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. Amanda

    Hopefully this means Sens. Obama and Clinton will start talking about some real issues – uninsured Americans, rising food costs, a looming recession and a war.

    As much as I support Obama, I will still vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination. I will NOT go 4 more years with a Republican in office. Come on, Democrats – isn't that the real goal?

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Rob

    Jay, i'm sure you've lied for dubious, face-saving if not sinister reasons. I believe Wright is lying. Who know's why he would lie. Why does anyone?

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Emma

    Watching the live coverage I could tell that Senator Obama is hurt and he probably never thought that his former pastor would turn on him. I believe this needed to be done and this just shows what a great leader he is. He could have thrown Rev. Wright under the bus many times, but he practiced his faith and gave Rev. Wright the benefit of the doubt.

    This needed to be done and I hope Senator Obama can now go back to dealing with the problems everyday Americans are facing.

    Obama '08

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Jeff (a Lutheran pastor)

    Pastors with huge egos sometimes do this – Wright is not the first – to lead a successful ministry and then go bonkers when the spotlight shines on them. Think of some of the right-wing evangelicals who have gone down in flames. The pastor I saw over the weekend, smirking, smart-mouthing – this has clearly become much more about HIM than about Jesus – which strips him of all credibility. Hopefully THAT will become clear, and people understand that this man's ranting have nothing to do with Obama. The more nuts Wright proves to be, the easier it will be for the electorate to make this distinction.

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. jayjay

    Let it go, Obama. I thought you want to focus on more important issues such as gas prices and housing crisis. We really do not want to listen to another one of your scripted and rehearsed speeches.

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. frustrated in PA

    It's getting very crowded under the Obama bus.

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Michael

    GREAT, if elected President Obama will be giving Press Conferences to air out his dirty laundry.

    Denounce?!? Like he didn't really know what Wright said for 20 years, COME ON, Wrihgt didn't flip. Obama knew he was like this and used him for political gain. This is what he gets for getting into bed with him.


    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. concerned

    I think the goodly Rev was 'trapped' into that situation. What a pity!!

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Kay

    Can we face the REAL issues facing America? Look at Saint Hillary's supporters jumping all over the place calling Obama names!!! LMHO!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. William

    It is awfull that a man has to defend the words of another! Now that Obama has distanced himself from Rev. Wright's words and to some part Rev. Wright's current actions. I hope that we can now get back to the business of this election.

    If the media continues to play Rev. Wright sound bites, and then make claims that Obama's words are untrue then this election isn't about the issues but more about the media trying to discredit a man based on someone elses words verses Obama's own words and actions.

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Gerry

    What can you saqy. He deals with problems head on. No excuses, no pandering, no ducking, no spin.

    He's going to be a phenomenal president

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Paul

    No president have a forgiving spirit as Obama. What Jesus do? Exactly what Obama did, we cann't just slammed people just because they are wrong but gracful let them God.

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Mike

    I also love the fact that once again Rev. Wright is coming to your rescue... he all but gave you a reason now to through him under the bus... this will give you a clean break...

    All of this is political posturing!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Debbie

    Congratulations to Obama for finally having the good sense to see Rev. Wright for what he is. Then again maybe it isn't as much good sense as political expediency. In any case, it's about time! However, I still won't be voting for Obama since I don't want another inexperienced novice in the White House as we have had for the past 8 years. Go, Hillary!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Fla Sam

    I am so glad to see Obama come out and finally say he strongly disagrees with Rev. Wright! I couldn’t believe how this guy threw Obama under the bus, especially when Obama went out of his way not to make Rev. Wright look bad. I hope America can get over this and move on. We need change and we need it now!

    Obama 08

    April 29, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. No More CLINTONS

    How sad for the entire church in Chicago. Rev. Wright threw Barack under the bus yesterday and I applaude Barack for standing up under obviously painful circumstances to distance himself from the divisive remarks of Rev. Wright.

    Barack will make a marvelous president!

    Thank you, and God bless you and your family.

    April 29, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Scott C

    He did what needed to be done.

    I don't defend the things that Wright has said, though I do agree many of them are true and aren't particularly divisive if said with different language.

    I did defend the relationship he had with Obama, you can't say a man is a bad pastor because of some bad opinions he has, I am sure he was a wonderful pastor, aside from the handful of comments he made over many many many years.

    Now he is trying to sell books, he is throwing Obama under the bus to get into the limelight.

    I don't believe THIS is the man Obama saw when he went to church.

    I accept the denunciation.

    Vote Obama 2008

    April 29, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. J Bates

    Well, Senator, you showed little regard for the Rev. when you threw him under the bus the first time, why should he show regard for you? This is too little too late and it is time for you to end this false campaign you have been leading. I for one, as a democrat, will not now or EVER vote for you. You have proved yourself to be the worse of politicians. If it does not go your way, you whine. If you say something DEMEANING ABOUT AVERAGE WORKING PEOPLE, that gets out to the public, you say you did not mean it that way. Now , a man that has been you minister for 20 years, you will denounce and throw to the wolves, because it is hurting your chances for the nomination. You have no LOYALTY to your race or this nation.
    Oh, and this comment will not get posted, because CNN is too far up your behind

    April 29, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Jeff Radun

    I hate to say it but now Mr Obama will have a problem with the African American community.
    This is a no win situation.

    He should have done this in PA, but now that Mr Wright said Obama distanced himself only for political reasons Obama will look as if he is now disowning him for political reasons.

    Many high ranking Black leaders who admire Mr Wright will turn against Mr Obama for denoucing him

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

    I hear the sound of a creaky bike backpedaling.

    Obama has flip-flopped here several times.

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

    do u guys really want in the oval office????? think about it he will have Wright there too advising him. Obama is a fraud

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

    Hillary was winning Pennyslavania by 20% but only won it by 10% when the election took place. Obama narrowed her win. Well look at North Carolina. Obama was winning by more than 20% in polls and now is only winning by 10%. So it looks like theres alot of confusion out there. People are driving to both of them in the last months of primaries. Its going to get messy!

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

    Day late, dollar short Mr Nobama.

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

    Good for you Senator Obama. You did what you had to do and I was voting for you then and am voting for you even more now. Once again you did a wonderful job in setting the record straight. Hopefully we can now move on to the real issues and forget this nonsense...although I have to say it will be very amusing to see Sean Hannity's righteous comments along with his sidekick Newt Gingrich (the model citizen) later tonight.

    Obama 08 – our next President of the United States of America

    April 29, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Maths Man

    Obama moveon your target is the White House and not the Pastor.

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