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. nicole

    I am so pleased that Barack took this stand with Rev Wright.I was one who loved the fact that Barack didn't toss him in his speech in Philly. But after the spectacle yesterday at that so called press conference Barack had no choice. Rev. Wright didn't care about Barack's feelings so it is time that Barack shows America that he is what he says. An upstanding American.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Kathie Williams

    Not this time!

    Every time someone tries undermine Barack Obama I go and donate money to his campaign.....Please America we cannot lose the best chance we have to stop the same old politics....which have nothing to do with us....We The People!

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

    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if a search of Rev Wright turned up pockets lined with big oil's money. Theism is nothing but a con and Wright is simply kicking it up a notch doing the dirty work for the real powers that be in Washington.

    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. nora, golden co

    Good, Obama! Make it clear! It is your right to talk, do not let others talk for yourself!

    Hillary is FULL of nasty baggage, the Republicans are focusing on Obama because they feel he will be the nominee. And they feel it right!!!

    Just wait! If Hillary is the nominee, SHE WILL BE TORN in small pieces because she has a waaay larger baggage than Obama!

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

    Obama stated He and Rev Wright were like family, in a recent interview. So somehow he has suddenly seen the light, and come to his senses? I think Obama has is finally showing his true colors as a politician who will say anything or do anything to get elected. Even allienate a family member. So I dont beleive a word he says. This man helped him with his books, this man is! not was, his spiritual leader. I am sure he has taken Rev Wright into his confidence. Last night every single news broad caster and anyalist stated ,he had to totally speak out against Wright in order to save grace. This is all for show people. All for show! If he wins or loses this election, Rev Wright is a part of who Obama is.

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

    Whether or not he sides or doesn't side with his former pastor, the potential future first lady is "for the first time, proud to be an American". My word! I'll never get over that one. How can we have a first lady like that!!?? Obama is a wordsmith. He's good with words and getting people to follow, but once in the office, you'll see him fumble.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Annette

    This is crazy. Hillary has more baggage than Barack and NO ONE is talking about it.... how can anyone think this is a judgement issue on Obama's part and not question Hillary's judgement on SO many things (staying w/ Bill is one that comes to mind)
    Really... CNN and everyone else should just DROP this. It has NOTHING to do with the election for PRESIDENT. Focus on the issues! This is silliness.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. 60 years old White Lady

    Medias, Clinton will do every thing to take the nomination from Obama... This is not fair and not right... He deserves the nomination. .. Obama is not Wright... Wright has the right to free speech... Why blame Obama for wright's word? Does Hillary is blamed for bill mistakes? Its very sad for this great country ...

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. James T

    Maybe people are right. You cannot judge one man by another's comments. Unless, of course, that man is your spiritual adviser. Perhaps Obama does not agree with Wright. Yet, after 20 years of being taught by him, consoled by him, helped by him and indoctrinated in that man's church and beliefs, can we honestly say that some of that did not rub off on Obama? If only a little did, would that be too much? I think it probably is.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Joe

    Obama is TOAST!!!!
    He went on Fox News (a.k.a Republican Network) and told them "Wright is a legitimate political issue"... and now it will come back to bite him in the tush!
    He will still get the nomination (lucky that he still has a good lead in the delegates count), but in the General Election, he will have nowhere to hide from this... He gave the Republicans the Green Light, and they already started taking advantage!
    Bye Bye Democrats '08!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. shelly

    I am very proud of Senator Obama, I feel he has handled this distraction very well and continues to bring the focus back to the plite of the american people. Obama'08

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Mandi from Maine

    I think it is important for Obama to take this stand, but I think it is also important for him to do it in a way that does not allow this to become a dispute. There are so many distractions from the issues that it is hard to believe that anyone is interested in solving them. I believe in Barack Obama and I have had enough of the attacks. The attacks against him are deeply rooted in racism and fear and are used as a political tool to achieve an agenda by the media. It's sick, really.

    We must demand fair coverage from the media, including CNN.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Robert

    I suspect that short of pouring lighter fluid on himself, applying a match and going up in flames, Obama can never satisfy his critics. If he says nothing they jump on his silence; if he speaks out, it is political pandering or just not enough. It is really sad that this, not his ideas for the economy or for dealing with the occupation of Iraq or a thousand other matters of great importance, is what matters. We are one of the greatest nations on the planets, and this is the best we can do? Tear the guy into pieces because of his pastor? God help us.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. west guy

    Vote to see which is worse:

    A) Poor choice in pastor
    B) voting to authorize a war that has cost the lives of 4,000 americans, billions of dollars spent, AND lying about running under sniper fire.

    I'll vote A

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Carmel

    OBAMA is not Rev. Wright. Are you the same person as your spouse? We can be living under the same rough but each of us has different views and opinion.
    Leave the man alone. This is one GOOD thing that will happened here in America.

    OBAMA 08 all the wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. gail ks

    go Obama go, keep your eye on the prize, to make america better OBAMA 08

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Black Male Dem

    I'm an Obama supporter, but Rev. Wright is making him look bad, even in my eyes. I have not heard his remarks, but hopefully his tone of voice reflects his outrage. If not, his comments will not be believable.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Steve in CA

    Have some common sense! Wright said nothing new yesterday. He repeated the same "sound bites" that Obama said we're previously "strung together." He said the same things that Obama said were "taken out of context." The only reason Obama objects NOW is because he has dropped 8 pts in the polls.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. OR Matt

    It saddens that me that Obama is TRYING to handle this like a gentlemen, and only a few people buy his sincerity. People would rather descredit him for being "liberal" or be outright cynical and claim he's not fighting dirty/tactifully enough.

    I think it's outright pathetic America.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. WF

    Grace under fire. That is a quality I want in a president. Clear, concise, intelligent, heartfelt. Anyone who has read his books and researched who the man is knows he is not the liar some of you would like to believe.

    America, if you let Obama's chance be destroyed by this ridiculous controversy, you are doing a huge disservice to your children and grandchildren.

    Obama 08

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Michelle in SF

    I'm not an Obama supporter, but I do believe that Obama is sincere.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. George

    Be "outraged" is more political posturing. I mean why now is he so against these comments? because it's going to cost him votes.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Marcia

    I don't care if Obama denounces Rev. Wright or tells the world that he doesn't believe what Rev. Wright believes. It doesn't matter! The point is this......where was his judgment for the past 20 years as he sat in the pews of Wright's church and somehow "NEVER NOTICED" the hateful speech and sermons of this divisive , radical black pastor?

    And why was it that a year ago, even Rev. Wright said to the media that if Obama ran for President they would have to distance themselves from each other, and Obama agreed with his comments?
    Yet, a year later he is only now denouncing the pastor after all the current damage the pastor is doing to him? It is just so darned hypocritical I cannot believe it. I would never vote for a man who has as little judgement as Obama.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. Carrie

    How many of us actually KNOW our pastors? Why does everyone blame Obama for the words of his pastor? I think you can be a member of a church and not agree with everything that is said. Show me the tape of Obama sitting in the crowd during the sermons in question clapping and agreeing with the pastor and then I'd question his sincerity about bringing this country together. Until then, he's got my vote.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Marcus

    Obama took so long to divorce himself from his Reverend because he used the Trinity Church in Chicago to get elected to State Senate. Without Rev. Wright Obama would not be where he is today.

    It is sad that Obama did not express sympathy for what is clearly a man on the verge of senility. A man he called uncle who is clearly not well. What a shameful day for Obama.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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