July 13th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama not worried he's too preachy

Barack Obama says he does not worry about coming off as too preachy in his speeches.

Barack Obama says he does not worry about coming off as too preachy in his speeches.

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) – Barack Obama says he hasn’t spoken to Rev. Jesse Jackson since the pastor was caught by an open mic saying that Obama is “talking down to black people,” and using a vulgar expression to vent his feelings about the candidate.

“I had spoken to him before, a few days before,” Obama told a gaggle of reporters aboard his campaign plane, “and we had actually discussed some of the concerns he had raised about my fatherhood speech.”

Obama spoke at an African-American church on Father’s Day and took black absentee fathers to task for shirking their responsibilities.

“I told [Jackson] that I absolutely believe that we have structural inequalities in this country that have to be dealt with,” said Obama. “We also have to recognize that there is a particular problem when more than a half of African-American children are growing up without a father in the house and often times not even knowing their father.”

“That is a problem and I won’t back up one bit in asserting that that’s a problem that we have to be honest about,” he added.

Asked how Jackson replied, Obama told CNN, “I think it would be hard for him to disagree with that since many of the things I have said are the things that he has said in the past.”

When a reporter remarked that bad fathering isn’t something that can be fixed by a federal policy, Obama responded that his June speech sparked a conversation and has given him “something of a bully pulpit.”

“I do think part of the role of president is to offer his or her opinions about critical issues, not all of which can be solved by government, but make a big difference in the quality of our society. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to solve these problems overnight, but I’d like to think that if a president says that something’s important, that some people might pay some attention.”

But does he worry about coming off as too preachy?


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (538 Responses)
  1. terry,va

    I KNEW the Rev. Jackson dust up was staged. What a way for BHO to sat that he was "white" and that parents should take responsibility for their children. Keep trying to go right; it won't work. Wolves in sheep's clothings are still wolves!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Truth Hurts

    Why would someone want to vote for McCain? PUMA is an example of the Clintons doing anything to win. The Clintons created a secret group to destroy their own party.

    Why wont Clinton just run as an independent, so her supportors can vote for what they beleive in?

    If she couldn't beat Obama, and she got help from the republicans, how would she beat McCain in 4 years.

    Vote your heart not your race. This country can't afford 4 years of the same.

    July 13, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. California Girl

    Nicole: Obama is running for President, he is not President yet!

    As a Hillary supporter, I am voting for Obama. Obama needs to stay clear from the likes of Bernie Mac in order to win the women vote. Bernie Mac is so old school, he needs to take a reality check, this is the 21st century.

    July 13, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Obamacan

    This year I am not going to vote for the republican party. I am voting for Barack Obama. And I urge all level headed republicans to look to the issues and vote OBAMA '08 to teach the GOP a lesson.


    July 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Chico

    Barak is arrogant. He is also not in the mold of a Jesse Jackson or
    Andrew Young and other Black leaders that championed the civil rights movement. He is not an American Black. He does not share their experience nor their struggles. He is what he is, a Muslim
    converted to Christianity for political convenience, He is the product of a left wing Democratic group, centered in Chicago. All you have to do is connect the dots.........Wright, Rezko, Ayers, Dorn,... and it will lead you to his ideology. BLT, an ideology that is antithesis to the American ideals of Freedom for all people regardless of race or ethnicity.

    July 13, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Hispanic For McCain

    This is Crazy!!!! the rookie OBAMA thinks he is God gifted to ALL of the AMERICAN People HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLNOOOOOOOOOOO I don't think so. Listen everyone to all of the MORONS Hispanic People are going to McCain count on that!!!!!! They already SMELL a Rat!!! he is not for the Latinos People. Latinos wake up!!!!! el no es para los Hispanos!!!!

    Hispanic for McCain!!!!

    July 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Hillary sucks

    I love how the poor fans of HRC continue to say BO stole the nomination. Get over yourselves. She lost more than fairly. She mismanaged her cash and was outdone by a more intelligent politician. She never had a chance. And by all means be upset and vote for grandpops. 18 million in the scope of things is not a lot. He will reign supreme. At least he's economically savy and won't run us into more debt. Unlike........

    the future is coming!

    July 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. terry,va

    I KNEW the Rev. Jackson dust up was staged. What a way for BHO to say that he was "white" and that parents should take responsibility for their children. Keep trying to go right; it won't work. Wolves in sheep's clothings are still wolves!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Marc PDX

    "Hard for Jesse to disagree with me"... well, that should torque off old Jesse Jackson. Partly because Obama is actually right. But only because he has built up a Messianic cult following and Jesse can hardly afford to attack that at this point. But is Jesse suddenly in love with Obama like the Barakiddies are? Doubtful... Will Jesse remember this when Obama is no longer perceived as infallible? You can bet on that!

    July 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. tony, Miami

    Senator Obama you were right on the subject. A lot of fathers don't take their responsibility it's true but it is not only the men, a lot of women manage to get 3 to 4 children with different fathers just to collect a lot of food stamps and other benefices. I can tell you it's sometimes frustrating to see them with 2 cards fool of food, living in section 8 in big houses for witch they pay the minimum when couples are strugling to feed their family .

    July 13, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. san

    I feel it's time for this to come out because if you do look at the picture our kids are coming up without both parents. I don't think the president is to fix that it starts with the person him/her self. If we look at what's going on and how our black young men are choosing the wrong choices in life they or we need someone to come to us and let us know it's time for a change not only in the government but in our lives too. When lies are told we believe them but when the truth is told then we dislike only the truth will set us free and no one is perfect and never will be there is only one perfect one JESUS. Look at what we have been hearing all these years lies and we liked that and look at where we are now, listing to lies. Why we can't try someone different no matter what color.

    July 13, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. thisisridiculous

    The message = not the point.

    The fact that Obama's message has nothing to do with an individual's responsibilities as President = the point.

    If this is the kind of thing he's more comfortable "talking" about, he can take his message to any of a number of places where it's more appropriate.

    July 13, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Gail

    He's right but I'll still not vote for a freshman senator, it is the presidency and that guy needs experience.

    July 13, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Tejano

    Vote McCain... Keep the BLT (and i don't mean Bacon lettuce and Tomato) out of the Whitehouse. Barak Obama=BLT. That is what he preaches and that is what you get. He will never protect our country from the Muslim hordes. Think about that for a while and stop drinking the kool aid.

    July 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. H-ROD


    July 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Grace from Dominican Republic

    I am a former foreign exchange student (1967-1968), and for the first time in my life I have been following the campaing trail because I have found it extremely, very interesting. It's even more interesting than the TV series, that you can predict what goes on, if you ever happen to decide to see one of them. It was difficult to predict that Barack Obama was going to be the Democratic party nominee, until very recently. However, I am surprised to see some people keep inserting comments claiming for Hillary, when she is no longer the candidate. Can somebody tell me why? I think that americans are intelligent people, but that behaviour is not intelligent at all. I hope that there are no many people like that within the democrats. If there are so many people like that, then they will deserve to continue in the opposition for another eight year. However I am observing this race, in peace, because over all I trust God Word in Daniel 4:25 (among other verses): "...Till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will". So let's see who is God's choice in this race!!

    July 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Obama haters make me laugh.

    First they scream, "Nothing but an empty suit and an empty speech! Blah blah blah....."

    Now it's, "HOW DARE HE SPEAK ON SUCH A SERIOUS AND VERY REAL SUBJECT? Yes, I know it is true but why should he talk about it? Who does he think he is?.....Blah blah babble claptrap mumbo jumbo jibber jabber blah......"

    Always looking for something to criticize Obama on.

    July 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. presumptuous

    ... such arrogance! The president is not a pastor of the country – far from it. Does anyone comprehend 'separation of church and state' in our nation anymore? I want to know how he is going to aid in diplomatic relations, uphold the law, interact with Congress, and strengthen our economy. That is all I want to know... not what he thinks of individual choices that have nothing to do with governing. Obama is arrogant to think he can speak out on something and people will automatically do as he says. Secondly, quit speaking of the role in president in relation to this... you aren't the president yet! And personally, I can't imagine having to listen to your lectures and lengthy drawn-out rambling for the next 4 years! He doesn't talk down to black people... he talks down to ALL people!

    July 13, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Pat - Pittsburgh

    Jesse could do exactly would he said, cut them off, because BO doesn't have any bal*s anyway.

    July 13, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Of course. He doesn't have the ability to separate Church and State.

    July 13, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. gary williams

    i found it refreshing to hear a white person, well, at least a half white person tell a church full of black people that black males job at raising a kid does not end at conception...as a matter of fact, i don't know one white person who has ever said that in public and wasn't labled a racist...

    July 13, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Jackie Clauder

    Considering the attitude people have today I welcome some preaching and some role modeling.

    I am tired of rudeness and lack of respect. I am tired of the attitude of self-gratification first and responsibilites second.

    Most people in this country need a good kick in the pants because they are shallow and useless.

    July 13, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Ron

    As an African American man, I can't help but speak volumes for Barack Obama because he speaks the truth. I grew up knowing of my father and even spent time with my father on occasion, but it was not the same as if he had lived in our home. It is unfortunate, you see, that many African American men are taught (or maybe it is a learned behavior) that it is masculine or more manly to be promiscous and have many women thus promoting the noncommittal stereotypical Black man. I don't say this to be mean, but I say this out of my own personal experience. This happening is what caused my mother to divorce my father because he turned out to be a "rolling stone." Needless to say, the comments made by Senator Obama, and I believe our first African American president, probably only draw criticism from those who "can't stand the heat." The comments are not preachy. I spent a countless number of days wishing my dad was around to take me to football games or just out to the movies as I see so many Caucasian fathers doing with their children. I don't make my comments to suggest that all African American fathers are deadbeats, that's not true. But I make these statements because there are many African American children like myself who grew up or are growing up without a father or a two-parent home because in some cases, it's the mother who is absent. Regardless, absentee parenthood is a major issue is America, in particular with the African American race. I am proud our future leader is man enough to bring it to the forefront of issues to be addressed – just look at his own life and childhood background. The thing is people...when you've been personally "victimized" by an absent parent, it does become a central issue that many of us, myself included, do not ever get over.

    Georgia Guy for OBAMA '08!

    July 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. H-ROD


    July 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. MattH

    "Obama not worried he's too preachy"
    And this is newsworthy because...?

    July 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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