July 13th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
6 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?

“No.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (538 Responses)
  1. Paula

    Barack has the Leadership this country so desperately needs. It is not arrogance folks, but the backbone to speak his mind in a way which inspires.
    America is suffering from collective depression and like a good Army General, he is rallying the people to go the extra mile!
    Yes We Can! Obama 08

    July 13, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Bayou Joe

    This whole episode is contrived. Barak and Jesse are on the same course only with different methods. We need to reject both of them.
    These are divisive politicians that pander to the worst in all of us.

    Vote for a decent American Hero that will represent all of the people
    Vote for John McCain. America First..

    July 13, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. mike

    i always remember that saying that my grandma alway said:

    YOU CANT PLEASE EVERYONE!!!!!

    HES NOT BLACK ENOUGH..
    OH HES NOT WHITE ENOUGH....

    GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!
    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT HIM TO BE.

    HES HUMAN,. WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY WITH EVERYTHING

    BUT HOPE SOUNDS SO MUCH BETTER THAN WARS AND FIGHTS

    WE AS AMERICANS NEED TO LET GO OFF THE PAST AND MOVE FORWARD.

    OBAMA WAS RAISED WITHOUT A FATHER IN THE HOUSE HOLD.
    HE WAS RAISED WITH HIS WHITE FAMILY.HIS FATHER LEFT WHEN HE WAS 2 YEARS OLD VERY INNOCENT. HIS COMMENTS WASN'T TALKING DOWN. IT WAS NICE TO HEAR THAT SOMEONE SAID IT, IT WAS UPLIFTING.

    ***I THINK IF YOU FIND IT OFFENSIVE THAT MEANS YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE DADS WHO ABANDON YOUR KIDS AND ITS KILLING YOU ON THE INSIDE.THE TRUTH HURTS.. IS THAT SIMPLE.***

    ONLY IF HIS MOM WAS ALIVE TO SEE WHAT THIS HAS BECOME.SHE IS SO PROUD.

    I WAS RAISED WITHOUT A FATHER TOO, WHO LEFT WHEN I WAS 1 YEARS OLD. OBAMA DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING WRONG .

    I CRY ALL THE TIMES BECAUSE THIS MAN IS OFFERING SOMETHING DIFFERENT FROM WHAT WE HAVE HAD IN THE PAST.

    AMERICA LET NOT GET THIS ONE WRONG. NOT THIS TIME

    LETS VOTE FOR CHANGE!!!!!

    July 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. Linda K.

    We have to remember that when Obama talks about the importance of having a father in the home, he speaks from experience. He understands this issue from a child's viewpoint, and our children are the ones we should all be working for.

    We also need to choose our words carefully. Obama is confident, not arrogant. Or is arrogant just another word for uppity?

    Finally, we have to raise our standards for president. After nearly eight years of George Bush, many expect to have someone in the White House who can barely get through a sentence. Obama is intelligent and that's not elitist. It is, actually, a major necessary qualification for president.

    July 13, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. The smart Randy

    O-bum-a it will be when he loses! I hope you people can handle. Never under estimate the silent majority.

    July 13, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. V.T. In Las Vegas

    Where are the fathers?

    Obama raised an important point in an appropriate setting, and how dare Jesse Jackson challenge him. Obama speaks for ALL people, and as an African American I appreciate that more than I would a focus on individual groups, including mine.

    July 13, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. jimmy velman

    OBAMA NEED NOT WORRY ABOUT BEING PREACHY. HE HAS THE GIFT OF BEING ABLE TO CONNECT WITH HIS AUDIENCE.
    THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS HIS TO LOSE.
    WE WHO SUPPORTED HILLARY CLINTON HAVE NOT COMMITTED OURSELVES FULLY AS WE SEE IN THE POLLS. OBAMA DOES NOT HAVE DOUBLE DIGIT LEAD OVER MCCAIN BECAUSE OF HILLARY'S SUPPORTERS WHO HAVE THE DECIDING VOTES AND ALSO ENORMOUSLY IMPORTANT: THE MONEY : THE CONTRIBUTIONS
    WE HAVE BEEN DONATING TO HILLARY'S CAMPAIGN. OBAMA WILL NOT HAVE OUR SUPPORT UNLESS HILLARY GETS THE VP SPOT. WHICH POLITICIANS HAVE THE MILLIONS OF VOTES AND DONATION MONEY THAT HILLARY GOT DURING THE PRIMARIES?
    N-O-N-E . NO ONE , N-A-D-A.

    July 13, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. jerry

    I must admit I was a big HIllary supporter and never listened to Obama that much but after hearing some of the things he has to say I must say I am very impressed. Guess I'll have to vote him. Hope he brings Hillary on baord> what a team!

    July 13, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. MBFLA

    Barack Obama is an American, speaking about the need for fathers to be a part of their children's lives just as he is a part of his daughter's lives. Would you like to tell me what is wrong with this? He walks the walk.

    July 13, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. GET Over IT!!!!

    Mike ........... why is it he always thinks "his speak sparked a conversation" first it was his "race" speach now this. Give me a break. Your empty rhetoric isn't sparking a real conversation. Just a media frenzy. No good is coming of any of this.
    In my opinion we are becoming more divided then ever…........BE CUZ IDIOTS like you can't stand ...........HIM telling truths that are not only statistically correct, but also undeniably necessary for someone to have the will to discuss with the American People

    July 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. dubb

    Some people responding to this blog are "whinners." Demos/Repub have two choices-Obama or McCain. If you support McCain, vote for him and leave your opinions to yourself. This goes for Obama supporters too. Enjoy the most exciting presidential election in history.

    Go Barack Obama 08'

    July 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Rick PANDITARATNE

    I disagree with Senator Barack Obama on just blaming or telling fathers to take responsibility. Mothers (teenage mothers included) make all types of mistakes having babies without considering consequences. Just the other day I heard about the teenage pregnancies in Boston where 17 teenage girls decided to get pregnant (pact or not). This is disturbing to say the least. Most women play games in having children when a guy they are with has no intention of being a father. Also, some tell the guy that they don't want kids and trick the guy in to getting pregnant. Or they will do it for selfish self-centered reasons.

    Some women kill their children, dump them in dumpsters, molest and abuse. Where are all the politicians and their big talk?

    Also, I believe he (Barack) did the fathers day speech to woo Hillary Clinton voters. We have bad mothers who leave children, but no politician used mothers day to admonish mothers. So he's just another politician using fathers day which should be devoted to good fathers to be "Sister Soldier". It's shameful that he's becoming just another politician.

    July 13, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Independent White Woman For Obama

    OBAMA !OBAMA! OBAMA !

    July 13, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. FUPUMA

    Anybody who doesn't agree that a father should take care of his child is an ignoramus. Of course fathers need to take care of their children. Too many woman have been doing it alone for years. The only one who suffers is the child, who didn't asked to be born to ignoramus parents.

    July 13, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. G. Penley

    I agree; Obama doesn't come across as being too preachy. He simply comes across as a bookish guy who has no real experience and is spreading on the BS.

    July 13, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Tony

    Obama thinks father figures should play more active roles in the care of children, and some of you are trying to spin it around on him as if it were a negative? Unbelievable.

    July 13, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Chris

    The President is supposed to be a role model for us. It is his job not to just lead this country, but to help us achieve a better state of being. This includes taking care of our families.

    He is not spouting lies when he says that 1/2 the African American community children are growing up without fathers. Are people really going to yell at him for asking father's to take charge and become men.

    I'm sorry, but people need to be told when they are being irresponsible. How do we expect to become a better country when we will not work towards it.

    I'm glad he said something. As far as I'm concerned, no matter what race you are, we all could stand to get a slap on the wrist and be told we are not entitled to a good life just because we are Americans. It is about time we started working towards a better future, and we need a president that will help get us there.

    You can call him an elitist. I just call him a realist.

    July 13, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Citizens For America First

    WE ARE MOT BUSH REPUBLICANS. WE ARE ALLOWED

    TO DISAGREE. WE IN FACT ARE NOT JESSE JACKSON

    DEMOCRATS. WE HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR HIM, NOR

    DO WE CARE WHAT HE HAS TO SAY, NO MORE THAN ANY

    OTHER AMERICAN. WE HAVE & WILL VOTE IN NOVEMBER

    FOR BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT OF

    THESE UNITED STATES.

    July 13, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Mike

    The Rock Obama says what is in his Heart even if it upsets some people. This sets him above the vast majority of Politicians and activists (like Jackson) and McBush etc. Rock Obama does not Pander and despite the lies by the Right Wing attack dogs. Obama has not actually Flip flopped much at all compared to Flipper McBush who changes with every poll.

    July 13, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. PREACH TO US PLEASE!!!

    I WOULD RATHER HAVE A PRESIDENT THAT STANDS FOR VALUES FOR AN AMERICAN FAMILY LIKE OBAMA DOES, THAN VOTE FOR MCCAIN WHO STANDS FOR LEAVING HIS WIFE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT AND COMMIT ADULTERY WITH A BILLIONAIRES DAUGHTER.

    July 13, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. Independent White Woman For Obama

    CNN plz ADVISE ......Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    OBAMA !OBAMA! OBAMA !
    SEE this What I am Talking about ........Your comment is awaiting moderation WHY ? is it BCUZ....Independent White Woman For Obama

    CNN plz ADVISE ......Your comment is awaiting moderation

    July 13, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Observer

    CNN needs to also post McCain lying to veteran sabout his voting record! Remeber the townhall meeting where a feloow Vietnam veterna stood up and asked why McCain voted "No" for Iraqi & Afghanistan veteran benefits? Why is that being hidden under the rug?

    July 13, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Sharon

    Now we know that JJ can see thru Obama. Michelle said in her speech this past week – talking about her husband mother – that she was very young and very single when she had him. I thought I read that his mother and father was married when they had him. It doesn't really matter unless he lied about it.

    July 13, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Rick FL

    Obama was correct addressing some of the struggles facing our communities in America and a statesman for accepting Jackson's apology. Why is the media still on this story?

    Did the media follow-up with McCain on his promise to get back with us regarding his position against insurance coverage for birth control? He told the reporter that he would clarify with her later that day after he could "not remember" his vote. Where's the update? Is this a double standard perhaps? I hope not. Many American women would be interested to know about issues important to them.

    July 13, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. Dave

    From his website to his countless rebuking of friends to even his fake presidential seal, Obama comes off as very much holier than thou. It's a shame because a lot of people are counting on him, but he's just not the man who his rabid supporters think he is.

    July 13, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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