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. chris isner

    Smart move. Personally, I think this is a charade and a well-orchestrated one. Very smart politics.

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

    too convenient... too late... there are two very angry men involved here, our country needs someone who is more concerned about others... less focused on oneself – they are two peas in a pod.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. LISA

    The only reason why he is having this speach.....because every news organization last night told him he has too, right down to the point on speaking on each iss-and showning anger! PATHIC.....I truly hope the american people do not by into this....you can't sit in a church for 20yrs and expose your children to this hate and not know what this man is about.....POLITICAL PANADERING

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Brian

    Stacey Clarks,

    I would figure Obama would share the Rev's beliefs... at least most of them, considering he happened to be his spiritual leader for 15 some odd years. I know my Pastor and I have basically the same views.. otherwise he wouldn't be my Pastor!

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Mike

    Oh puh-leeeeeaaase.

    This was all staged. Wright went out of his way to bash Obama so that Obama could take a "tough stand" and finally disown him completely. They'll probably have dinner togther tonight.

    Obama supporters are being played. Good luck with that whole "change" thing.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Hamed Haeri

    Let us just relax and don't mix the issues. The country's future is at stake. Obama with his great ideas and aspiration should not be underminded and be destroyed by Reverand Wright's comments. Oabama wants the country to runaway from divisiveness and integrate into one for the good of the nation. That is what America should stand for now.

    Vote Obama08

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

    Rev. Wright has nothing to do with Obama. CNN, MSM, FOX etc. – stop the BS.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Bill

    I watched the press conference. Fantastic job by the man I hope will be our next president. In this country you are innocent until proven guilty. Sen Obama has not once spoke or in any way proposed legislation that could be considered in line with Rev Wrights's rants. On the contrary he has worked for years to improve the plight of all Americans regardless of race. Stick with the issues.

    April 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Jayne, Santa Barbara, California

    Too little and way too late. The Republicans will never let this go.

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

    Yes, he threw you under the bus, get rid of him. Too much work to do, lets get on with it.

    We are still with you all the way.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. LP

    Obama is a complete hypocrite. He used Trinity to advance his political career, and now he has deal with the fallout. We Hillary supporters have been trying to tell the Obamite cult for months that if he gets the nomination we are in for 4 years of McCain. Are you starting to see the big picture? Rev. Wright makes swiftboating look like nothing. Obama WILL NOT WIN against McCain. People of Indiana and North Carolina please use your vote to get Hillary the nomination–she can and WILL beat John McCain. Black voters please wake up! Don't back this guy just becuase he is half black! Does he really represent you??

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Neutral

    Obama you're a PATHOLOGICAL LIAR. Wright was correct, you would say ANYTHING to pander to anyone! You're OLD TIME POLITICIAN!


    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Will

    What does this have to do with the issue at hand. Growing up i was taught of seperatoin of church and state yet for the past 8 plus year its been church=state no seperation. I dont care about Minstor or pastor or spirital leader I care about issues at hand. How does Wright help gas prices?? The War??

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. dylan smith

    Obama gained early support and a lead in pledged delegates because many viewed him as new, fresh, a big change, honest, non-political, crossing racial lines, etc.
    At this point, he isn't viewed quite the same. He has been tarnished, if you will. He now looks just like any other politician.
    Obamanites want to blame Hillary for Rev. Wright, Bitter-gate, Rezko going on trial, his patriotism issue, his Muslim issue, and all of the other stuff that has come to the media's attention about Obama. I will say that not all of these things are true about Obama. But politics is rarely about honesty.
    My point is that they shouldn't blame Hillary. She is only doing early what Republicans plan on doing all the way to November. Better it all comes to light now, so we can clearly see if it has any lasting impact on his chances of being president. If it appears to be too damaging, superdelegates should choose Hillary. If it appears that nothing sticks, then superdelegates should go with Obama. All remaining superdelegates should decide after the last June primary.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. wd in calgary

    Very appropriate – at the very least, "responsible press" should be able to let it go.

    Question is... what time, this afternoon, will we have to endure Clinton belittleing Obama – pointlessly – again... with her dribbling off comments on how he did not come out hard-core and forceful against Wright. Clinton won't be happy until Obama calls for Wright's head and then... she'll say he's over-reacting. Can the press overcome the bait Hillary will lay out on this? Will Super-Dees overcome racial undertones in their own personal lives and vote logically and thoughtfully... or will it be less painful to play along with race and fear on the Clinton side of radical thought and political deviance?

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Michelle Harris

    Obama is not a liar. After having a relationship with someone over twenty years. You can think you know everything about the person's character, what is in their heart and mind. Until they are put under very extreme pressure like Pastor Wright. The true thoughts (true mindset) and what's in the heart is revealed.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Mel

    The whole response to this circus brings into question whether or not the country is actually ready for a President Obama. It had no business being brought up in the first place. But in the name of ratings, the media is trying to fan division, not promote reconciliation.

    We throw out the good that someone has done with what we don't like. Despite attending Wright's church for 16 yeas, Sen. Obama's legislative record does not support any suggestion that it reflects the views the have folk worried. But he has been forced to do the "political" thing.

    It certainly would have been better for Sen. Obama if Rev. Wright had swallowed his pride and his understandable desire to defend himself and stayed out of the spotlight for a while. But the senator is not the pastor. It is disturbing that we refuse to discern the difference.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. bili

    i hope rev wright is not being used by the clinton machine.he has caused enough problems,let him go away in the name of God.whatever way they try to potray you,God in mercy is knows you and will help you through whatever block they put in your way.we all are praying for you, sen obama remain focus and truth will defeat lies

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Indiana Ed

    Why weren't you outraged 10 years ago, Barack?

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. LISA

    I guess Rev. Wright’s rantings were OK so long as he insulted Jews, Whites, Politicians, Italians, and America in general. Now, he’s insulted Obma and finally, Rev. Wright’s words are disrespectful and dispicable. I guess the liberal rule is to distance yourself from a controversial person ONLY when that person personally attacks you

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Adam, FL

    No worries all. Obama's going to win anyway. Most people know you can't vote for someone you dont trust and Clinton is viewed as "honest and trustworthy" by just 39 percent of Americans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Aneesh Shrikhande

    Barack Obama is being used by Rev. Wright. While Obama took a little while to realize this fact, he has now. I still support him; he is the best hope for us among the three candidates.

    Message to Sen. Obama: you are known by the company you keep.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. marjan in spain

    You have my respect, Obama!

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Hooray for Hillary!!!

    First Obama didn't hear him, then he did, then Wright was his beloved uncle, now he's throwing him under the bus, just like typical White grandma

    Well, now I FINALLY figured out what Obama means by "change": it means changing his mind whenever he thinks it benefits him politically.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. hrp

    Obama should be outraged. This jerk is riding his coattails for his 15 minutes of fame. It's all about him and nothing to do w/Obama. Wright is loving all this attention and the media needs to STOP feeding his fire. He's a lunatic and should be committed.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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