October 6th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
7 years ago

Palin raises Rev. Wright

Gov. Palin spoke about Obama's ties to Rev. Wright in an interview.

Gov. Palin spoke about Obama's ties to Rev. Wright in an interview.

(CNN) - Sarah Palin has increasingly embraced the attack dog role on the Republican ticket – but in a new interview, she seems to endorse a line of attack John McCain had distanced himself from earlier this year.

The Republican VP nominee told Bill Kristol of the New York Times that Obama's long-time relationship with minister Jeremiah Wright should be a bigger issue on the campaign trail. "I don't know why that association isn't discussed more," she said.

Watch: Wright situation 'difficult' Obama says

"Because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that - with, I don't know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn't get up and leave - to me, that does say something about character," said Palin. ".I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up."

Watch: Obama hits back after Palin accuses him of 'palling around with terrorists'

When the North Carolina Republican Party launched a television ad this spring taking aim at Obama's ties to Wright, McCain first repudiated the attack. "I've said again and again, I do not believe that Sen. Obama shares Rev. Wright's extremist views which he has stated, whether it be the United States Marine Corps or the flag or what," McCain said. "I am leaving that issue to a dialogue between Sen. Obama and American people."

He added that all he could do, "in as visible way as possible, is disassociate myself from that kind of campaigning."

But McCain soon signaled that he might have changed his position on whether state Republican parties or downballot GOP candidates should exploit the Wright issue in local campaigns, suggesting that he had shifted his stance after Obama told an interviewer that the controversy surrounding his ex-pastor was "a legitimate political issue."

"As I said before, I am of the belief that Sen. Obama does not reflect the extremist statements that Rev. Wright has given," McCain told reporters. "I have no comments on it, but I also understand why millions of Americans may, as Sen. Obama said yesterday, view this as a political issue."

Still, the issue has not been major fodder on the trail since McCain himself dealt with fallout from the endorsements of headline-grabbing pastors this spring. Reports of controversial statements by evangelical leaders John Hagee and Rod Parsley ultimately led him to reject the backing of both men.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Sarah Palin
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. Scary Palin

    Palin, please do elaborate on your own eccentric and wildly unpopular religionous extremist views. Do enlighten your Joe Six-pack and Hockey Moms around the country on your own gross discord with mainstream religions as well as Main Street America. Please show everyeone once and for all just how 'off' your really are as it will only make Rev. Wright even more harmless and your failing ticket sink faster than it already is.

    October 6, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Emmanuel.

    In a speech on sunday, Palin calls Afganistan "our neigbouring country". The news media should give the American people more exposure through one and one interviews (with no scripts and talking points) into the types of counsel and advice a Sara Palin is able to offer to a sitting President in case of the misfortune that Macain is elected President.

    Sara Palin is still avoiding the one and ones. She takes talking points and scripts then haul attacks and negative dirty mud in her campaign.

    Sara Palin should attempt to talk about taxes, health care and defend Macain/Palin policy positions. That will be a tall order for someone who has shown to lack much substance.

    October 6, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Michelle - Michigan

    Pathetic... The McCain's camp is grasping, becoming so desperate that they bring up old news. They make me sick! I question any imbecile who would actually vote for McCain / Palin.

    Obama 08

    October 6, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. rinny

    CNN to be fair and balance if you want to post stories about pastors... how about refreash our memory with palin pastor problems and church problems.. palin is opening up an unwanted door... if she decides to run for president in 2012 she better start erasing footage across the internet... there is so much proven and factual information on palin that is incriminating its unbelievable. mccain poor judgment is really shining through to let his vp canidate on the loose to make those attacks! they didnt work in the primaries and they wont win now! us independent voters do not like this type on nonsense.

    October 6, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Crik in OH

    Welcome to 3 months ago! This didn't work for Hillary. It killed her momentum and made her look desperate. It won't work for you!

    October 6, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Will in Richmond, VA

    Didn't McCain tell his staff never to bring Rev. Wright up?

    Did Palin miss that memo?

    October 6, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. Evan

    Why not raise the fact that Palin is part of a church that belives that its Jews fault that they have terrorist attacks and that the end of days is upon us?

    October 6, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Betty

    Of course! Miss Palin is used to deal with "old" stuff, being in the ticket with and old, angry and dishonest man.

    Voting for McCain is like voting for the bully that gets you lunchbox every day at school and consider him "experienced" and "strong on issues".
    If you never overcame those feeling of submission to the powerful, do us all a favor, pay a visit to a shrink on the day of the Election!

    October 6, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. dolarbil

    EVeryone should ignore the McPalin ticket's desparate ads.

    don't give it any news play. don't even acknowledge them.

    October 6, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Rob

    Ms. Palin,
    All of a sudden you have so much condidence because you were able to recite memorized talking points at the debate and not come across as the real Sarah Palin America got to see on Katie Couric. (Someone who is totally out of her element, can barely put a sentence together, and unfit for the role of VP. Unfit to be commenting on anything political outside of little Alaska PERHAPS.)
    Well Miss, it's too little too late. We're all on to you and know what you're really made of. These feeble attempts to discredit Obama will do you and McSame more harm than good so keep it coming! LOL. You are both pathetic.
    Rob McGuire, NYC

    October 6, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Ryan Kr Jr

    Sarah Palin- all you know is attacks and smear tactics but dumb and clueless about domestic and international affairs. Americans 're not going to fall for this smears coming from a woman who can't name a newspaper she reads. A woman who can't name one bi-partisan accomplishments of John McCain since his 26yrs in the Senate. A cheerleader who can't name supreme court cases she disagrees with. A woman who claims Russia proximity to her house gave her foreign experience credentials.

    October 6, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Thed Weller

    Rev. Problems? Doesn't Palin have some of her own?

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. Tony in NM

    Ignorance is bliss.

    (except that in this particular case, Palin's ignorance could end up hurting the whole world.... were she ever to stumble into the presidency)

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. al in memphis

    Now I guess we see what Palin role in the McCain administration will be. We now more about her ability to talk down in muddy politics than her ability to provide leadership, and vision for change

    This is the shake up Washington ability she brings–I really feel for women who desire a better example of leadership.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. edex, FLORIDA VOTER

    OKAAAAY!!!! THE GOP ticket really want to drag us back. that's it ......next


    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Allison

    If not leaving a sermon condones it than Palin has some explaining to do about Israel and witches. Personally, I prefer to keep religion out of politics. I wish Palin would spend more time learning about the issues than giving these inane speeches and interviews that show her lack of depth.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Kelby from Houston, TX

    Look Palin, I know you are late in getting into this game, but there has already been a dialogue pertaining to that issue. We are past that issue and looking at things that are much more importan, LIKE THE ECONOMY (STUPID). If we really wanted to start talking about pastors at this point we should really take a good long hard look at your pastor. As I understand it, he is quite controversial as well.

    No, you need to pick a new tactic. Look forward and talk about what you plan on doing in the future. Your comments show that you are stuck in the past.

    McCain is out of touch. He is out of ideas, and he is running out of time.


    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. clean up washington

    Better to have a pastor than to have a witchdoctor!

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. Palin thinks the Bush Doctrine is an OBGYN

    Hahahahaha...Go home to Alaska, you can take McCain,Bush, Cheney and all the ,racists,religouis radicals and nuts with you.

    You guys can rule Alaska as an independent Country.You can wait together for the "Rapture" while you fight the Alaska National Gaurd vs Russia,Iraq,Iran and Afghanistan-Good Luck!

    Obama-Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |

    Look's like the Witch Doctor left some demons.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Deb

    Are you kidding me? Perhaps the campaign just googled this for her since she could not name any of the newspapers she read in Alaska.
    America is too smart for the type of campaign McSame and Palin are running. Please someone get the skeletons out of her closet. I am sure there are many particularly since she was not vetted. Senator Obama keep attacking them on the economy and do not stoop to their level.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. OnFire

    I have been a true Republican, but now for the first time will be voting Democratic. Palin has been a distaster and I'm sorry, but having here as President if something ever happened to John scares me to death. Now, they try smear tactics? I thought Palin was supposed to be one of us. Sounds to me she is one of them, trying to put on a show. God help us. Sorry John, you lost my vote.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Global J

    Sow what you reap, Sarah.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Barackafied Cheesehead

    Sarah has morphed from an “attack dog” to a “dog catcher with lipstick on”.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. George Ennis from Toronto, Canada

    Governor Pailin is doing the right thing. She is cementing the base of the Republican party. It is a smart move and obviously the goal is to translate that into the highest possible turn out for that group.

    Clearly the Republicans are conceding the field in terms of having a policy fight with Obama. Credibility and trust once lost is hard to restore and on the economic, healthcare and social security issues it has been lost.

    So now the attention as we race towards election day will be to attempt to distract voters with spurious claims and allegations on Obama's patriotism, loyalty etc. The veracity of these claims by the Republicans is irrelevant. The fact is that a lie repeated often enough is accepted as true by many voters. The only question remaining is just how large that group of voters is on voting day.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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