March 25th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: Clinton resurrects the Wright controversy

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The economy once again may be the dominant campaign theme."] (CNN) - After staying out of the Barack Obama controversy over his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Hillary Clinton has now weighed in big time. She was asked about the flap when she met with the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today. “He would not have been my pastor,” she replied. “You know, you don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”

A few moments ago, at a news conference, she essentially said the same thing before the microphones and cameras. And as she did earlier in the day, she noted that she had spoken out last year against Don Imus for his racially-charged comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. “I gave a speech at Rutgers University saying that hate speech was unacceptable in any setting, and I believe that.”

Suddenly, the Rev. Wright uproar has returned to the forefront. The other flap of the day – her embarrassing and erroneous description of her 1996 visit to Bosnia – has been pushed a bit aside. She acknowledges that she made a mistake in describing the scene of her arrival at the Tuzla airbase.

All of this must be seen within the context of this incredibly close race for the Democratic presidential nomination. With four weeks to go to the Pennsylvania primary and the 10 other contests that will follow, every utterance by the two candidates is critical. The scrutiny all around will be intense because the stakes are enormous.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. Joe from Maryland

    I agree with Hillary. If our pastor ever cursed our nation, we would have walked out the door.

    March 25, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Niky

    This is insane. As a Canadian following the US elections, I am amazed at how much importance is being given to comments made by someone else (Mr Wright) and how Barack is being questioned about it. While, when Hillary is questioned about her own comments she brushes it off as 'mis-spoken'...

    March 25, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Onyemkpa Chukwuma - Brussels




    March 25, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Obama09

    It is not Clinton actually attacked Obama. It is Obama self destrustion that caused his election. Only loser only blame others for his own act. I think Obama should do two things, one is go to a good God loving chruch, not that cult; two is to stop attacking others for his own mistake.

    March 25, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Ron

    Wolf Blitzer, Please wake up, 50 percent + of the Democrats voting DO NOT LIKE HILLARY!

    If Hillarys name is on any ticket anywhere those 50 percent feel it is worth it to and WILL CROSS OVER and vote Republican just to keep the Clinton Scams out of the white house again.

    Add the above 50 percent to all the Republicans and the Republicans win.

    Ron, Democrat in, ND

    March 25, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. chaning times

    There's a reason why Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.

    You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the "Fellowship," aka the Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.....

    During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa's postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand "Communists" killed marks him as one of the century's most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration, the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise.

    look it up

    March 25, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. kandeh

    Can Clinton explain the visit of this pastor to the white house when there are so many pastors that never visited the white house during their tme there.They call Richardson judas, they will call Obama peter if he leaves that church.The Clintons will throw their last mud but at the end the truth shall prevail.This pastor visited the white house because there was a relationship between them.The pastor will surely pray for them and will tell God to forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.

    March 25, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Stephanie Freeman

    You and your "most bias team" on TV are always shooting down the Cintons. You have created this racial controversy. Obama's pastor was anti American and Obama stands by and allows that speech to continue. How many more excuses and accusations are you going through out until you finally get Obama as a candidate. Don't you get it the public is not as happy with Obama as you all are?

    March 25, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. JM

    The fact is, BOTH Obama and Clinton have scraped the bottom of the barrel in this campaign, but only Obama is claiming he hasn't.

    Hillary may have been worse, but only Obama is running, almost entirely, on his credibility as a "new" politician. Once that credibility is gone (and I believe it is) what else is left? Lofty rhetoric? "I told you so" jibes abou the war? NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    Even if we accept that Hillary has embellished her resume, she has still been in the Senate 7 years vs Obama's 3. Eight years in the WhiteHouse, at virtually any level, is also more credible than 9 years voting "present" in a state legislature. SHE HAS GREATER AND MORE RELEVANT EXPERIENCE.

    Add to that the fact that only Clinton supports truly universal health care and I will definitely continue to support her.

    March 25, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Cam

    This just continues to show how low senator clinton will go... she's evil and if the DNC gives her the nomination they will lose this election... i just understand the problem.... if someone has the most vote, most states, and pleged delgate.... they should win.....

    Senator Clinton is a LIAR... and would say anything.... she is not dumb.... she's ver y intelligent and she knows EXACTLY what she's doing!!!!

    March 25, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Marty in Virginia

    Senator Clinton is hoping to distract attention from her baldfaced lie about her "experience" in Bosnia.

    The American people will not fall for that kind of nonsense.

    March 25, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Charles Grootens

    Hillary is right, the church (rev wright) issue is also a matter of judgement and should be discussed profoundly in order to decide who is the best candidate to compete with McCain. I hope this issue, but also other serious issues, like the economy, will get broad attention, giving each candidate equal airtime. Now CNN is favouring Obama too much. Watch it Wolff, try to stay neutral!!



    March 25, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. Lee From Treasure Island Florida

    Hillary and Bill have lied, cheated, and stolen every thing they have.
    They ruin anyone and everything that stands in their way, no wonder Bill Richardson and so many former campaign and cabinet people have moved away from them. No wonder half the country does not trust and admits to hating them. Bill Clinton can not even practice law, he is DISBARRED, Bill Clinton was IMPEACHED. How many times have they been supenoed to court? Is this what America wants? Is this what the world needs?
    God save us.
    Obama has a crazy, over the top pastor...he addressed the issue, eloquently, like a man even very Presidential. The Clintons have yet to act Presidential.
    But go ahead CNN...spin your spin, our country, the world, the planet is in the hands of the media.

    March 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. TC, OH

    Hillary has officially gone bonkers!

    March 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. King of NJ

    Silly Season!!! will Americans Fall for it .... that is the queston!

    March 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Katy

    If I (Hillary) can't win the nominate, you (Barack) can't win the general election. McCain has the gold in his hands without sweats & tears.
    Media has been generous with Hillary especially Fox News for put her lie about Bosnia trip aside; to Hillary supporters, no big deal because they blind. Do you want this kind of president (like Bush Jr) lie about every thing, then retrack by ops, I misspoke!!!.

    March 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Change / Hillary the end is near

    Melt down


    Bow Out

    Obama 08

    March 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Chipster

    It's unbelievable how strong the opinions can be from people who are clearly so misinformed. (i.e. Bill is not a friend of Wright. Wright was one of a hundred or so ministers invited to the White House and had his picture taken.) For those who haven't done their homework, Hillary is fairly well known to be a Methodist who frequently talks about the Methodist doctrine of doing good deeds and – yes – forgiveness.

    She was asked a question and she answered. Insinuating that she brought it up is dishonest and you accuse her of lying because she didn't describe the Bosnia events as clearly as she could have. Obviously, she was told that there was sniper fire and to wear a protective vest. She never said she was actually shot at – don't you think that would have made headlines? So, at least I never got that impression from her account and don't know how anyone else did.

    March 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. Maryzep

    THE ISSUE WAS RISED BY A JOURNALIST! "She was asked about the flap when she met with the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today". The only thing she did was to give a direct answer to this question. The media fellow is to be blamed.

    March 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    This is one unstable woman.

    March 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. Roger Burrows, Canada

    If Barack Obama had been going to the same church for 20 years and his pastor mentor had been spewing fire and brimstone all that time, why is it such a surprise to the media now? If the national and local media had been doing their jobs, this would have been in the open as soon as Obama put his name up for election and we wouldn't have to go through all this nonsense now. The news media and the USA in general is losing credibility worldwide and that will have more fr-reaching repercusions than the unChristian spouting of Rev. Wright.

    March 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Mike

    Mr. Blitzer,

    Please do the nation a favor and report on substance rather than horse race.

    Your friend,

    March 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. June

    Do you realize – or care – how much of this Wright discussion would change if his prior and post words were aired?. I heard them yesterday, and am absolutely shocked how the context changes, and how that is completely ignored. Even the next sentence after "D... America, was "if she...".
    This is so unreal. How can not at teast tell the whole truth?

    March 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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