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. Jack from California

    I am more impressed by Barack Obama every day and I absolutely agree with him that we have structural problems, not only in the African American families, but all across America as people struggle to cope with the so called "world marketplace".

    The Rev. Jackson just needs to get his ego under control and get back to work instead of grandstanding by trying to tell Senator Obama how to act.

    July 13, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Edith Arkansas

    Jesse Jackson is wrong for the statement he made to castrate Barack Obama. To make it worse he called it just talking trash. Jesse Jackson for you to have made such an unconcianal remark is telling that you are a person where as I have always believed you are just an opportunist although you have done some good things one comes to mind having freed hostages that is a good thing and others but back to the point of his remark I feel he was also feeling his own guilt of having fathered a child out of wedlock. Now then who is it THAT MORE LIKELY NEEDS A NUTJOB. Obama said nothing wrong I applaud his comment although he was at a black church when he made that comment I believe I can speak for him that, that goes for everyone regardless of race or color.

    July 13, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Barry IL

    This marks the generational difference in reflecting on USA's problems. Jesse Jackson is still in the era of Civil Rights movement of 60s and 70s. He has played the racial card all along. Jesse Jackson has been all about blame-politics; pointing fingers to the other side. Jesse lived on denying the ugly reality within the African community. Of course, there are problems the government failed to address but the internal problem is severe too. The internal crises within the African American community need internal solutions. Jackson likes refuse to admit the existence of the deep internal problems in African American community. And they cannot solve the problems they do not acknowledge either.
    Senator Obama does not live on throwing the blame across the racial divide either. Although there is still racial problems, the larger picture of the crisis in African American community is larger than the race issue. Moreover, Obama is brought up by poor white mother and grand parents. There are disadvantaged groups in all sides. With old mind-set stuck in 1960s and 1970s, Jesse Jackson fails to see that but Obama does.

    July 13, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Dee Dee

    Senator Obama is doing just fine. Now that man called who is suppose to be following The Word needs to rededicate his life to Our Savior Jesus Christ and read James 3:10.
    Jesse must feel the tightness of the shoes when Senator Obama speaks about men having children outside their homes and not being directly involved with the child- Jesse has one outside of his marriage.

    July 13, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Shannon

    Of course Mr Obama isn't concerned about being to preachy, he's not concerned about it anything he does, it's his arrogance, he never thinks he's wrong, so why should he worry. His ego would never allow him to worry.

    July 13, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. LC

    Leaders are born, not made and Obama is a natural.

    Obama 08!

    July 13, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Rob

    Jackson is yesterday's devisive news... He's so jealous its not himself in the limelight. Its time to move forward . And time for Jackson and McBush both to retire

    July 13, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. lampe

    This was a very well planned attack from The Obama Camp. What better way to get those bitter White Folks to vote for him, then by having Jesse say that Obama,talks down to Blacks,and have it appear that older AA's are really mad about it. Well planned but I do not think that many Whites are going to fall for that line of crap, that card has been played to many times on us.

    July 13, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Ron

    if a White canadite would have said that ( the truth as Obama says) he would have been put in front of a firing squad. You don't hear a thing from the Black community for someone picking on them. Folks, keep in mind Obama is 1/2 white ( oh ) that might change things now LOL

    July 13, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. J Illinois

    True , We are AWARE that this point this is a problem. It will not be solved!! We want to know what you INTEND to do about our SOLDIERS, No flops. How are you going to restore economy? NO Flips. How are we going to preserve our Jobs in America? No Flops. Preachy is not cutting it for me, I want to hear YOUR solutions to THESE problems and I want to hear them NOW before November Mr. Obama and I WANT THE TRUTH.

    July 13, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Ruby

    Thank you President Obama, for not backing down and standing for what you believe in, which is very hard to disagree with. Rev. Jackson likes to blame everyone else for the misfortunes of the black community, but doesn't offer advice or encouragement on how the black community can better itself. Pres. Obama stongly believes in responsibility and accountability, and not letting others bring you down. He is an awesome role model to no only African Americans, but to anyone who wasn't born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth or comes from a poor background, regardless of race.

    July 13, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. renee

    i don't know what the big fuss is about because the man is just trying to put the issue out there take what you wont and move on and most of the people that's complaining maybe had there fathers there but until you dont have your father there you can't say anything.. think about that ? personally I am glad that he did because someone may have had or have a father out there that was thinking about coming back into a childs life that has been abandunt for a very long time for what ever reason and when barack said that, that change a lot of mines for these fathers to step up to that plate and do what they have to do and handle there business.. do you feel me out there

    July 13, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. j

    we don't need a preacher with all the answers.........or a rack star who razals his fans.........

    We need integrety, honesty, leadership and proven experience.

    McCain is now the only candidate in the race with the qualifications to be president.

    July 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Zach

    Barack Obama was simply pointing out something he is concerned with. Something that, whether you like it or not, is a reality.

    I find it ridiculous when people call this man a "elitist" considering the family he came up in and the incredible of amount of public service (often hands on inner-city work) he's done in the past. While I respect Mrs. Clinton and hold her in high regard and voted for her in the primary, but to say that Barack Obama stole "her" nomination is absurd. He simply beat her in campaigning and that's that. Hopefully we can all realize that Barack Obama is the democratic nominee and we need to get behind him. While he may not be able to appeal to EVERYONE"S specific needs he certainly is not a bad candidate and people should realize he would do a much better job than John McSame. Democrats, let's hold together and make sure another "W" administration doesn't plague this country for another 4 years.

    July 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. s.positive

    JJ is simply jealous

    July 13, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. Zach

    Barack Obama was simply pointing out something he is concerned with. Something that, whether you like it or not, is a reality.

    I find it ridiculous when people call this man a "elitist" considering the family he came up in and the incredible amount of public service (often hands on inner-city work) he's done in the past. While I respect Mrs. Clinton and hold her in high regard (I voted for her in the primary) I believe it is ridiculous to say that Barack Obama stole "her" nomination. He simply beat her in campaigning and that's that. Hopefully we can all realize that Barack Obama is the democratic nominee and we need to get behind him. While he may not be able to appeal to EVERYONE"S specific needs he certainly is not a bad candidate and people should realize he would do a much better job than John McSame. Democrats, let's hold together and make sure another "W" administration doesn't plague this country for another 4 years.

    July 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Joe - Chicago, IL

    "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." –JFK

    Yes, Rev. Jackson, there are structural inequalities and institutional racism in America. But Sen. Obama and the late President Kennedy both know that fixing any problem can't just be from the top down, it must be from the bottom up as well. It will take political leadership to help correct the social injustices of the USA, but the downtrodden, impoverished, and oppressed, be they black white or any shade inbetween, must also take steps to help themselves, and help their nation. Sen. Obama very eloquently stated that in his talk on father's day, and you so eloquently made your position clear on the mic you thought was off.

    Perhaps thats why Sen. Obama is poised to be the next President of the United States while Rev. Jackson's campaign was little more than a novelty for observers.

    July 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    Obama wants his name on a NASCAR team.

    His is so full of himself! You are running for POTUS, not Mayor of Talledega!

    July 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Rickymo

    Obama is right and this only inflames people who still can't get over that Hillary is done and that McCain (aka 4 more years of Bush) can't get out of his own way.

    July 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Jason

    All Fathers need to step up and Mothers too. Try not to get pregnant by someone that will not marry you and if you get a woman pregnant step up to the plate and take care of your child (yes this means being married and not sleeping with others). If you do not then you are really a scum bag. This means the 70% of black fathers and the anyone of any color white included. Tom Brady and many other white people are guilty of this. Be a Dad. Be a smart Mom. This is the best thing Obama has said.

    July 13, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Geri

    I would rather read about issues than listen to drivel like this. I have never seen such nasty people as Obama supporters. At times when I read these blogs I'm ashamed to be a democrat. All of you need to get a life and learn how to be kind.

    July 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Chad

    Obama speaks the truth. If you don't like it and think it is preachy, maybe you are guilty!

    Yes, I'm voting for a real president, not a war president.

    July 13, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. Steve

    It's about time SOMEONE start talking about these things. A white presidential candidate would pretty much commit political suicide if he even hinted at these very serious issues. Since Obama is 1/2 African American, he can address them. Sorry, Rev. Jackson, you could have mentioned them yourself, and actually done some good for black people, rather than just spewing catch phrases and whining about how you yourself are being treated. Get over it. Listen to Barack. He can teach you a few things, you old dog.

    July 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. jesse is jealous

    see jesse is just jealous freak old man without morals. i guess he has a dozen of other children outside his marriage. he is in it for the money. and people we are not stupid you know, how can someone say he is supporting a campaign then talk bull of the next president. your sneaky little plans to get money from the organizations that don't support obama and wants you to do their diirty work! it won't work.... atleast people ain't that dumb nor racists i hope. CHANGE IS COMING

    July 13, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Rodney-Dallas TX

    He should be. There's nothing more annoying that a Rev. Jesse Jackson preacher. I certainly don't mind a black man being president but do not want to hear the Gospel everytime he does his State of the Union address.

    July 13, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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