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. Paul CA

    CNN....did you ever had a ticker on Gramms comments? meaning whiners comment.

    Did you ever have Gramms insenbility at your home page ever? NO

    Will McCain go unpunished once more?

    We will not have the chance the express our indignation?

    Why publish this old news about Jackson that no one care about?

    July 13, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Barbara

    I hope that as a nation we're smart enough to respond to the intelligent, nuanced thinking of Obama. If we can't, we'll go down in history as "the dumbest generation." Slick Willy was smart but he had no moral fibre; Obama has both.

    July 13, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. shawn

    for all of you!!!!!!!- I think we're in a state where nobody can stop this from occurring- I don't think racism, in the final analysis, is going to be able to stop this- you can call Barack Obama the next president of the United States.

    July 13, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    PARENTING, EDUCATION & PUBLIC POLICY

    TO NURTURE, & PROTECT OUR CHILDREN IS

    THE MOST IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUE OUR NEW

    PRESIDENT CAN ADDRESS. OUR CHILDREN ARE

    OUR MOST VALUABLE NATIONAL TREASURE.

    IT HAS ALSO BEEN THE MOST NEGLECTED, BY

    THIS ADMINISTRATION. AND THE DUPLICITIES

    RHETORIC, MCSAME PUTS OUT IS MORE OF THE SAME.

    July 13, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Maggie

    I would like to ask CNN if they also going to have a special on "White in America" seeing that there will be special in July on "Black in America". Why is everything now being focussed on being black and not on the whites/native americans/hispanics/asians, etc. Is this not being racist or is it because Obama is now the nominee for the presidency and he is black. I think this program should not be aired if you cannot focus on all the cultures in America. Blacks are not the only ones that are having a hard time and therefore all the races should be given that same attention.

    This program is only being done because Obama is black and he was selected and not elected to be the democratic nominee. I am deeply offended that such a program is being aired on one race only and not on all of the races. CNN stop being so biased and be fair to every race.

    July 13, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. jon,philadelphia

    Obama's not too preachy. In fact he's dwnright eloquent. At least when he speaks he sounds alive.
    Ever listen to McCain, he sounds like Bush on Ambien.

    July 13, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Charles

    There is nothing wrong with how Barack speaks. First people claim that African American people can speak proper English. Then we have a man that is educated and speaks proper english and some people of all nationalities complain. Being an African-Amercian man, I am glad that I and many can now look at with pride. We all cant be sport figures, actors and mucisians, but we all can speak clearly and with some type of clarity. Go Obama

    July 13, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Jenny

    PEOPLE PLEASE DON'T ATTEMPT TO COMMENT ON THIS: You don't know what it is to be black. You have absolutely no idea. Barack Obama is definitely correct on this issue. Jesse Jackson is WRONG on this

    July 13, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Tim

    Jihn McSame camp says we are all whiners and in a mental recession. McSame is out of touch and living in a dream world.

    July 13, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. David Goldman

    THE MEASURE OF THE MAN CAN BE DETERMINED

    BY HOW IMPORTANT HIS & OUR CHILDREN ARE TO HIM.

    I AM PLEASED BEYOND WORDS, BY OBAMAS POSITION

    ON EDUCATION & CHILD DEVELOPMENT & WELFARE.

    A NATION THAT NEGLECTS THE WELFARE OF ANY OF IT'S

    CHILDREN HAS NO, HONOR, DIGNITY OR SELF RESPECT.

    July 13, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Raheem Bello

    Sometimes, I ask myself why people aren’t focusing on the things that matter, and not trying to parse out unimportant details. The American society has been mislead for so long, no one seems to notice or care, if a person decides to talk to people and help them, U may not agree, but that is way more than many presidents have accomplished in their entire term or terms.

    July 13, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. ET from OMAHA

    Do you all remember when the GOP was trying to destroy OBAMA with
    Rev Wright sound bits and speach or preaching? What do they do: they tie OBAMA to Rev Wright views right?
    Now a long time (I believe more than 20 years) friend, Top Economical Advisor of McSame insulting american people of being whinners or having mental problem trying to make it to work, hold on to ther jobs and stay in their homes, ooooooh McSame says he doesn't speak for him. If so, somebody need to tell fox news and it's bunch of hypocrit journalist that OBAMA also speak for Him.

    July 13, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. char /arkansas

    IT SEEMS TO ME THIS IS GOING TO BE ONESIDED NO MATTER WHO WINS.GOOD LUCK TO BOTH..

    July 13, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Pat

    Barack told the TRUTH whether you like it or not!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. Sarah Bonner

    Those of you saying you would rather "put up with McCain" for 4 years than vote in Barack are quite simply the dumbest people ever. I guess it doesn't occur to you to wonder what those 4 years might actually be like.

    Do you wonder what might happen when McCain bomb, bomb, bombs Iran.....what might Iran do, send a nuclear warhead at Isreal possibly?

    Do you wonder what might happen if Roe vs Wade is overturned?

    Do you wonder about the state of the economy when another Republican warmonger is at the helm?

    You people must belong to the 50% of americans who voted GWB into poer as well...TWICE!!!

    WAKE UP!

    July 13, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Charlotte

    What is wrong with you people? Obama is speaking the truth. And, if McCain had any guts he'd be talking to all the white men who aren't being fathers to their children. Of course, what can we expect from a guy who's only thought revolves around War.

    Grow Up People. You are the worst bunch of babies I've ever heard. Not to mention hypocrites.

    July 13, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Briana

    all of the democrats who vote for McCain this fall are the real losers.
    7.00 a gallon for 08'

    July 13, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. LINCOLN

    Hillary 08? Come on, Where the hell is she? SHE'S OUT

    July 13, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Alex

    Why is it that CNN and others treated Obama's remark about many Americans being "bitter" because their government had failed them, as a heinous crime when Graham's referring to Americans as "whiners" becomes a ONE DAY wonder. I wonder why?

    July 13, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Ken

    Save Our Country.

    Anyone But Obama!

    July 13, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. RAY

    OBAMA, YOU are the first presidential candidate that tells it LIKE IT IS. As far as I'm concerned you can keep on talking.

    July 13, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. jaylow

    I don't think he's preachy at all. Actually,..he reminds me quite a bit of ex WWE wrestler "The Rock". (Dwayne Johnson) Do ya smell what the BaRock is cooking?

    July 13, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. AA Girl

    Thank you OBAMA for your comments to dead beat dads and other issues that we as Americans need. It is making a difference. I've seen so much! " been there and done that." Please guys LISTEN UP!! FORGET JESSE JACKSON

    July 13, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. SLIM

    THANK YOU OBAMA for UNDERSTANDING AND KEEPING IT REAL MAN!

    July 13, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. KE

    More insignificant news for them to talk about.

    The Obama campaign has been on a downward slide since Texas and Ohio. Treatment of Michigan and Florida was a joke. We can't listen to his or his supporters speaches. The Obama campaign has been maintaining the pace only because of the media coverage and the optimism of the DNC leaders.

    July 13, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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