March 25th, 2008
08:03 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton: Wright would not have been my pastor


Clinton criticized Obama's pastor Tuesday, her first direct comments on the matter. (AP Photos)

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton would have long disassociated herself from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright if she was a member of his church, the Democratic presidential candidate said Tuesday - the first time she or her campaign has commented directly on the issue that has swirled around rival Barack Obama's campaign in recent weeks.

"I think given all we have heard and seen, he would not have been my pastor," Clinton said in a press conference in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The comments came hours after the New York senator made similar comments to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in an editorial board interview. (Watch Clinton's comments)

"You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend," she told the paper. Clinton also repeated those remarks in the press conference.

An Obama campaign spokesman said Clinton's comments were part of a "transparent effort to distract attention away from the story she made up about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia."

“The truth is, Barack Obama has already spoken out against his pastor’s offensive comments and addressed the issue of race in America with a deeply personal and uncommonly honest speech," Obama Campaign Press Secretary Bill Burton said. "The American people deserve better than tired political games that do nothing to solve the larger challenges facing this country."

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Peter Hamby

soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Jane


    You lied about being under sniper fire in Bosnia…

    What gets me is that you were laughing and smiling when you told the story.

    We have men and women getting shot at every day in Iraq and getting shot at is not a laughing matter.

    You make me sick !

    March 25, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. maya

    I SAW THIS SPEECH LIVE and I was wondering how it would be SPUN. She answered a DIRECT QUESTION about HER. She did not go out of her way to attack Obama–SHE WAS ASKED A DIRECT QUESTION.

    Deal with it Obama people- this issue WILL NOT GO AWAY and will infact only get worse in the general election when not among Dem friends/voters!!!!

    March 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Vince - Phoenix


    That's right, Hillary.... make SURE you keep the "controversy" going....

    so WHEN you finish losing, all the rethuglicans have to do is keep playing YOU over and over.

    Nice job.

    (whose side are you on, anyway???)

    March 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. nancy

    Is this all she can bring up on Obama ?

    Hillary is the one lying about everything. I do not believe anything that comes out of her mouth anymore.

    How can you tell if she's saying the truth when she lies so much?

    March 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. tomdavie

    Good for her. Its the truth.

    Obama has lost the Clinton democrats with this speech. Our candidate rejects Obamas fundamental choice on a personal level.

    Way to go OBAMA. Way to steal defeat out of the jaws of victory for the democratic party.

    March 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. LatinoNation

    As a Latino Catholic myself and so many at my church who can not believe that a pastor would talk like that ! God does not appreciate that i don not believe no matter how troubled are lives are ! I Love AMERICA do you?

    March 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. CR

    What about her involvement in "the Family"? From what I've heard this is a fairly controversial group. When will the MSM report about this!?!?!?!

    March 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Glenn

    For the love of God; please spell Pittsburgh (with an H) correctly!

    March 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Counting Down

    She is terrible. I would like to note that there are many people that have been close to the Clintons that have been convicted of so many felonies; that she was a Goldwater girl, etc. Please, give me a break. Get off your high horse.

    Hillary, this is why over half of America cannot stand you. I am a woman and didn't vote for you in Texas and will never vote for you for anything.

    Good BYE.

    March 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Shane

    It's absolutely shocking that Hillary Clinton is bringing Jeremiah Wright back to the forefront after her "sniper fire" comments have come under fire. *rolling eyes*

    Go ahead Hillary...keep destroying the Democratic Party. By all means...

    March 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Watson

    Now that the spotlight has turned to her INEXPERIENCE, she is trying to divert the subject back to race. You can't choose your family but you can certainly choose your husband. Will she repudiate Bill?

    March 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Peggy S

    Hillary, we dont believe you anymore!! You lied about too many things, and was caught in a lie today!!

    I will not vote for an untrustworthy Hillary.

    March 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. MGP

    Hillary chose to stay with Bill Clinton after he cheated on her, numerous times, and publicly humiliated her, numerous times. And Bill Clinton is not blood related to her but is certainly like family.

    This is not a place she should want to go.

    March 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Deb

    True to Hillary being week later she just HAS to respond to the questions. Give it a break Hillary. You have single handedly divided this Democratic party. This should be our year yet you are seriously jeopardizing us.

    March 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. The truth hurts

    Is that Ferrar lady in her camp? Enough said. More lies from the Queen.

    March 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. DC

    Bravo Hillary! Well said! It's about time you took this issue to Obama.

    March 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Abraham

    Hillary, you can't "change the subject of coverage" from your flagrent lies about your Bosnia encounter where your daughter was part of the company, witness to the difference between what you were telling the nation and what she, among others with you on the trip, were fully aware off.

    How can you lie to the nation about Bosnia, and what are you teaching your daughter by lying to us, even as she would have preferred you tell the nation the truth?

    The right thing for you to do now is: Just get out. Really. I doubt the media will buy your effort to "change the subject of coverage from your flagrent lies to the nation" to Obama's now digested Rev. Wright outbursts.

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. John Griswell

    I vomited in my mouth.

    She will never be president.

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Sue

    I urge everyone to go read or view the FULL context of the comments made by Wright. The 9/11 sermon HE WAS QUOTING A US SENATOR. Do your research people!!

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Tina

    And Bill could have not been my husband!!!!

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Ray

    My God, she is nothing but a bi-polar liar. Hey Hillary, NASA needs someone to drive the space shuttle on a 50 year mission, R U Game?

    Obama 08

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Rob

    HRC has just confirmed with her actions/words today that there is nothing she won't do for the nomination. How anyone can seriously consider this person for the highest position in the land is beyond pale.

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. EC

    Oh please! Will someone tell this woman to sit down already!!!

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Nikki

    Hillary Clinton is hell bent on destroying any democrat's chance for wining the election since she CAN NOT and WILL NOT get the nomination. Tear the part down Hillary and take your McCain voting supporters with you.

    McCain 08 = America a 3rd world country.

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Greg, NY

    That's right Hillary, don't comment on this issue for the past two weeks. Wait until everyone else stops talking about it then bring it up again to take everyone elses mind off of your 'misspeak' and your trying to woo pledged delegates.

    Keep it up!

    March 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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