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)

    Let this be a lesson to the black churches..........QUIT preaching hate!

    Let this be a lesson to the CHRISTIAN RIGHT....QUIT preaching hate!

    I was a christian for the first 26 years of my life until the christian right took over my church and drank the right wing kool-aid. I left and have never looked, never been happier; very liberating to be away from the brainwashing and manipulation.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Allison/PA

    Mr. Obama I am so proud of you. You let us know that you are your own person and no other human being can define you. You were created in the image of God and God is preparing you for the position of President of the United States.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Tony

    I am with you..and I will vote for you..

    certainly not /never for Hillary the Bosnia warrior

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. CJ

    Mr. Obama has flip-flopped on this subject so often, I have no idea where he stands or what he truly believes any more. Just last month he said he couldn't 'divorce' himself from Mr. Wright any more than he could his white racist grand mother. To all of you Obama maniacs: when are you going to wake up and smell the coffee? Mr. Obama hasn't been vetted yet and will go down in flames against the Republican attack machine. Hillary is our only chance. Note: I was an Edwards supporter and I still believe he would make the best President out of our current choices.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. gerald strother

    OBAMA IS NOT REV WRIGHT GO OBAMA,Thank you Mr. Obama am proud to be a supporter of you and I know that the only way this country can change is with you as President.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Craig

    Ok, now Obama can (please, please, please) get off the defensive, and Wright can get (please, please, please) out of the news cycle. Everybody just watch the wil.i.am video again, and Barack can both inspire and continue to give policy details, and we can get back on message.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Danielle, NY

    Today Obama had to do something very difficult...all but end a relationship that meant a lot to him at one point in his life.

    The reason why he does not seem as smooth as Hillary is because he has not been on the firing line as Hillary has:

    – He did not have to deal with Monica Lewinsky, or Jennifer Flowers or Paula...
    – He has not had to deal with controversial pardons
    – He has not had to deal with fund raising scandals

    The list goes on an on...

    So give the guy a break for trying to do the right thing, and for most of all being honest with the American people. He is careful with what he says because he does not have prepared stories like "landing under sniper fire," but rather he takes the time to analyze the question, answer honestly as well as carefully say what needs to be said without having it taken out of context.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Daniela Goia

    It saddens me to see what a fiasco this election is turning to be. Why can we not have more substance in today's reporting of the candidates?

    Do you think that you in the media help people to make up their mind on whom to vote with this frivalous commentary on Rev. Wright and other 'stuff' that doesn't help us see the real candidate? I suggest you give us some good honest reporting on the character of the candidate and interview them directly, if you want Americans to go out and vote. Otherwise, you turn us off....believe me, for the first time, I am inclined to not even cast my vote.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. matt

    OH YEAH.. and my mom is a guy

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. American Skeptic

    Obama has lied on record about what he heard in Wright's church – his interview with Keith Olbermann, in which he said he never heard Wright's outragous comments, is seriously at odds with what Obama wrote in his own book (named after one of Wright's sermons). It's a little late for Obama to express such outrage, especially since Wright isn't saying anything new, and especially after Obama told us all that he cannot "disown" Wright.

    Obama is, at best, an amoral opportunist.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Jessica, Michigan

    'Sen. Obama seemed VERY much on the DEFENSIVE over this…… he didn't handle it smoothly like Hillary would with a crisis "

    what, like how she handled the Penn/Columbian thing...rather than addressing it, she just laughs at the questions and brushes them off...THAT is handling things better?

    and why exactly is handling this compared to a crisis? seriously?

    pulls yer heads our yer azzes people. its getting stinky in this democratic party.

    Congrats – we have officially been divided. Who shall we think? The republicans for urging this spectacle to continue? Hillary for reminding her supporters on a daily basis how detrimental an Obama white house would be (without actually tell you people why...just trust her, she knows what she's talking about right? she'd never lie to you...right?)


    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Canuck

    I am an Obama supporter, and my only wish is that he would show a little more anger, frustration and would flex his muscles just a bit, just so I know he can and he will. He's a bit soft spoken at times and sometimes I want that coach on the sidelines who shows a little emotion.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Sam

    We need help. I used to have more respect for Obama. But I am losing it day by day.

    Just tell the truth Barack. you should have let Wright Go long ago. Your situation is now no better than Hillary and the sniper fire. You may be ahead, but If I could vote all over again, it would not be you.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. Bruce Clark

    This is exactly the response Barack Obama needs to make: his campaign is about bringing people together, binding wounds, looking directly into the heart and soul of American, facing problems, and going forward. He is the candidate of all Americans - white, black, yellow, brown, and any other color. I'm not sure Rev. Wright speaks for the African American Church or whether he represents a much smaller group of Americans who can't accept that this country, though far from perfect, has made progress in race relations and is now poised, in large part because of Mr. Obama's candidacy, to move toward true equality and slam the door on racism for good. It's sad that some peope are invested in preventing that step from being taken.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. AMG

    After 20 years of close friendship it is incredible that Obama did not know. As Rev Wright said, just old fashioned politics. Obama is not being truthful, 20 years !!!

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Ron

    What happened to the talk that he was like an uncle to you? can;t stand the heat now? or is it that you are tailing in the polls? why are you being such a hypocrite. Are you going to do the same thing when you are the president.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. April, MN

    I totally agree with Barack. His pastor threw him under the bus after Barack stood by his pastor earlier. I don't understand the reasons for this and think it's just old fashioned jealousy, but whatever. I'm still supporting Barack and maybe this pastor will go away–out of his life.

    I don't believe that Barack picked the church. It could have been Michelle. You know sometimes husbands just go to the church their wives go to...no matter. Barack is still the candidate of my choice and I will not judge him for someone else's words or thoughts.

    Wright threw away a great friend, and should be ashamed of himself.

    Hold your head high Barack, you did nothing wrong.


    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. norm

    If Hillary wins, I have 4298 signatures from Democrats in 3 states voting for McCain. Based on the last two elections do you think we dems can afford to lose the votes??

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Jane

    How is all this going to help me hang on to my house and fill my gas tank? Can we get real here?

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Laura


    We have witnessed a typical politician doing best what politicians do best. Say anything to get elected.

    Hey Obamacans, isn't this just what you claim Senator Clinton does say anything to get elected. Imagine that Obama and Clinton now have something in common in the eyes of Obama followers. So now why don't you wake up and vote for the most electable candidate...Hillary.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. michael

    He certainly handled this better than Hillary and her " i misspoke"

    If we can get past her lying, (who forgets the circumstances when their child is with them) then we can get past this.

    Its to bad he even had to address it, he is not Rev Wright.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. Go Obama

    As an African American female, I agree that yesterday's performance was a spectacle. The interview with Bill Moyers and the speech given at the NAACP gathering of 'different is not deficient' were fine. However, yesterday, it was all about him. He is a pastor and should have taken that opportunity to be a witness for Christ and instead he made it all about himself. It is sad because he had an opportunity to reach millions of viewers with the Gospel and instead it became a spectacle and an opportunity to be arrogant.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. AirLandSea

    I guess Barack has chosen political expedency over actual discussion.

    Now that he has divorced himself from Wright, is he divorcing himself from the Black Church - as some have claimed that an attack on Wright is an attack on the Black Church, well then Barack is not exactly sending flowers with these words. And we all know...words matter.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Anthony-Minneapolis

    Obama, remember what community won you South Carolina, Georgia,Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC and Delaware. That was the African-American community and saying you are outraged at his comments about AIDS. Tell that to the surviving members of the Tuskegee experience, tell that to the relatives of the people who saw the CIA introduce drugs into LA streets. You also took the position with regards to war with IRAQ as another one of those government lies which turned out to be true so please save us the Uncle Tom Negro speech.

    You want to have White America like you so much then let them help you win against Hillary in the remaining primaries, oops, I forgot the white people of Ohio and PA didn't do that because you are a African-American candidate and they are not ready to vote for that.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. David

    Oh so now Obama is "outraged"? Nothing more than political expediency because the polls are showing what a deficit he's becoming to the Democratic Party. This won't go away no matter how many speeches Obama does. He spent 20 years in that church and around that man..his pastor, spiritual advisor and he has proven that he truly lacks judgment to be the leader of the USA and the free world. Plus he arrogantly thumbs his nose at the "little" people who follow their religion for spiritual growth and not to get elected to high office.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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