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. Silvia Salcido, Fresno, CA

    How politically convenient to now say.... after 20 years... that he is outraged!!!!! Give me a break!!!!!

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

    Dear Peter,

    You must be talking about Hillary, because Barack has not had a history of lying, but Hillary deserves a medal.


    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    if america elects mccain or hillary behind this, then we derserve exactly what we get....what idiots....

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Raul

    yeah all of a sudden he is pissed off , why ? he has been saying the same ole stuff at his church and obama has known it , now that the polls show that this stuff is really hurting him now he is outraged whatever , obama is a fraud and if anyone believes him are just pain well you know who you are

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Jan

    I don't understand how the media spin machine could dupe so many people. did anyone even listen to what Rev. Wright was saying
    ???!!!! I agree with everything he said and think he defended himself well, albeit at the wrong time. What do you expect. People are still bringing up the issue although it has been beaten into the ground, and if you poke and provoke for too long, people tend to go on the offensive. Unless Rev. Wright holds the key to fixing our current problems (failing economy, gas gouging, healthcare) then I don't want to hear about him. The news should report the news, and not gossip or spread scandal. If I wanted gossip, I'd call up my girlfriends and have a slumber party. America as a society really is dumb if we can't see past media spin and focus on the real issues. Hey guys, while you were slandering Rev. Wright, gas went up again. WAKE UP

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. DPZ

    Hillary has already proven she is desperate and is trailing in every
    aspect of the race anyone who thinks she will come back a kidding
    themselves its all in the numbers she is killing the whole democratic
    party all because of her personal goal of being like Bill Clinton
    I think she should drop out of the race.....

    Vote Obama 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Maybe Obama was sleeping in church all those years as Hillary suffered from "sleep deprivation" in explaing the sniper fire she was taking on....

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Bea

    Has anyone ever thought that maybe his attending Rev Wright's church has been a positive thing??!! Barack Obama has come out as wanting to CHANGE the country ~ maybe because of what Rev Wright has said. If Barack really felt what Rev Wright feels, then WHY WOULD HE BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT??? He could be sitting at home making big money as a big time Lawyer! He doesn't HAVE to run for President. He wanted to run so he change the views of people like Rev Wright.
    Now the media is saying "it took too long". My goodness...I guess you are "blanked" if you do and "blanked" if you don't.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Voice of Reason

    Obama is listening to Karl Rove. Obama is doing exactly what Karl Rove said he should do. Sad, really sad.

    Remember, until it became an issue, Rev. Wright was on his staff. When it became an issue . . . Obama dropped him like a bad habbit.

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Let's Go Obama

    This should be about the issues not who his pastor is. His stance over the past 20 years clearly shows he does not have the same opinions as the pastor. Let's remember is Obama running not Rev. Wright – just like it's Hillary running not bill.

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

    I paid $3.75 per gallon for gas this am to drive 25 miles to work.I would vote for Obama over Clinton no matter what.So just let them get on with the campaign.....

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

    Obama, GOOD JOB!!! Some people seem to forget that YOU ARE NOT REV. WRIGHT! Has Obama EVER said or done anything that suggest that his views are in line with Wright? No!!! This is a not an issue. It's simply an EXCUSE for those that needed any type of reason to explain why they don't want to vote for Obama, despite the fact that he is the BEST candidate!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. PAHLESE!

    Who said handle it smoothly like Hillary (cowboy jack)? Please, give me a BIG BREAK. He addresses every issue with honesty. Hillary lies and then is insincere when she has to fess up b/c she got caught– and let's talk about how pathetic the lie... SNIPER FIRE?! C'MON. What an insult - and I think that sort of reckless comment could hurt w/foreign relations.

    Regardless, everyone is connected to people that we may not be exactly proud of– this is America and allows us to live in a country with different views no matter how radical they are or who is opposed to them. This is America!!!


    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Justice

    It's about time the media ripped up Obama just as much as it has ripped up Clinton and McCain. Fair is fair.

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. Rayray

    I am more convinced now that this man, this American, this human is the right person to lead this country. Rev. Wright just represents that part of society that unfortunately has not evolved with the rest of us and quite frankly he needs catch up and go study the teachings of the bible again, Jesus does not divide he unites. I am black and I also served in the military and have been around all sorts of people and I can tell you first hand, yes we have problems but people like Rev. Wright make it hard for some people to move and evolve with the rest of us. Obama is a true representation of what America is today, like it or not we are all immigrants and we all want the same things but the only way to do this is to have a leader who is able to bring everyone together to the table to work for what we want.

    BTW….The only liar or the only candidate that “misspeaks” is Hillary Clinton….maybe she should go back to dodging bullets in Bosnia. As a U.S Army veteran I found this very offensive, especially when there are so many dying for this country; that is even worse than Bill lying about Monica.

    Obama 08/12

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Jay Gime

    I hope Reverend Wright returns for the rebound, holds another press conference, ushers in ACT II.

    This is all political theater is all. And Broadway needs a boost.

    "Liberation Theology?" Liberation Ideology. Or more aptly, Liberation Idolatry.

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Jen, Florida

    A little too late, Sen. Obama. You are trying to distance yourself from Wright NOW when you know it's hurting your run for the POTUS. Why is it that just NOW you are shocked by what Rev. Wright said yesterday? For 20 years you stayed in your church and listened to sermons just like what we heard and saw yesterday. You didn't leave then and you won't leave now.

    What you fail to understand is that the damage is already done – not just to your presidential run though. Your brain was manipulated and molded with 20 years of this stuff. You may fool some people but you aren't fooling the rest of us. Drop out of the race and go back to Chicago, will you? PLEASE!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Daniel UNUANE

    Please, Obama should be left alone, same with Hillary. These are great AMERICANS and good Presidential candidates. All these media hype on them is to no one's benefit. There are real issues to be addressed.

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Cissy

    I am amazed that there all so many small minded people who actually look for a reason NOT to see beyond the obvious. Mr. Obama is not responsible for the words that flow from the mouth of a fully grown man. Whether or not we agree with Rev. Wright's rhetoric-he has a right to say what he pleases; He and he alone is accountable and responsible for his own actions. It is very SAD when small minded thinkers, who were probably NOT going to vote for Mr. Obama anyway, look for an excuse to not be a part of CHANGE.

    Seek sound wisdom before judging–God bless Obama!!

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |

    What Rev Wirght has done and is doing to Obama is a tragedy. He has single handedly forced Obama who tried to take the high road to sever the ties that bind.

    What a sad day for our country when an honest Christian man can not be moral and upstanding without being lauded as being soft or not outspoken enough. I would prefer anyday to have someone of Obama's character and integirty in office as compared to Hillary or McCain.

    If Obama is not on the ticket in November them I will write him in. I believe the time for CHANGE is now. STAND for something or fall for anything.

    Obama 08!

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Natalie

    Good for you Obama, now we can move on with the issues.
    Obama 08

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. bob the blogger

    How many of you bloggers are paid by a presidential campaign?

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. sue

    Good for you Barack! You had my vote in the beginning and it's even more secure now. Being President is all about making tough choices. He doesn't speak for you and everyone needs to know that.

    Obama 08

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Pam

    Senator Obama, I was very impressed with the way you have dealt with this situation. I feel that you are being persecuted for something that you have absolutely no control over.
    I think that those people who will try to use this against you should re-think the strategy.
    If people are going to hold others accountable for someone elses mistakes, let's as Hillary and Bill about Peter Paul.

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Grezzo

    Its sadly ignorant, when we hold Obama squarely accountable for all the actions of his supporters/ endorsers. Time to cut a distinct line btwn the two- Wright and OBAMA... and Yes I will vote for Obama, or stay home if its Hilary!

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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