[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/09/art.wilder0209.ap.jpg caption="Doug Wilder is backing Sen. Barack Obama."]
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) – Doug Wilder, the nation’s first black governor and a prominent backer of Barack Obama, told reporters Saturday that Bill Clinton has not yet atoned for his attacks on the Illinois senator during the South Carolina primary.
“Barack Obama is not a fairy tale,” Wilder, now the mayor of Richmond, said before the state’s annual Jefferson Jackson dinner, where Clinton and Obama were set to speak later in the evening. “He is real, the real deal as some would say. He is not just a good speaker. Jesse Jackson is Jesse Jackson. Barack Obama is Barack Obama.”
Wilder remains an influential voice among African-Americans in Virginia and throughout the South. He appeared at a press conference before the fundraiser with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, also an Obama supporter, and former Gov. Mark Warner, who is now running for Senate.
Wilder pointed to Obama’s overwhelming victory among black voters in the Georgia primary as evidence others shared his lingering resentment over the former president's remarks. “It’s not just me feeling that, any number of people feel that.”
“Talking on radio shows and talk shows, people are asking the very question you ask,” he said. “A time has come and a time goes. Mr. President has had his time.”
- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby