Before leaving North Carolina Sunday, the president will met with the Rev. Billy Graham, shown here in a 2005 file photo. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) - President Barack Obama met Sunday with the Rev. Billy Graham before leaving North Carolina to attend the memorial service for 29 West Virginia coal miners killed in a recent explosion.
White House spokesman Bill Burton said the visit was a follow-up to Obama's telephone call to Graham on the evangelist's 91st birthday last November. At that time, Burton said, the two agreed to meet as soon as possible.
Before Sunday's meeting, Burton described Graham as an important spiritual leader and national treasure.
Obama had a private prayer and conversation with Graham, Burton said, adding that Obama was "extraordinarily gratified" for the meeting. Graham's son, Franklin, also was there, Burton said.
Updated: 2:04 p.m.
The right wing will say smething ridiculous like, he is not one of us or he is not a christian.
'Damage Control' ! Purely a PR move.
Obama should be ashamed to face Mr Graham.
So, Graham needs to TELL President Obama what to do, Pioneer2? Because YOU see a clearer divide between the races and somehow that is Obama's fault?
To the contrary, I see a great many white people (of which race I am one of) who aren't able to quite get past their own ill conceived prejudices and thus have become confused because the bigotry they espouse isn't being accepted by the majority of us who know better.
Obama happens to be half black. Get over it.
The President might ask for insight into Billy's son. Speaking publicly against a major religion may be legal, but it isn't smart. The son was disinvited.
This meeting is diplomacy. Far left or right won't see that of course.
I do agree that all meetings and recognition of religion by the government should end. Evolve!
Ugh. There's a pretty short list of public figures more misguided, arrogant and pretentious than The Chosen One, but we've found a winner! As painful as The Chosen One's notions on wealth redistribution and fairness are to listen to, at least there's a theoretical model (a deeply, deeply flawed theoretical model, but one nonetheless) to support his despotic crusade, Graham's pretentiousness rests on his identity of holiness. Spewing bible verses doesn't make you holy, there, champ...
And to all the hacks who somehow think calling the GOP the 'party of no' is an insult: It's supposed to be, you dolts! Socialized medicine and nationalized public education (a la Bush) are not conservative programs!
You can count on one thing from this interchange, Rev Graham will not be able to convert Obama from being a muslim to being a Christian.
I am what you might call a middle man. Not for either party, but for America. We as Americans have been blessed above all nations, and if you don't think so just go live somewhere else. All of the misguided on the Right and the Left are not helping the country. This country has laws on the books that are not enforced by any stretch of the imagination. Go to a middle eastern country and their culture enforces laws – steal and you loose a hand and so on. Our culture has become numb to consequences of actions. Murder someone and you sit on death row for 20 to 3o yrs. before you have to pay – all at the cost of the taxpayer. Sell national secrets to another country (treason) and you live the rest of your life in jail – all at our (the taxpayer) cost. Ask yourself – WHY HAS AMERICA ABOVE ALL OTHER NATIONS BEEN SO BLESSED???
It is good to see the two will finally meet. Dr. Graham has met with every President since Truman. I only hope that the press will not distort it and make assumptions about what Dr. Graham said or may say. His message is love, not condemnation on anyone.
For the look of some posts in here it looks like Rev. Graham is going to meet the AntiChrist...
He's the POTUS, he's black and he's a center-LIBERAL.
Your guy lost, that's democracy in action, get over it...
What separation of church & state! :(
Does this mean Billy Graham is a socialist?
I hope that the president listens to what Dr. Grahm has to say MR. Grahm has been an advisor to other presidents since the Kennedy administration. And being a man of god I do think the president can take something from this metting regardless of him being a muslim.
Looks as if there won't be much congestion on the golden roads in Heaven.
Franklin Graham is on target in his remarks about muslims. They have not done anything good for America and to the contrary, would love to see it desicrated. This talk between the elder Graham and Obama is probably to help "fix" those remarks by the son Franklin or smooth them over, however the real jist of the talk will probably not be in the news. Nevertheless the Grahams have served this life with better than average viewpoints toward all good people. Unfortunately from time to time, bad remarks about BAD people do need to be brought up even if by "Christians". Change for the better never happens in a constantly 'positive' world...