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. Martha Hussein Baker for Barack

    Absent fathers are a problem in America period. Barack HAD one and Jessie Jackson IS (probably) one to the child he fathered with his mistress. Was that a convenient "accidential" open mike on Fox News or what?!

    OBAMA '08 – '12

    YES WE CAN!

    July 13, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. John G

    "more than a half of African-American children are growing up without a father in the house"

    There goes Barry bringing up race again. Truth is, a lot of families of varying races don't have fathers present.

    His speeches directly target black men and are probably the result of his own abandonment issues from when his father left.

    July 13, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Tejano

    He is preaching folks. Preaching a Socialis/Marxist Philosophy and you idiots that have not studied politics and fail to understand the tenents of these political beliefs are fools to follow Obama. He will destroy this Christian Nation if given the opportunity.. Don't believe me read his own book. That is if you can read with an open mind.

    July 13, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    McCain is tied w/ NoBoma in the polls. This FRESHMAN senator with little experience can't compare w/ a war hero.

    July 13, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Martha Hussein Baker for Barack

    Lisa – you can't "steal" something from someone if it doesn't belong to them in the first place.

    Obama won fair and square. Hillary is nothing but Bill's third term. They are both sore losers. I wish they would both just retire.

    The only Clinton I'll ever vote for again is CHELSEA in 2020!

    July 13, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. no name

    THIS SHOULD NO BE A BLACK ISSUES BECAUSE BOTH COLORS LEAVE THEIR CHILDREN BEHIND WITH NO CHILD SUPPORT OR FATHER FIGURE. I KNOW A LOT OF CHILDREN THAT FATHERS JUST UP AND LEAVE AND DO NOT PAY CHILD SUPPORT.
    I THINK BOTH COLORS SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR PRODUCING CHILDREN AND LEAVING THE POOR CHILD TO SUFFER FOR BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE A FATHER FIGURE IN A HOME.
    I FOR ONE HAVE A GRANDCHILD WITH NO FATHER FIGURE AND SHE TALKS ABOUT HER FATHER AND HE DOES NOT CALL HER OR EVEN SEND HER X-MAS CARD OR BIRTHDAY CARDS.
    I LOOK AT THE GRANDPARENT ON HER FATHER'S SIDE WHO DOES THE SAME THING TO HER AND IT REALLY BOTHERS HER WHEN HER GRANDPARENTS USE TO BE IN HER LIFE NOW THEY HAVE GIVEN UP ON HER ALSO. CHILDREN DO NOT ASK FOR THIS AND THEY NEED BOTH PARENTS EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT IN THE SAME HOUSE.

    July 13, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. Just Capri

    Sen Obama addressed a symptom and not the problem. Absentee Black fathers is a symptom of a much larger problem and Rev. Jackson would like for Sen. Obama to address the problem and not just the symptom. Black fathers are not absent due to the fact that they are Black – it's not something that is genetic and found in Black DNA. The reasons behind their choices are, for the large part, systemic and that is what the Rev. Jackson would like to see Sen Obama put back into his approach toward a solution.

    One of the main complaints about Sen Obama, in general, is his lack of experience. Well, Rev. Jackson has a lifetime of experience and perhaps it would do those who want to disrepect and dismiss him, to actually listen to his position and deal with the substance of his position instead of his headline grabbing choice of words from a private conversation.

    July 13, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. Ann Frantti

    Such arrogance! The moral standard for America.. listen to the words of Obama's book....He is not a good role model for children.
    NObama..Never Neverever

    July 13, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. RICK

    I guess CNN is playing the politically correct card or this blog is moderated by woman who does not want the truth being told.

    Earlier I had stated that Obama used Father's day as a political platform to woo Hillary Clintons women supporters (typical male bashing ideology which I'm tired of). Yes many African American fathers are missing, but that's not the whole picture. many women make bad decisions about having children at the wrong time and end up suffering the consequences. In this society we only care about the woman's right to choose. Then blame men who are absent to father the children that they didn't want in the first place.

    Obama use fathers day to admonish, but I did not see mothers day being use as a political platform. Jesse jackson was correct to be frustrated because Obama has become just another politician. The more I see this guy, I see another candidate who's playing the game to win at all cost.

    Many women are lousy mothers and do everything to destroy bonds between fathers and children. Why didn't Obama admonish women to get their act together? Is it because he was raised by a single mother? The resentment is appalling. Obama needs to understand that too much preaching will alienate male voters which he needs if he wants to win.

    July 13, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  10. mau

    This election has not to do with color but with what people are advocating. You would be the most stupid person around the world, if you ignore what you think would change your country and vote for the color of skin.
    Please dont be stupid

    July 13, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. Diane

    let's count how many hours or days Obama has spent with his children, huh?! I guess his kids are exempt while he is and has been in hunt to be president..... GO McCain.. a true American!!

    July 13, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. Barbara

    The truth is painful sometimes. When Bill Cosby said it, was he just an avuncular man? Barack is refreshing because he does say what he believes. Americans are afraid of the truth because we've been exposed to it so rarely.

    July 13, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. Harrygton

    Jesse/Sharpton represent the past in Black Leadership just as McCain/Clinton represent the Past in American Politics!

    There is a new sheriff in town and his name is BARACK OBAMA!

    Obama/Hagel 2008 ONE NATION, UNDER GOD... WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!!

    AMERICA SHALL LIVE UP TO ITS PROMISE!!!!

    July 13, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. Rob indetroit

    Thank you jesse for helping Obama win the white house.

    July 13, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Rob A

    Not worried, huh? Perhaps he should be. It is his style of talking (shouting) that turned me off in the first place. This democrat will never vote for Obama.

    But ya, he's not worried...

    July 13, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. patrick

    I think what Obama said was right on! and to Lisa, how the hell do you know what feelings Jackson had towards Obama, your just like a typically Obama hater, spreading false lies about things you and I cannot possibly know.

    July 13, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. 12345

    Please post the ccomments

    July 13, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. patrick

    Well its funny, voters want a candidate that is gonna be honest about touchy issues, and when they speak their mind, people try to use it against them or say the candidate is pandering for the vote.

    July 13, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. natasha in tally

    There is no doubt that a women can raise a child on her own but the question is should she? A child needs positive role models in their lives male and female, father and mother, that can show them how to become repsonsible adults. Children learn interactions from watching the relationship around them. How a young women should behave around a man and how man real man should treat a women should begin at home. We all know children learn by examples. Young mothers often become young grandmothers and yes dare I say it young great-grandmothers. This is a problem in the black community that is growing and turning a blind eye is not going to fit it. I applaud Obama and Crosby and anyone else who has the guts to say what we in the black community already know and see everyday. We need our black kings to step up and do what we have done alone for year

    Obama '08

    July 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. joann

    Hey Joe Reed, you should be ashamed of yourself – not for being dissapointed in your party but for voting for someone worse. Obama is proving every day to be a "flip flopper" – he's a proven liar, he has bad ties to bad people, more of which come out every day and you would rather vote for him? how about just staying home.

    July 13, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    jesse jackson is just jealous that barack is a black leader that people actually take seriously... one that can truly make a difference. do people realize that mccain is a joke? i think we're ready to stop being the laughing stock of the world. agreed?

    July 13, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. To Mike

    Mike...... why is it he always thinks "his speak sparked a onversation"
    Mr Obama .....is telling truths that are not only statistically correct, but also undeniably necessary for someone to have the will to discuss with the American Public*****************************************
    To Mike- If you are a father in good standing with your Family....... this doesn't concern you

    July 13, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. renato ,go for OBAMA

    The next election will proof ,if americans know how to vote,it is not a matter of race is a matter of electing a man that makes sense.we are confident and we believe that americans will vote INTELLIGENT ,no, no mac same.

    July 13, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  24. Independent White Woman For Obama

    ????????

    July 13, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Caroll

    Obama is all show and no go....all talk and no action....he is full of hot air....the average white American family has its problems also, fathers not being there....women are often overlooked when it comes to promotions, job offers, presidential nominations, etc. Obama needs to get off his high horse full of African-American woes. If elected, he would be all of our president, not the president of African American people.

    July 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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