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. whyhate

    It is time for all the Hilary supporters and racist to give it up. You make yourself seem very uneducated, and childish to make some of the comments you do about our future president. Get over it already.

    Obama is our next president and he will go down in history as the 1st black president and also one of the best president in american history. If you dont like who the next president is going to be in the USA, MOVE you still have a choice

    July 13, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Charlene, 67, white, retired, Republican

    President Obama .... oops.... not yet...

    Barack speaks from experience and intelligence. Leave him alone and quit the nit-picking; there are too many issues that need attention and not these petty criticisms.

    I can't wait for November to come and go....

    July 13, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Mommyof2

    Barack is right - again.

    July 13, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. maggieb

    Obama’s Senate Experience: 143 days

    Barack Obama logged exactly 143 days of experience in the U.S. Senate before setting his sights on winning the White House.

    Obama was sworn in as a senator on Jan. 4, 2005, and he announced that he was forming a presidential exploratory committee on Jan. 16, 2007. In that interval, the Senate was in session and working for 143 days, according to GOPUSA’s blog The Loft.

    That’s the equivalent of less than 21 seven-day weeks.

    “After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be commander in chief, leader of the free world, and fill the shoes of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan,” Cheri Jacobus writes on the blog.

    In contrast, presidential rival John McCain’s resume includes 26 years in Congress and 22 years of military service, including his 1,966 days as a POW in Vietnam.

    July 13, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. maggieb

    Obama does and will continue to have his secrets. You need to learn to accept that he will never fully disclose his secrets.

    For example:

    1. Who paid for his trip to Pakistan in 1981;
    2. Who is paying for his campaign;
    3. Why he refused to register for Selective Service in July 1980;
    4. Why he won't release his birth certificate (and not the extraction he did release);
    5. Why he won't release his baptismal certificate;
    6. Why he won't tell about his relationship with murderer homosexual Donald Young;
    7. Why he won't tell what he did in Pakistan in 1981;
    8. Why won't he release his college transcripts;
    etc. etc.

    July 13, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. Jamie

    Hey LT and the others – how come when Bill Cosby was talking about absentee fathers and more responsibility among the AA community, he received so much flak – so now that the fraud lifted parts of Cosby's speech – you all agree with him – Boy, what followers.

    McCain '08

    July 13, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. David, Charlotte, NC

    It would be fine if he wasn't such a hypocrite. Obama is disgusting - who wants to listen to his 'holier than thou' rhetoric. He has nothing but lies and deceit veiled in sacrimonous double speak -

    I'm a Democrat but I'm beginning to see that at least with McCain – one knows what they are getting.-- and honestly the two look more similar everyday.

    July 13, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. gerry

    Funny how CNN call Obama's straght talk and telling it as it is as preaching. And yet when McCain calls Americans whiners, CNN hardly mention a peep.

    July 13, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Obama is right on this point. Perhaps if Jesse Jackson were to hold blacks to a higher degree of responsibility than his usual role as the victim, Obama wouldn't have to be saying this sort of thing.

    July 13, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  10. char

    WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT AFFRICAN AMERICANS? THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY BREED OF POEPLE WHO HAVE WENT WITHOUT A FATHER.. WHAT ABOUT THE AMERICAN INDIAN? THEY STILL HAVE NO RIGHTS AS A US CITAZIN,BUT NO ONE HERES ABOUT THEM..THEY LOTS EVERYTHING..THEIR WAY OF LIFE,THEIR INHARATENCE,THERE LANGUAGE..THEY ARE STILL WITH OUT THEIR REAL HOMES..WHAT ABOUT THE ANCESTERS THAT SETTLED IN AMERICA FOR FREEDOM..THE AFFRICANS WHERE NOT ONLY THE SLAVES HERE..THE ENGLISH MADE THE SLAVES OF ALL NATIONS..NOT JUST ONE KIND.I DO NOT HERE ANYONE TALKING ABOUT ONE NATION..INSTEAD YOU DIVIDE US INTO A BREED THAT IS FOR HATE AGAINST EACH OTHER..AND NOT GROWING UP WITH FATHER,THAT IS THE MOTHERS FAULT.SHE SHOULD OF BEEN THINKING OF THE CHILD NOT THE MONEY..STOP MAKING IT EASY FOR THE MOTHERS TO GET MONEY ON THE CHILD AND THE FATHER FROM HAVING TO PAY FOR THEM..IF A FATHER IS A GOOD MAN HE WILL DO EVERY THING HE CAN TO TAKE CARE OF THE CHILD..NO MATTER WHAT

    July 13, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. Teacher

    Charming as Obama is, he does talk down to people in a smirky, superior way and then gets that sarcastic, snide smile on his face. And, he shouldn't just focus on the black fathers leaving their children, it is a problem in all groups.

    July 13, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. Jewel - Hallsboro NC

    Obama was right on target and Jessie knows it.

    July 13, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. Dan, TX

    Mike, I guess we think his speech started a conversation because you are talking about it! HAHA...

    Every time I get a chance to hear Obama talk about policy I am immensely impressed. It is difficult to believe that America would choose McCain over Obama.

    July 13, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Irami

    I'll say it: Kids are for rich people.

    July 13, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. rooks

    the truth hurts, doesn't it Jesse.

    July 13, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. independetVAchris

    I am going to vote FOR Obama! The fact that this guy has faced this much adversity ever since he was born and still has made it to where he is says A WHOLE LOT about this mans CHARACTER!

    Of course he has to change positions on some stuff, but don't everyone of us do the SAME thing. wake up Americans!

    July 13, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Frank O'Neil

    All you Obama haters, you have no reason for that. Obama is going to be the next president of the United States and even you guys will be pleased by his leadership in the whitehouse. Stop hating and face the fact that after 7 1/2 desastrous years under BUSH & the GOP , this country has reached a breaking point. We cannot affort a Bush clone

    July 13, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Judy from PA

    Obama talks down to everyone, whites, blacks, women, all of us. But hey, maybe I'm just bitter.

    July 13, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. NOBAMA

    OBAMA WAS DEFINATELY PUTTING ON A SHOW ON FATHERS DAY.ONCE AGAIN OBAMA ONLY CARES ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE. EVERY FATHER HAS TO STEP UP TO HIS RESPONSEABILITY NOT JUST BLACK FATHERS.WHO IS HE TO LECTURE ANYONE ON ANYTHING THE WAY HE FLIP FLOPS. I RESPECT JESSE JACKSON MUCH MORE THEN REV WRIGHT. OBAMA PUT RACIAL SLURS ABOUT BILL CLINTON IN REFERANCE TO JACKSON AND JJ DIDN'T TAKE IT THAT WAY.OBAMA WANTED TO BURN THE BLACKS UP ABOUT OUR FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON WHO'S OFFICE IS IN HARLEM. ARROGANT ELITIST OBAMA TAKES NO ADVICE, NO SUGGESTIONS,NO IDEAS NO SOLUTIONS FROM ANY BODY. JJ HAS EVERY RIGHT TO GIVE HIS OPION. HE IS WELL RESPECTED COMPARED TO WRIGHT , FARRAHAN AND PFLEGER WHO HAVE BEEN OBAMA'S SPIRITUAL MENTORS FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND ONLY STOPPED WHEN IT WAS HURTING HIS ELECTION CHANCES
    DEMOCRATS FOR McCAIN

    July 13, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. ellen

    Obama has contempt for just about everything. And he is arrogant. Yes
    he has confidence in himself but he isn't bright enough to know that he
    doesn't know everything! Doesn't he even know what the job of the
    president all about? I have no confidence in this man at all! This
    country does have problems but Obama can not solve them no
    matter how much he thinks he can. The government can only
    do so much. It's up to all of us. This country is about all of us not just
    Obama.

    July 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. barb

    I'm so grateful that Obama is courageous abou tthis and not becoming intimidated byt the sentiments of Jesse Jackson. Most people are not going to be offended by this very obvious concern in our society. It does all of America so much good to see our nation elevating itself to a higher level.

    His platform is so wonderful. I think racism might be the only challenge that treatens to put his candidacy at risk .

    July 13, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. syl

    When you do not have any experience, you've got to be preachy about what you read in books.
    Take for instance his foreign policy dicussion on CNN, not one iota of real foreign policy experience to talk about.
    All his comments is what he reads or hears about...anyone could say the same things.
    And what abut his saying the Irad war is bad...every member of Trinity United could have said the same thing. Because they heard it – like Obama – form his pastor and mentor Jeremiah Wright. His Pastor was against the war before Obama made his speech.
    It would be disaster with Obama in the White House.
    About his flip flops –I would like to see him flip flop on earmarks...come out against it. Did he sponsor one of his wife's program for earmarks?

    July 13, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Don

    Preachy??? The guy is too much full of himself....

    July 13, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. I'm getting tired of ...

    I'm getting tired of men and so-called leaders making excuses for not fullfilling their responsabilities. Kids growing up without fathers tend to be poorer, do worse in school, more likely to drop out, more likely to go to jail ... and repeat the above cycle. There is no nice way to it. People will get upset but someone has to speak up. I plegde to break the cycle and encourage other fathers to be there for their sons and daughters and make the next generation better.
    As for Bill Clinton doing the more for the blacks I answer we are Americans, born in the USA. We don't owe the Clintons anything. We benefited from his policies just like the rest of them. My question is: of all those who become millionaires on Clinton how many were black? I work for everything I have no one but God has done my any favors. No one will give you ajob if you aren't qualified to do it.
    As black men we need to stand with our heads high and pride in our eyes knowing that our children look up to us and no one but us can make our communities better, safer, and more prosperous.

    a brother

    July 13, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. TGood

    I don't know if I can stand four years of hearing Obama say "Let me be perfectly clear about" , etc. If he was so perfectly clear, he wouldn't be having to make it perfectly clear what he was saying . Take away that teleprompter and let us see the real Obama. LOL.

    July 13, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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