Barrack's mother was probably wise to steer clear of organized religion. I am a black christian and I like to visit various churches. The ones I prefer are non-denominational, non-segregated churches. That is, after all, what heaven is going to look like. Jeremiah and the preachers who defended him disgrace their robes. They absolutely do not reflect the opinion of black christians. Black and white Obama supporters see in him the hope that we can all have a better future with his election to the presidency. For many blacks, he is the last hope that we will have a fair and impartial advocate for a just and equal society and will put our children, our schools, our health and our economy first.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. T.C.


    Now let's talk about Hillary wanting to obliterate Iran; her public support of NAFTA, undisclosed Clinton Foundation donor list; undisclosed list of earmarks; her electability problem in the GE if she does not make any inroads with Obama's base; her campaign debt and unpaid bills; oh yes, and the fact that she continues to take donations from the American public for her campaign when she has no statistical or legitimate path to the nomination!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Becky, Fairfax, VA

    The genuine spirit of Obama will get him thru this wretched campaign that Hillary is waging. Stay strong Barack – we need you!

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Rando

    It's sad, cause I think Obama would make a good President. Now the press is just going to feed us this junk until people believe it.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Lynne Kieper

    Don't these recent remarks just prove what The Rev. Wright said; Sen. Obama will do and say whatever is politically expedient. What more do we need to show that Barack is the arrogant, do-anything-to-be-elected politician many of us have thought him to be. With all of this controversy surrounding him, it's difficult to conclude that he would be able to withstand even closer scrutiny in the4 general election. Vote Hillary. At least with her, there's no more vetting or dirty laundry to air.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Jan

    Please CNN move on...It's hard to see Wright try to destroy Obama. Please cover his news conference and let it go... please. I'm not watching and only checking your web page because it's hard to hear all this negative stuff. I think Obama is a good man and I will support him to the end.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Ivette Quinones

    Mr. Obama is just another Judas, he is denying his spiritual leader, mentor,guide or what ever he IS for a couple of votes.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. zealous2001

    He's been attending this church for the better part of 16 years. Do you really think this is the first time he has heard remarks like this from his pastor? This is politics at it's best.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Jonathan

    Why is it only today, after comments made in Washington yesterday, that Obama is finally outraged at statements made by Rev. Wright. The two statements mentioned, 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, were made sometime ago not just yesterday. Where was the outrage from Obama when these comments initially surfaced!

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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