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. JHal

    Right on Obama-Tell it like it is.
    Get on the Obama train or get out of the way.

    July 13, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  2. Jeffrey G. Brown

    You sad silly people. You knock Obama as if you have ANY idea what he is about. Do you really want to vote for McCain? He is showing signs of Alzheimers and says the most innapropriate things. He will take us even further bacjward than President Cheney, I mean bush! Grow up, especially you cows who are still crying about Hillary!

    July 13, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. JOHN

    OH I LOVE IT, OBAMA HAS CAUSED THE GREAT RACE DIVIDE. OMG NOW I'VE HEARD IT ALL. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU PEOPLE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT REV. WRIGHT. LMAO.

    July 13, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Monte

    For those of you that are calling BO, President Obama, Better check again. The last time I looked, the calendar says July! If you want a preacher in the White House that will change the way you live, go ahead vote for Obama. He has already stated that he intends to raise taxes and that we have to learn to eat less, wear a sweater, etc. Sound familiar? He isn't unhappy with the gas prices, just that they rose so quickly. Once the media falls out of love with Obama, the facts will be so glaring, those of you that voted for him, will start to wonder what happened to the sense God gave you!
    Jesse Jackson has talked about personal responsibility for years. This is nothing new. Only thing different, Obama was talking about just the men. What about the women that have babies by different men without marriage. Where is their responsiblity? Tax payers have supported that problem for years and frankly, I'm tired of it!!!

    July 13, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Obama doesn't come off too preachy as he is an idiot and no one should believe a thing he says or does. It is all for show and no substance with this girlie guy.

    Isn't Obama a piece of work? He only wants to go to Germany to copy JFK. What an idiot? Does he think he is JFK? I've got news, I knew JFK, JFK was a friend of mine and Obama is no JFK. Sooo quit being Hollywood Hussein.

    Vote for McCain, a man who appreciates and will protect our values.

    July 13, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. StacyGA

    I do not understand the objection to what Obama has said. As an African American woman I can say with authority that the things he speaks about is absolutely TRUE. Secondly, I commend him for having the courage to speak about this issue. When you have 70% of AA children without fathers in their lives, it is very easy to see how other social issue in the AA community has SPIRALED OUT OF CONTROL (poverty, lack of education , disproportionate numbers of black males in prison, and the list goes on and on). This is the result of having at least two generations affected by this crucial issue,

    For all those who disagree and think that Obama should hold his tongue, you either are guilty of leaving your children or you just don't like Obama and you are using this issue as a way to so-called PROVE your point. (Don't use this issue for that purpose-it is too important )Either way, any REASONABLE person who looks at the FACTS , will see that he is right.

    GO Obama!

    July 13, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Jackson was not merely upset because of what Obama said. He was upset because of what Obama did not say about the black community. In that respect, I do not agree to cutting off his privates, however, I do understand from where Jackson speaks. And for those of you who thinks Obama and Jackson are taking this to the table, there are more important issues for both to focus on and they are doing that. I am from Chicago and respect both for the work they have done here. This small quarrel that the media creates between the two is nothing of importance so please move on.

    July 13, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. Karen in Cape Cod

    Of Course not! He Is OBAMA the SECOND COMING! He makes NO mistakes! I am really AFRAID of this Supposed "LEADER"

    July 13, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. John W. Olver

    I think it strange that the question of Obama being "too preachy" should even be raised. He is putting forth the opinion that fathers should care for their children. Who amongst you at CNN think fathers shouldn't care for their children? If that suggestion is too preachy for you maybe you should mention your negative feelings about fathers caring for their children openly on the television and see what response you get.

    John W. Olver

    July 13, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Texas Trail Dog

    I was told to shut up. If I didn't want to vote for the man then don't vote for him. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HIM. Now to the rest of the story. It is so great to know that I am getting under the thick hide of some people. The reason I will not vote for this man has nothing to do with his being part African American.
    IT HAS TO DO WITH THE:
    1. Rev. Wright, Priest??? Plegher, Rev. Jackson, Rev. Moss. You said don't bring God into it. They brought GOD into it when they blasphemed his holy name.
    2. OBAMA is a Liar: He said he never heard Rev. Wright preach that way until the press told him so. Then in his great speech the next day he said, "I heard him alright but I didn't necessarily believe him?" For 20-years?
    3. He has allowed his supporters to blast HILLARY in every manner possible. SHE HAS FORGOT MORE THAN HE WILL EVER KNOW IN RUNNING A COUNTRY. HE SAYS HE CAN'T HANDLE BILL. WHAT THE HELL WILL HE DO WITH OUR ENEMY LEADERS?
    4. OBAMA IS A TERRORIST SUPPORTER AND A MUSLIM. OH I KNOW HE DENIES IT. BUT YOU DON'T SPEND 12-YEARS BEING ONE AND JUST WALK AWAY.
    5. His dealings or should I say his UNDER DEALINGS with REZKO that netted him $860,000. What is he going to do, pardon the man when he gains the oval office?
    6. He signed a petition to take away state rights for the Death Penalty. He said yesterday that only heinous crimes should warrant the death penalty like 9/11. RAPE OF A BABY THROUGH 80-YEAR OLD GRANDMOTHERS IS NOT HEINOUS ENOUGH. TO SHOOT A 7-11 WORKER IS NOT HEINOUS ENOUGH. TO KILL ANYONE WHILE COMMITTING A FELONY IS NOT HEINOUS ENOUGH. A SERIAL KILLER WHO KILLS LESS THAN 50-PEOPLE IS NOT HEINOUS ENOUGH. RAPISTS SHOULD AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE THE DEATH PENALTY. YOU HAVE FORCED YOURSELF ON SOMEONE WHO WANTS NO PART OF YOUR HEINOUS REAR. DEATH TO ALL.

    NO I WILL NOT VOTE FOR THIS IDIOT. AND THE ONES WHO SUPPORT HIM NEED TO TAKE A LONG AND THOROUGH LOOK AT THEMSELVES. I KNOW THE AFRICAN AMERICANS WILL NOT TURN AWAY FROM OBAMA FOR HIS COLOR. THEY CALL THIS NUT-CASE THE ALPHA OMEGA. HOW PITIFUL IS THAT WHEN SOMEONE IS REALLY CARING OUT THE DEVIL'S WORK.

    July 13, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  11. Tonya

    Both Obama and Jackson make accurate points. The breakdown of the family unit in minority and lower socioeconimic homes is a combination of individual accountability and structural/systemic accountability. Most people want to accept one or the other, but both are at work and both need improving. Also, I appreciate and agree with all of those that recognize this doesn't just happen in Black families and regardless of where it occurs, requires individual and social change.

    July 13, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  12. Jan Illinois

    While your preaching . Preach to me on how your going to bring our troops home, fix the economy, pay off our debt, ballance the budget and I'd like DETAILS before November.

    July 13, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  13. Indy in AZ

    Jan From Boca Raton:

    Wow! So you've spoken to every Latino in this country??

    YOU, had better GET A LIFE!!!

    Really!

    July 13, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  14. obama 08-12

    politic always been about preaching.

    barack the vote...................................

    July 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. djw

    Senator Obama's speech was NOT a political speech when he spoke at the African American church. It was a concern speech.
    He was not campaigning he was just speaking.

    CNN and other main stream media should know the difference.

    July 13, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  16. Alison, FL

    rachel, i doubt very much that you are black...i personally am very offended that you feel you can speak for black people much less rural white people!...this madness needs to end. do you people really want McCain to be president?...think about it please..what is it about McCain that you like???? Give me one policy position please!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. MA

    jt @1:30pm
    From your writing, it would seem that you could use a little more 'learning' yourself'!

    July 13, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  18. Perla

    FYI, he's not a "muslim" (sic), gary.
    Get your basic facts straight.

    July 13, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  19. Brett

    he is no good...

    July 13, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. hussein

    obama is flip flopper

    July 13, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. Dorothy

    It is what it is......

    Obama is correct........

    I am glad he stated exactly how he stated it....because it is what it is......

    Some of these coments are just loopy loopy.

    July 13, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  22. Phantom of the Oprah

    It sure bothers me.

    Jesse Jackson was right- Obama DOES talk down to people- all people, not just black people.

    July 13, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  23. Divisive uniter

    Obama divided the Democratic party along race, age, income, education, socioeconomic, gender and geographical lines.

    If he becomes president, he'll do the same for the country. Four years of a referendum on "race".

    No one will be able to criticize Obama.

    By the way... How is "nuts" a vulgar term? They all said much worse about HRC... and no one had to apologize for it.

    July 13, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  24. CA Loves Obama

    The truth hurts, Jessse Jackson. Obama is simply stating the facts.

    What is the real issue underlying jackson's vulgarity is now that we have "another" strong Black leader (Obama), I think Jesse jackson's ego is a threatened.

    July 13, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. Messiah complex

    Obama is stirring up all kinds of trouble- he has declared himself above any criticism- and that is just fueling a racial divide that he created within the democratic party.

    If Obama wants to preach- then he needs to be willing to be scrutinized, criticized and disagreed with.

    July 13, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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