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. MD Houston

    To all those who think that this should not be an issue, let me explain to you why it is:

    There is little, if any, policy differences between Obama and Hillary.
    There is little, if any, differences between the experience of the two.
    There is little, if any, differences between the qualifications of the two.

    Hillary has A LOT of baggage, a shady past, a questionable character, and is generally thought of as unelectable in a general election.

    Obama also has, apparently, a lot of baggage which is just now beginning to come out.

    As the candidates (both relatively unqualified in my opinion) are so similar, character is the only defining distinction between the two.

    As Hillary has a lack of character, she will not want to see any question of character related to Obama just slip away. In this sense, she is correct. As the president, character matters perhaps more than anything else.

    So when you have two mediocre individuals without any real well-thought out solutions or proposals poised to become the democratic nominee, character (or lack thereof) is the only thing that you can fight over.

    In that sense, Wright, Rezko and the Weather Underground are as legitimate a topic as Whitewater, Cattle Futures, Islamic Doners, Paul vs. Clinton, TravelGate.

    Next election, perhaps we can find some candidates that offer style AND substance!

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Tee

    Hillary Clan need something to hold on to. Rev. Wright is not who you are and they know it. Hillary has made too many mistake with her campaign and surrounded herself withe the wrong advisors. If I had a choice between hillary being a blaten liar and obama(getting blamed for someone elses words) I choose Obama.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. judy


    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Mike from CT

    I dont blame Obama for what Rev.Wright comments.
    We can't make people stop talking.

    I'm still for Obama he will change the world for all of us.

    OBAMA still 2008

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Ted from Indiana

    She will NOT get my vote in Nov. I will vote for McCain. If we're going to destroy this country let's do it the right way, courtesy of the Media.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Guy

    I am 100% for Obama, I do not believe in characterizing a man with another man's words.

    Also, I'm not the biggest fan of Hillary, but I do know that a democrat needs to be in the Oval Office come next January. Obama will win, but in the very unlikely event that he doesn't, its important that if you supported Obama, a democrat, from the beginning, that you continue your support for the Democratic Party come November. It's important.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. EJ

    It's inspiring to see Obama stand up and directly confont these issues with complete honesty, something we never see from the Clinton Machine.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Adam - TX

    Now you're just outraged? Wow, nice try spinning this one. I think you shot another "air ball" on this whole debacle.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Al from NJ

    Senator Obama told Reverend Wright that he had to speak bad about him.
    He is acting like a politician.
    He is not distancing himself from this pastor and he is still defending his church.

    Reverend Wright said that Obama is a politician and had to say what he had to say.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Jan in Virginia

    Excuse me, is this the same man that said he could no more denounce his pastor then he could his grandmother? What's changed other than the fact that he's finally doing what he should have done 20 years ago – put now it's for purely political reasons.

    What a hypocrite! Makes you wonder about that wonderful speech he gave doesn't it....

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Christopher

    It's always amusing how pro-obama supporters say everything is Hillary's fault. She made Mr. Wright say what he did yesterday, and somehow managed to make Obama call a conference which then made all the media go to the conference to report on it.

    Obama had to reply to Mr. Wright.

    As Obama said, Mr. Wright basically said Obama agrees with me, and only distanced himself and said he dis-agrees because he's a politician that is running for the oval office.
    I don't see how Obama is different from anyone else, there is no hope with him, no change. He's just like the others but wants to take the Presidency with barely any idea how to do his current one.
    I'll either vote for Hillary or McCain. Both of them are at least honest in what they represent, and at the very least, they both have more experience.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Veronica

    you go Obama!!!
    You have my vote that's for sure...I voted for you in the NJ primaries and I will do it again in November....
    Let's move on..and make Obama our next presidente.

    yes we can!! yes we can!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Mark. D

    Ok now can we get back to whats really going on in the real world. Everyone knows Hillary and McBush are Liars but at least Obama tackles his problems. I am more concerned about losing my house and putting gas in my car than who is preaching on Sunday. Government focus on Government Church focus on Church!! I don't pay taxes to listen to my president lead me in my church life, i pay taxes for him to get things Done !!!!!!! Don't let these fools get us off track.

    Obama 08 !!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. Cindy, NYC

    Obama did the best he could under the circumstances, and the circumstances are good.

    “The person I saw yesterday is not the person I met 20 years ago.” Yeah, okay. As if you hadn't seen him in 20 years! The man who baptized your children and presided over your marriage. The man that you defended a few weeks ago by saying that the media was cultivating an incorrect image by pasting together select clippings. That you, Obama, sat through plenty more sermons that were not political and that you, Obama, knew the true Rev. Wright.

    Rev. Wright, by revealing his uncensored true self - not a fabrication of the media, has made Obama look like a fool. I am sure the Obama camp is incensed.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. PS

    Sen Obama has been harping about his superior judgement. It took him twenty years and a presidential election to realize that his judgement about Mr. Wrigt was not correct. It is purely for political reasons that now he is denouncing him. This is the same old politics and not the new politics he has been promising.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Sean

    Maybe this will make it clear that Wright doesn't represent Obama in any way. Obama is his own man and his own thinker, and to equate everything Wright says with Obama is simply wrong.

    Obama is, in my opinion, the finest Presidential contender we've had in many, many years.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Dylan

    Well said, Barack.

    Now if all the right-wingers and Hill Raisers could give it a rest, maybe we could start talking about actual imporant issue facing our nation and forget about this nonsense.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Jay

    Saint Hillary Clinton's supporters are happy about Rev Wright. Why not? They still have a voice because Obama has chosen not to go negative. With an unapproval number of 60 (SIXTY), shouldn't SAINT Hillary's supporters be worried about that?

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. A DEMOCRAT '08

    I can't believe people care so much about this. How will this lower gas prices? Can we PLEASE move on right now–Rev. Wright IS NOT Obama!! Barack put this to rest, so let's move on!

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. J. P.

    Isn't it strange that Obama becomes angered and outraged over Rev. Wright's preachings only after he sees the American people are starting to see him (Obama) for what he is. Wake up voters!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. Bob F

    Hillary, Billary

    She is a clone of the attack politics of the republicans and will pander to the same interest groups that run Washington today.

    Just like Bush with more IQ points

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Tomi from Boston

    The losers in all of this are those who let the media manipulate them so much as to tell them what to believe. I mean people with no mind of their own.

    I dont care if you are a Mcain, Hillary or Obama supporter, as long as you let MSM tell you how to see issues and what to make of them, then YOU are the biggest loser. It's as simple as that !!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. obama lover

    you hillary lovers
    she has a pastor who malested a 7 year old child and is now in prisom. when a man has to give his church and his life up, it is a insult to god. shame on all of you, shame on you

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Debbie M

    Not that he'll ever read this, but Senator Obama, THANK YOU! Thank you for fighting for yourself so you can go on to fight for us!

    And Cowboy Jack – you'll have to excuse Senator Obama. He's just not as slick as Hillary. Doesn't mean he's not a thoughtful, intelligent man with incredible judgment who'll be a great leader of this nation. Just means he's not a TYPICAL POLITICIAN.

    Obama '08

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Robert Bauer, Sonoma County, CA

    This minister has lost all sense of what he's been called by God to do. He has ignored the Lord's advice to "give unto Ceaser," (i.e., stay the hell out of politics). Filled with hubris, arrogance and self-absorbtion, he somehow can't bring himself to remain humble and subjugate himself to the Word, and to his mission. He now believes that he is more important than the message. He is nothing but a fool, and Obama should keep himself and his family as far away from this lunatic as he can.

    April 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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