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. NotFallingInLine.org

    Obama gets to tell US whether or not he's too preachy?

    I remember during the height of the Rev. Wright story that he began to answer each reporter's question by telling them whether or not the question was "fair."

    Obama's is preaching down to Jesse Jackson now.

    When it comes to Obama, the question is: will the presumptuous selectee throw me under the bus, or preach down to me?

    Now that's a choice that each and every American can believe in!

    Knoxville NFIL

    July 13, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Scott, Orlando fl

    As a Republican and one that is not planning on voting for Obama, I absolutely agree with him on his statements and for not backing down because of the racist Jesse Jackson.

    July 13, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Dood

    It's interesting how Hillary Clinton was criticized by Obama supporters loudly for being arrogant and having the attitude that she was inevitable, but it's just fine for Obama to be EXACTLY like that.

    Also interesting how the Rasmussen poll has the race tied today for the first time with McCain being viewed more favorably than Obama. The more people see of Obama, the more they don't like him.

    July 13, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. theflyonthewall

    But is he too preachy?

    YES

    July 13, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse NY

    LT for Obama. Confidence with experience is great. Confidence with no experience is arrogance. I think you are the one confusing confidence and arrogance. Obama talks the talk, but has yet to walk the walk. No amateurs in the White House.

    July 13, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Lisa

    Let me give you an example of how Obama is too prechy.

    First he starts off his speeches slow and clam selling you a dream and it feels really good. Then all of a sudden he get louder and louder, tears start falling down eyes and your like WOW he's amazing. Come to find out he's saying all these beautiful words and touching speeches for a donation.

    Just like your Pastor!

    July 13, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Eva

    LT for Obama...Obama is arrogant and thinks he has all the answers in the world. He looks down on average blue collar workers saying they cling to their guns and bibles, and throws his beloved grandmother under the bus calling her "a typical white person". Talk about racial and social divides right there! He's a has been community organizer (whatever that is) and a state senator with very little federal experience. What in the right mind of people makes him qualified to run our country? Because he says "Change, change change"? Wow, that's impressive. Nothing but bumper sticker rhetoric.

    July 13, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Mary

    All you negative talking people you can't hurt Senator Obama. You see Mr. Obama has a relationship with God. And God has set his love upon upon him, and He will delivery him. Obama has call upon God, and He will be with him.

    He dwelleth in the secret place of the most High and he abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Obama will the the president of all people and we will come togther as one group of people for the good of us all.

    God Bless Senator Obama 2008.

    July 13, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Cheri

    Jesse Jackson is just jealous of Barack Obama.

    July 13, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Haywood

    Why would someone who thinks he is the second coming regard himself as too "preachy"?

    July 13, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. mountain man

    I've always thought Obama comes off as holier then though. I'm not black but I think he talks down to just about every crowd he talks too. It would be one thing if he had this great record of accomplishment but he's really never done anything so I don't know where he gets off preaching at all!

    July 13, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. I'm a genious

    You know something really funny? I just thought of this. I know we have this bogus thing in America called "Separation of Church and State." Why is it that it's so wrong for Americans to talk about God outside of church, but that government and the media can just tear apart anything a pastor says inside his own church, and bring all of their cameras and other stuff inside the church and interfere with the service. Hello? If this stupid "separation of church and state" thing really is for real (even though it's not in the constitution), then just as church gets hammered for being involved with state, the state better get out of the church.

    July 13, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. Cleveland Mike

    When Obama and Jackson get togther, maybe Jesse can fill Barack in on Hymietown.

    July 13, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Frank

    Barack is exceptionally intelligent, articulate, and willing to speak about important issues without worrying about possioble disagreement with his views. When there is disagreement, he doesn't react smugly and defensively like the "Decider" who's in the White House now! These are presidential qualities and we badly need someone of this caliber as our next national leader. With our help and cooperation as involved citizens, he can make important changes to our wonderful country that has been led to moral and economic bankruptcy by the present administration.

    Sitting on our hands, complaining and whining will get us nowhere. Vote for change. Vote for Obama!

    July 13, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Will, NJ

    What is with people complaining about how boring the candidates are? This isn't a sitcom! They're not here to entertain your simple mind, they're here to deliver a message to win votes. If that's your mindset towards electing the leader of our nation then I'm very sorry to call you an American.

    July 13, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Krishnan

    I'll wait ... Sooner or later, I imagine Barack will do his famous two-step ... and back off from the comments about fatherhood and fathering when polls may show that some of the black voters are not happy about his preaching about fatherhood (one of the very, very few things I have heard him say that makes sense ... in a human sort of way and not using attorney language (i.e. the usual crap))

    July 13, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. E. de Leon

    Whatever. Obama has a way to reconcile his preachy speech with that of Mr. Jackson, however their differences maybe. He is political savvy to get away with it, and that will be fine with the liberal media. McCain 08. HRC 2012!

    July 13, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Mike,CT

    EVERYONE PLEASE READ

    McCain policy is the same as BUSH

    Look gas up war and i have no money and .........

    OBAMA policy is the same as BILL CLINTON

    You had more money in your pocket life was better

    Gas price will not come down if McCain President they belive he is like BUSY so they will not talk to him.

    OBAMA gas price will drop they said they will talk with OBAMA.

    If you don't like OBAMA and you are smart vote for his policy not him if don't like him.

    Vote for McCain if you like BUSH policy.

    Also Obama will not tax you and give you a tax break if you make less than 250,000 the same policy BILL CLINTON had when you had money in you pocket.

    McCain keeping BUSH policy.

    July 13, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. bibi

    The problem with many people is that they find Obama's level of speaking too difficult to follow that's why they misinterpret what he says especially that sick Lisa person. At last there will be a president that can speak properly using good grammar with a wide vocabulary. I prefer my children to listen to Obama than to Bush and Mc Cain who speak mainly in simple sentences with poor grammar.

    July 13, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    John McShame joke about killing Iranian civilians with cigarettes is NO different than his campaign calling americans a "bunch of whiners" suffering from "mental depression"...................................... this rich do-nothing elitist republicans dont care about ordinary people, but only wants to solve foreign policy & domestic issues by eliminating everyone, but themselves!

    John McBush, a man WITHOUT the DIGNITY and JUDGEMENT to be president of the United States!

    Obama '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Jeanine G

    Obama is succeeding both politically and morally, where Jesse Jackson Sr has failed. Jackson's comments were sour grapes...nothing else.

    July 13, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Bobby

    I think Obama is 50 percent right. That is because the judicial system fosters Parental alienation syndrome which keeps fathers away from their children after divorce. No mater I will vote for Obama who is 100 percent better than McSame.

    July 13, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. SG

    KEEP SPEAKING THE TRUTH OBAMA. AND PEOPLE REVIEW YOUR GROUPS' STATUS ON FATHERHOOD, POVERTY, ETC., IN YOUR GROUP.

    YOU'LL FIND THAT WE ALL HAVE A FEW PROBLEMS WHICH EQUALS AN AMERICAN PROBLEM.

    July 13, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. Lynn in NM

    Bill Cosby has given basically the same speech, and I applauded it then. I applauded the speech when Sen. Obama gave it. Perhaps, if the Rev. Jesse Jackson had given the same speech, people might actually have listened. Perhaps, if he had kept his marriage vows, Sen. Obama's speech wouldn't have hurt so much. Perhaps, if he had won the nomination for his party when he was running, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    July 13, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. HATERS HATE REGARDLESS!

    REGARDLESS IF HE DOES SOMETHING POSTIVE OR NOT. SOME PEOPLE HAVE JUST MADE UP THEIR MINDS TO HATE OBAMA. FOR WHAT? WHAT DID HE DO THAT WAS SO BAD?
    HOW DARE HE:
    *RUN A BETTER CAMPAIGN BY HIRING SMART CAPABLE PEOPLE
    *SET A BUDGET AN STICK TO IT
    * BE AN AMAZING INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER
    *WIN 2XS AS MANY STATES AS HILLARY
    *WIN THE MOST DELEGATES
    *AGREE ALONG WITH SEN. CLINTON, WITH THE RULES OF THE DNC
    *WIN THE POPULAR VOTE IF YOU INCLUDE THE CAUCUS STATES(I KNOW THIS IS DEBATABLE)
    *RAISE AN INSANE AMT. OF CASH TO GET HIMSELF KNOWN
    YOU ARE A BAD, BAD, MAN OBAMA! HOW DARE YOU RUN THE BEST CAMPAIGN IN HISTORY AND WIN THE NOMINATION. THE NERVE OF YOU TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND WIN! (END SARCASM)

    July 13, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
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