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. Krisy

    There are so many issues besides Rev. Wright. Let's focus on the issues. This is the second time Obama has had to come out and address Rev. Wright for a whole press conference. Let's move forward.

    REVEREND WRIGHT does not equal BARACK OBAMA!! OBAMA is running for president not rev wright.

    Please media, focus on the issues not, not this bs. Obama still has my vote.

    OBAMA '08!

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

    We are still with you Obama! We know how much of a person it takes to face things head on..you are the only candidate who has done that consistently. That shows that you are a good person with a good heart. I have been with you from the beginning and will be with you until the end...like many others! You just hang in there. The media will twist and turn this but you, as the truth, will prevail!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Ben

    Of course Obama needs to distance himself from Wright: everything Wright said was 100% true, and no politician can be around the truth THAT much. It's like poison.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Joseph

    Good on ya, O man!

    Your integrity continues to shine, and we are praying for you. Keep the faith.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. NPonder

    Is it crazy to think that a busy politician would not be in the congregation many Sunday's and not there on the specific Sunday's in question?

    I think that it is a true shame that Obama has to answer questions about this because Obama and Wright are not one in the same. Why aren't we talking about all of Hillary's transgessions? Why arent we talking about McCain & Hagee or the fact that McCain called Fallwell and Robertson as "agents of intollerance" in 2000, but now accepts their support and doesnt have a negative word for them?

    I cannot help but think that the fact that Obama is black has something to do with it (and I am a white guy who trys his best to avoid the race card).

    CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, and ABC are certainly helping perpetuate this myth and are helping making this a longer campaign. Look at the coverage and ratings they get from this race and imagine if it was just McCain and Obama... not quite as exciting!

    The media loves this and they are trying to drag it out as long as they can.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Pam Huber


    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Jon, FLorida

    This is the speach he should of made back when the Wright scandal came out, instead of the flowery overplaigarized MLKish race speach he made. A little too late for me to believe what he says about his preacher anymore. hell do or say anything to win.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. zorba

    As a psychotheraist, I have often seen older men who are entering retirement do this: They realize they are losing power and prestige and will do anything to remain front and center. It's sad and pathetic. And I have noticed that there are a LOT of narcissistic pastors out there. That may even be a prerequisite for the job of being God's emissary. The thing I love about Obama is that he was loyal to Wright until the reverend showed that he has blown a mental gasket. The more I see Obama under pressure, the more I respect him and the more I see that he truly has the temperament to lead our beloved nation.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. sara

    Rev Wright has his own agenda. He doesn't care whether this helps or hurts Obama. Obama just continue to stay strong and keep the message for "CHANGE" in this country. All the Obama haters need to wake up and see that Clinton is just a fake.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. ladymary

    The only reason I would vote for Hillary is to get her out of NY, but on reflection, I cannot inflict her on my beloved country. I will vote for Obama or McCain and if the rest of you have any brains to think with you will do the same.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. johnny

    I was impressed with Obama's response, even though I did not vote for him. I wish he would have gone even further by stating that part of the "divisive politics of the past" are people like Wright and Farakhan who delight in racial conflict. In Philadelphia, Obama's speech served more to contextualize Wright's statements. I wish Obama would have used this platform today to say unequivocally that the time of leaders like Wright and Farakhan is OVER. Still, I think he showed tremendous character today and will think about giving him my support.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Kev

    Glad to see him do this. I imagine it's got to be hard. Sort of like when Hillary had to distance herself from Ferraro.

    I watched that conference, and I was pretty taken aback. He seemed pretty smug and hostile.

    At least Obama's making a clean break. I wonder if McCain will do the same about his endorsement from Hagee (who referred to the Pope as the ant-Christ and said the New Orleans was asking for Katrina due a gay pride rally). He certainly didn't seem to on Stephanoplous last week.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Paul

    Thats right Obama, place your "Uncle" right next to your typical white Grandmother under the bus. NOW WHO IS THE ONE THAT WILL SAY AND DO ANYTHING TO WIN!

    HILLARY 08

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Carl, San Luis Obispo

    It's unpleasant to have Rev. Wright filling bandwidth and airwaves with his rhetoric. Obama has gracefully handled this by distancing himself, only to have Rev. Wright make a public spectacle and insinuate Obama is really in synch and lock step with Wright (wink wink). Obama has clarified he doesn't share Wright's views nor does Wright share Obama's views. Nothing more. No hidden messages. Frankly, given the dismal economy, high fuel prices climbing without an end in sight, high food prices, unemployment, under-employed (jobs that pay less than they had), record foreclosures, homelessness, American infrastructure decay and disrepair, bridges collapsing, not to mention the "wars" does Rev. Wright and his crackpot, inflammatory limelight hogging ego worth studying. Let's try to maintain our focus on the issues and not the peripheral big mouths who really are not making a positive contribution.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Independent

    Look Out....Rev Wright is firing torpedoes! OOOOPS they are circling back toward Obama's ship! There goes the powder magazine!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. jack stanley

    Too late, Mr. Obama! You didn't notice this for 20 years? Please go take a walk.

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Van

    At 3AM Obama will make the RIGHT decision. Hill will still be looking for Slick Willy

    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Bill


    April 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. JAM

    I'm glad that he is putting this non issue matter to rest. I think that only God knows what the out come will be, and if God has his hand in this election Senator Obama doesn't have ANYTHING to worry about. Because the bible states that ALL THINGS WORK together for the good of those who love HIM and are called according to HIS purpose. Romans 8:28. That took a lot of heart to stand before one of God's chosen servants and say what he said. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do and I know that God's knows Obama's heart. He doesn't look at the outward appearance God looks at the inside which is the HEART!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. msco

    Anyone who has a brain of their own should easily see the Rev is just doing this for his own agenda and attention. Let it die, it's silly people are still even listening to him.

    April 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Keith

    Wright is an operative for the Clintons and you folks are falling for the BS. Look at the timing of this people. Don't let these distractions take you away from the true issues like WHY is GAS so DARN HIGH!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Steve

    Bravo, it is time to take this guy on, and next stop Hillary. Gosh, I am happy to hear this, really happy.

    April 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Josh

    Too Little Too Late.

    It's about time you finally tell Americans that this man is insane. YOU screwed it up when you danced around his comments and called them "controversial". The correct word in this instance would have been "wrong". Unless of course you actually believe his, which you might.

    Either way, we need a candidate we can trust to solve the problems and compete with Republicans this November, not a candidate that we spend all summer sweating it out wondering when your next shady relationship will blow up in our face and pave for the way for John McCain to take the White House.

    Shame on you Barack. Get out of this election, and stop dragging the good name of the Democratic party through the mud.

    Hillary 2008. The only candidate I trust.

    April 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Obama?

    Why Obama today sounded like...

    Wha..a..t...t I....I ammm try...try...trying to say.... to say is...

    April 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Allan

    Thanks, Barack. I agree with you that the time has come to move beyond past sins toward reconciliation.

    You're proving yourself every day, keep it up!

    April 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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