April 30th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton calls Wright comments 'offensive and outrageous'

 Clinton sharply criticized Wright Wednesday.

Clinton sharply criticized Wright Wednesday.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she personally took offense to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's recent comments, the New York senator’s harshest assessment yet of Barack Obama's former minister.

"I think it’s offensive and outrageous. I’m going to express my opinion, others can express theirs," Clinton told Fox’s Bill O'Reilly. "It is part of just, you know, an atmosphere we’re in today.”

The comments appear to be a shift in Clinton’s tone on the matter. On Tuesday she criticized Republican presidential nominee John McCain for not doing enough to stop Republican ads running in North Carolina and Mississippi that feature Wright's comments.

"I regret the efforts by the Republicans to politicize this matter," Clinton said of the ad.

Speaking at the National Press Club Monday, Wright did not back down from some of his controversial remarks, including those that seemed to suggest the U.S. government might be responsible for the spread of AIDS among African-Americans, and his equation of U.S. wartime efforts with terrorism.

Wright also said Obama was acting like a politician in denouncing his controversial sermons.

Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Obama said he was outraged with Wright's latest comments.

"What particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing," Obama said, adding that Wright had shown "little regard for me" and seemed more concerned with "taking center stage."

Obama also said Wright's comments were not only "divisive and destructive," but they "end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (499 Responses)
  1. Jack

    CNN, you failed to mention that she was asked this question. She did not initiate it. She was asked a few times what she thought and then finally gave her personal views on it. By reading this it implies that Clinton brought the subject up. Let's try to be professional journalists and inform the readers that she was asked the question first!

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Frank Jones in OH

    "I must say that when Obama blasted Wright Tuesday afternoon, I suspected that the pastor would respond quickly with a counter-blast of his own. " – of course you would think/hope he would. The Rev is the best thing to happen to the media in a long time. You all want this in the news. Why devote time and money to his NAACP speech...why devote time to his press club event? So you all can have something to run with all day. I still do not understand how you can equate any of the Rev’s rhetoric back to the gentleman from IL? I have also had it with CNN and the rest of the MSM showing the gentleman from IL and the Rev in side-by-side shots as if they are squaring off in some sort of boxing match. The portrayal is bad journalism. We are losing troops daily and the MSM wants to continue covering this. Don't cover the man....don't put a mike in his face...don't hunt him down for a response. If the gentleman from IL does not respond to pertinent questions which show he does not have the ability to run this country, that's something you should report. Shove a mike in the face of superdelgates and ask them who they are casting their vote for…that’s something you should be chasing down.

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. donAnastase

    She will do anything to perpetuate the dynasty. I guest is gone. American people are not blind. Hillary, will you win 70 % in all remining states to catch up with Obama? If not, why are you willing to destroy our party??

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. johnny

    All you Obama supporters keep blaming Senator Clinton for Rev. Wright's comments. Personally, I believe Rev. Wright's comments about Senator Obama saying what he said because he is a politician is right on the mark. If Obama can walk away from someone he has had a very close relationship with for 20 years as he has said, what do you think he would do when trying to deal with a country giving the US problems? His inexperience and belief that he can change the world will only make it worse for America. So wake up and start thinking about what it could be like for the democrats if he runs a Hillary's VP–twelve or sixteen years of democrat leadership instead of four!!

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. R.T.

    Per today's CNN article, this whole thing is a fraud on Obama's part.

    Wright predicted such an outcome in an interview in The New York Times more than a year ago.

    "If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me," Wright told the newspaper in April 2007. "I said it to Barack personally, and he said, 'Yeah, that might have to happen.' "

    Don't fall for his feigned "outrage" America. He's just a politician saying whatever he needs to to get what he wants.

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. mike

    nader looking better and better every day

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Georgette, Imperial Beach, CA

    Another of the MANY reasons Obama will be our next president!

    Obama '08!

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Ellie

    OK, so why did you and Bill invite him to the White House again?

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. George from Minneapolis

    SOME of the things that Wright said were bad. Too bad that he had to say them because now no one remembers the good things he said especially at the NAACP event when he talked about education and the disparity in the education that whites receive compared to the mis-education that blacks receive.

    There are some VERY SERIOUS fundemental problems in this country as it relates to the lives of african americans, especially the poor. I hope that Obama can talk HONESTLY about these things without losing his white support.

    We will see. I am not too hopeful though.

    April 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Bella from Florida

    Indiana and North Carolina,
    The future of our country lies in your hands. You have all witnessed how divided our country is now because of all these controversies with Obama's pastor.Some people are willing to elect Obama as our next President and it's just now that we are getting to know who this man really is and what he stands for.If our country is so divided now then what is going to happen if he is elected.He denounced his pastor yesterday, but he should have done it months ago.It is also very strange that Rev. Wright has not lashed back at Obama because he disowned him yesterday.I think this was all set up.

    April 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Maria

    Wasn't Ms. Clinton just answering a question – how can she be blamed for the question – surely you are not suggesting she has sway over Bill O'Reily? Also, why can Mr. Obama call Rev. Wright's comments outrageous, but she can't and finally I find it laughable that Obama supporters want to blame Ms. Clinton for Rev. Wright's statements on Monday (saying that one of her supportere arranged the event) – anyone who watched the NAACP meeting Sunday night and Bill Moyer's interview on Friday knows that the statements (that Obama was just speaking as a politician in Philidelphia) and/or demeanor (mocking European worshipers, etc.) that were objectionable on Monday were at times in evidence in those forums. The nastiness, bitterness and lack of objectivity of Obama supporters makes me worry about the future of this nation!

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. karen

    I think it was outrageous that she put up with Bill. It was a very poor example for young women. She needs to keep her mouth shut as she has made some very, very bad judgements. Obama rejected Wright! End of story!!!!

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. TM

    You people with Obama blinders on your eyes had better realize that we can't "move on" as long as Obama has the smell of Rev. Wright all over him and the Rev. is "still in the building" and singing to Obama's warmed up audience. It's the Rev's show right now.

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Scott, Wichita

    so she criticized McCain (for requesting that those ads that he wasn't even involved with be pulled before they even ran) while saying the same things out loud to her opponent...

    Yeah, and people say Hillary is a good choice...
    I guess McCain is going to have an easier time this year than all the pundits predicted

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Mary

    The Reverand's comments were offensive. It is a shame that Obama did not distance himself from the pastor before he ran for President. The voters will not understand his judgment on this issue.

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Kareem from Hampton VA

    Umm did I miss something??!!! What did Hillary do wrong here? Im an Obama supporters and I think you guys need to cool it!! If anything she is helping to dissociate wright from the campaign altogether and he has been pushing for the ad to stop in NC! So you guys may need to give her some credit geez!! Supporting one doesnt mean you have to hate the other! Grow up a lil bit!

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. jessie

    Yet another example of a desperate candidate politizing something that is completely off-track from the real issues.

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Really I Mean Really

    Cheaters never win

    Obama 08

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Gabby

    Didn't Rev. Wright go to the white house and council Bill and Clinton when they were going through the Monica affair, well seems no one is remembering that little bit of Clinton's past. Did you at that time listen to what he had to say Hillary? Or did you dig into his beliefs then? Past keeps coming back LOL.

    Obama 08

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. Jon

    Everyone already knows Wright is a crazy man.

    Are we going to get commentary from McCain about this next?

    THIS is not news.

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. only the dummies

    Only the already enamored and enthralled Obama cult worshippers will buy the Obama answer to the Wright thriller story.

    This is just a staged love spat between Wright and Obama.

    It is designed to convince the gullible, the Obama IS different from his pastor. The public betrayal, then the just as public disavowal.

    But that raises a judgement issue. How could Obama miss for 20 years, what everyone else could see in just a few hours? That demonstrates a total lack of judgement. He missed his pastors true character and did not KNOW his politics? How can he deal with world leaders who actually TRY to deceive him?

    Or else... this IS just political posturing.

    Can't be both. Either way, Obama looks bad. REAL bad.

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Democratic 2008

    This shows how desperate Hillary Clinton is. Hillary , you are not running with wright .

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Dann

    I bet she does

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. TF, CO

    All Catholics please denounce your church for the rapes that occured by your priests. Obama is being held to a double standard. My mother is still Catholic as well as most of the D-Bags on Fox. As well as Lou Dobbs. When did they denounce the Pope and the Church?? And God has Damed America his tool of choice was George W. Bush.

    Get over it America

    April 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. mk

    This is SO typical of Hilary's argumentative and divisive character. Move on or it will paint you as racist Hilary!

    April 30, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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