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. Torianto

    I totally agree with Obama and here is why:

    First, regardless of the structural inequalities in America, there is and never will be an excuse for a man to walk out on his family. Unfortunately this is all to familiar occurrence with many of our African American men. .

    Secondly, there is such a disconnect between Jackson's generation and Obama's because the former is having a difficult time moving beyond blaming the whites for all of the woes African Americans face, and the latter is trying to not only move beyond it but at the same time recognize that we meaning Black males must be held responsible for our actions regardless of the oppression we face.

    July 13, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    you gotta love this guy!............he speaks with caution, very insightful and very thoughtful. that's the quality we need in our next president – Barack Obama!

    July 13, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Torianto

    I totally agree with Obama and here is why:

    First, regardless of the structural inequalities in America, there is and never will be an excuse for a man to walk out on his family. Unfortunately this is an all to familiar occurrence with many of our African American men. .

    Secondly, there is such a disconnect between Jackson's generation and Obama's because the former is having a difficult time moving beyond blaming the whites for all of the woes African Americans face, and the latter is trying to not only move beyond it but at the same time recognize that we meaning Black males must be held responsible for our actions regardless of the oppression we face.

    July 13, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. jt

    What do you call someone that tell people to do something and they have not done it themselves.

    Hypocrite. Preachy maybe. Or just full of BS.

    Like Obama the other day Americans needs to learn other languages other people from other countries speaks other languages.

    Obama do not speak any other language.

    He seems likes Obama likes to tell people to do things that he failed to do.

    Obama is nothing but talk, talk and talk some more..

    At least Rev Jackson had been fighting for civil rights for a long time.

    McCaine has experience in Washington.

    Obama is still being mentored by Teddy on how the Senate works.

    Now he wants to be President? Crazy idea.

    July 13, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Mish, NYC

    Jesse Jackson is upset because he fathered a child from an extramarital affair that he had during his marriage. I guess Obama's Father's Day speech hit too close to home for him?

    I can't stand Jesse Jackson!

    Obama 08 and beyond!

    July 13, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. McBush = Nearing the end of an erosion cycle

    Since Jesse Jackson was running around with his zipper open and fathered a child while married to someone else what kind of role model is he ?
    Keep it up Obama call it as you see it we do need someone even the president to step up to the plate to remind people what is going on .

    But we don't need Bernie Mac hired to be calling woman names /the radio host was fired by using these same words so how is this idiot getting by with this TELL US ?

    July 13, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Greg in Annapolis

    What is wrong with you people??? Yet again, future President Obama has put himself out there, telling truths that are not only statistically correct, but also undeniably necessary for someone to have the sack to discuss with the American Public. Perhaps, the government can't fix everything, but starting a national conversation about things is a GOOD thing! Obama has certainly not always said the most popular things, but he has said things that are TRUE! If he sounds "preachy" it's probably because we can't really trust those that make a living at it. Those people are too busy getting caught up in unsavory behavior. I am extremely excited to have a leader in this country that actually doesn't lie to us and cover up the news that nobody wants to hear. Hey Hillary supporters...GIVE IT UP! You sound like children that didn't get their way and have decided to throw yourselves a several month long temper tantrum. Barack Obama is the nominee and a great one at that! He will be a far better President than McCain could ever hope to be. Good article, CNN. IT IS hard for Jackson to disagree with Obama's comments. These are issues that Jackson has brought up for the past twenty years. Get ready for Obama to start fixing what 'lil bush has willingly broken in the last 8 years. This country has a lot of work and healing ahead!

    July 13, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Erika, KS

    Oh, Go away Obama! I can't this guy. He's sooooo superior to everyone else. And can you Obama robots please stop calling him "President Obama?" He's not President of anything you know. And he won't be.

    July 13, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Perla

    Sen. Obama was invited to address a church gathering. It wasn't a campaign event, per se. So it seems appropriate to me that he chose to address the MORAL issues around parenting, saving the POLICY and structural arguments for another day. Nothing arrogant about it.

    July 13, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Linda31

    Some of these comments are crazy. How is it that people are trying to blame Obama for Jackson's statements? Jackson was wrong and crude in his comments. maybe because it hit close to home.

    July 13, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Tre

    Obama 08. That's it.

    July 13, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Texans for Obama

    Jesse Jackson knows that the black community has always spoken about the missing fathers in the housholds. In the black church the Minister's preach about this. So, Jesse Jackson's comment is very ignorant. Obama is speaking the truth, and there is nothing wrong with this. Jesse is old school, and he has the same mindset as all the old black leaders. So Jesse needs to sit down somewhere and be quiet!

    July 13, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Barb Townsend

    Yes, Randy I agree,

    "Barack the vote!!"

    July 13, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. gary

    he a black muslum talking to americans what do you expect.

    July 13, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. dennis from chicago

    why should he worry he does not back up what he says with action any way if he does then he flip flops it later

    July 13, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. LT for Obama

    So many of you seem to think that Barack is arrogant. Please do not mistake confidence for arrogance. There is a fine line that, as far as I have seen, he has not crossed.

    As for the comment that he is acting like he is president already, if he was not acting presidential, you would be criticizing him for not acting in a presidential way.

    McCain insults the Iranians with a joke about cigarettes. Is he acting presidential? No. Both these candidates have to act presidential so that we can see how they will act in the White House so don't criticize a candidate for this.

    July 13, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Mike

    why is it he always thinks "his speak sparked a conversation" first it was his "race" speach now this. Give me a break. Your empty rhetoric isn't sparking a real conversation. Just a media frenzy. No good is coming of any of this.

    In my opinion we are becoming more divided then ever.....

    July 13, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Voter

    Designed to appeal to white voters because they are really tired of picking up the tab for all the illegitimate fatherless children born without a chance in life while black males brag about their sexual prowess.

    Obama sure does know how to talk White! Just don't forget that this is the same guy who happily attended Rev. Wright's church for TWENTY + YEARS and brought his daughters to listen to the Great Man himself.

    Americans have very short memories...

    July 13, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. M.S. Indiana

    Maggie, the one who laugh last laugh loudest.. and i will be laughing when McCain takes are basic women rights away, welcome to modern slavery!

    July 13, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. archiesteel

    I can't believe CNN is still hammering that nail...how about some more outrage at Phil Gramm calling those who are hit by the economic downturn "whiners"?

    It does seem the MSM, rather than being to one side or the other, likes to attack the candidate currently in the lead, in hope of making the battle more heated, so they can sell more copy/increase their ratings. While understandable from business point of view, it is rather dangerous from a democratic one...

    July 13, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. Warren

    Too preachy ? The guy is in love with himself almost as much as you dolts in the media. MCain 2008 Hillary 2012

    July 13, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. McSame

    Lisa, get a life

    July 13, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. John

    This country needs some real help. A man stated a well-known fact regarding fatherhood and some of you are labeling him as 'elitist'. Now, we know why George Bush became president twice, may I remind you all. This is sickening.

    July 13, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    whats wrong with the word "nuts"? Is the word "testicles" more appropriate?

    on a completely different topic.........did you people know that McCain and Obama have actual viewpoints on the issues. I realize the corporate media barely acknowledge that both candidates do.......but its true.

    July 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Nick - Arlington, VA

    Lisa July 13th, 2008 12:35 pm ET

    For the record, Jesse Jackson never liked Barack Obama, maybe as a friend but never as a President.

    Hillary 08!
    -----------------------------------
    -I knwo right...i mean because you would know? Because you and Jesse Jackson are BFFs? Or you know him personally....o no thats right you just say things that make no sense...

    July 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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