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. Freedwoman

    I can't believe anyone is listening to this druggie product of a broken home, the son of a bigamist, a person who today advocates a return to the politics of Truman (who dropped the bombs on Nagasaki & Hiroshima, killing hundreds of thousands of people, maiming more).

    He has absolutely no moral standing to be talking to black parents, fathers or mothers. Who does he think he is? What would he possibly know about parenting? That his wife conceived children twice? Is that it?

    This is getting just too hilarious. His spiritual mentor, Rev Wright, has disappeared from the earth, it seems, real funny, isn't it.

    Preachy? Barack appears to think he is God's gift to the earth - and especially (as JJ remarkably hit the nail on the head) seems to think he has some moral authority to talk down to black men. Wow!

    I think some dudes should teach this guy a lesson. Make Barack write 10,000 times on the blackboard "I will not tell a lie", "I will not tell a lie".

    July 13, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. Chuck

    Obama is up in polls, that means more coverage wether it be good or bad, More mccain articles equals less people coming to the site, and thats not good for advertisers....its business.

    July 13, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Make Love Not War

    ***Y A W N****



    OBAMA 2008/2012

    July 13, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. barb

    Perla made an interesting point. Obama was not at a political rally. He presented the sermon at Apostolic Church of God in Chicago for FATHER'S DAY. I think that's a very approprite time to for sacred commitment to fatherhood to be addressed. Don't you guys? I men really, don't you?

    July 13, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. KE

    I suppose for Hillary Clinton to challenge Barack Obama at any time will make her look like a small person (even at the convention). Nobody really wants to challenge this candidate and I doubt anybody will. We just watch how the mighty fool (fall).

    Surprise if Obama really leaves America this summer.

    July 13, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. JB Boston MA


    HOW did Obama steal the election? I challenge you to provide a ratiional answer. He played by the rules as they were established. And beat the pant suit off of the "inevitable candidate".

    You were one of those little girls who would take your ball and go home if you were losing. . . .you were weren't you?

    July 13, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. ArthurW from VA

    It is Jackson who is the 'preacher, over blaming society' and pandering to the black society by blaming everyone but them, while it is Obama who is facing the reality of the situation and seeing a share of responsibility for all parties. Furtherst from a panderer or a preacher.

    July 13, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. ricardo williams

    Poor Jesse Jackson. He fathered a child outside of marriage. Maybe that's why he is offended by the truth. I am a Black father and I know the difference it makes when you're in your children's life. You instill confidence and love in their life. Unfortunately my own father was not a part of my life.
    Obama told the truth and there is nothing wrong with being preachy. We listen to pastors every Sunday and they do the same with great effect.

    July 13, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Linda

    It wasn't the subject of his speech that bothered me, but the condescending tone of his words, complete with the adoption of a black church dialect peppered throughout. It came off to me as mocking and patronizing. Ex: I would not try to talk with others in barrio slang, if I were not a Chicana from the barrio. And I would be put off by anyone trying to persuade me, or get my approval, by talking with me that way.

    Still voting for Obama, but he does need tone it down and be more real.

    July 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. David in Illinois

    How can the new Messiah be too...too preachy?

    July 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. JonRoss

    This guy hasn't told us a thing. He is on several sides of each issue. He scare the ever living bejezoos out of me.

    July 13, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Matt

    Obama is all talk and no action. To make matters worse, Obama doesn't even believe half the stuff he says. Scary.

    July 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Gimme A Break

    Timber: "Why is no media outlet releasing the full text of what Jesse Jackson said?! The media is so biased toward Obama."

    What Jesse Jackson said was actually AGAINST Obama. He does not like him. You are not very bright are you?

    July 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Max

    I feel bad for some people who are still stuck to the past and still rooting for "Hillary 08". Its July 13th she is out of the race! Clearly Hillary supporters have a tendency of not letting go off the past (Clinton Presidency 1990s).

    July 13, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. Puma-SF

    Obama is nothing more then a pandering, lying hypocrite. He is unqualified to be president and I will not vote for him. Who is he anyway? As far as I am concerned anyone still supporting him is an idiot. It is not too late to nominate Sentor Clinton. Afterall, she had a 100% chance of winning and we can't say that about Obama. If he is on the top of the ticket my vote will go to McCain.

    July 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. linda from South Dakota

    RE: gary up there, when are ignorant people like you goin to stop being so prefijuce?!!!!,,, if you cant say anything positive then dont say anything at all,, so you would rather have mccain who indirectly vows to carry on what bush is doin?,, well dear sir gary,,, get a life,, i as a merican am tired of decete and lies from the government as it stands now,,,, people are starvin and barely able to keep their homes, and its ignorant people like you who make it look bad and uncaring,,,, get over yourself already geezzz

    July 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. kelly WI

    Seems to me the girls/women have some responsiblity in this issue too. I don't have to list details it should be easy enough to figure out.

    July 13, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  18. The T

    I guess rich white bald guys who marry outside their race is not important...You know "whining poor people" it's all in your head. If Sen Obama would've said those things CNN would be all over him as well as the Bush Machine...CNN are you trying to create an Oct surprise...Report the News not create it. Oh I'm just whining or it just in my head.

    July 13, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Christine Brown

    Of course Obama doesn't think it is too preachy. He and his wife thinks our souls need to be saved and he happens to be the one.

    July 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |

    Of course he is not worried... Preaching is the ONLY reason he is as far as he is...

    Has he told the truth? Not really...

    You are ALL in for four years of preaching and speeches diverting us all from all of the total screw ups...

    No experience = failure.

    July 13, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. Patrick

    I'm glad Obama doesn't think he's being too preachy. Now could you please ask Saint McCain if he feels he is too confused, too out of touch and too irrelevant? Of course you won't, you're too busy enjoying all the free barbecue and beer, and vying for those extra-cushy seats on his DoubleTalk Express Plane.

    Obama is the only sane choice for the White House in 2008.

    July 13, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  22. mike obama

    Obama is a divisive candidate. He has insulted the AA community. Government should not intervene or take responsibility in family matters. Jesse Jackson is wright. He shouldnt have apologized to Obama. He lowered his stature and tarnished his legacy by apologizing to a chameleon Obama.

    July 13, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Poor Mike.......................lol............

    July 13, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. arlene,CA

    Not to preachy at all. I think he made some good points & it is entirely true. Obama is an excellent role model.

    July 13, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. JennyM

    Hey CNN .. how come you don't post my posts ever ? If we say anything against the media .. you don't post it ... lol... which proves it is true

    July 13, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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