April 28th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama: Wright is 'free to speak his mind'

(CNN) -
Barack Obama would not say Monday whether he thought fresh headline-grabbing statements from his former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, could harm his presidential bid – and continued his effort to distance himself from the pastor’s controversial comments.

“I think certainly what the last three days indicate is that we're not coordinating with him,” he laughed. “He's obviously free to speak his mind, but I just want to emphasize he is my former pastor.

“Many of the statements he made both to trigger this initial controversy, and that he's made over the last couple days are not statements that I heard him make previously. They don't represent my views and they don't represent what this campaign is about. But he's obviously free to make those statements.”

soundoff (113 Responses)

    I agree with Rev. Wright. Black and White children learn differently, so let's have separate schools. I wonder which schools teachers will want to teach in?

    April 28, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. What a Joke

    Only one thing to say "Birds of a feather, flock together".

    April 28, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. RAY SF

    Stacy...judge him on the good works of his career?? WHAT career???

    April 28, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Charlotte

    You are judged by the company you keep. NUFF said...

    April 28, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Kim P. Atlanta, GA

    I am so sick of this. It's like banging your head against a wall and not expecting it to eventually hurt. The opinions of voters are not based on what Rev. Wright says or does. People who like Obama are going to vote for Obama regardless of Rev. Wright or any other issue Hillary or McCain dredges up. People who are dismayed or swayed against Sen. Obama because of Rev. Wright are ONLY doing so, because they needed an excuse or do not want to appear different than those whom they live with, work with, and or socialize with, who may be Obama supporters. They are cowards, racist, or bigots. These are Clinton and McCain supporters. Not independents or unsure voters!

    April 28, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. propaganda press

    keep giving the devil the blues Jeremiah!

    April 28, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. GoHillary

    OB you're so spineless. Even your followers are deserting you. I last saw them heading off to open another keg.

    April 28, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. Shane

    please obama LET HILLARY WIN because you sure won't

    April 28, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Carol

    It would be a scream if the public found Rev. Wright's speech last night fair and acceptable.......... then turned on Hillary for saying "he would not have been my pastor".

    April 28, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. mitch from ark.

    the reverend is only telling the truth,and i'm as rednecked as they come.

    April 28, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. GoHillary

    Stacy Clarks – are you a goldfish? What good exactly has Obama done in his carreer?????

    April 28, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. Mike

    After watching Rev. Wrights speech to the NAACP. I can see why Obama enjoyed his sermons. I am a middle aged white police officer and I found Rev. Wrights speech to be brilliant, insightfull and inspiring. I urge everone to find this speech and listen to it in it's entirety. It will change your mind about this man and turn you off to the intolerant comments of Hillary, McCain, Limbaugh and Beck.

    April 28, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Shiloh Wa

    US Marine – Rev. are usually still listed as senior Pastors when they retire just like Tenured Professors are still Tenured Professors when they retire. Rev. Wright can say what he wants and the media is feeding into his obvious ego-centrism. I don't beleive he is at all representitive of Obama or most Black Churchs. I think he has lost his way and we should pray for him because the Holy Spirit is not who's guiding him–in my opinion.

    April 28, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |

    The media wants this primary to go on for ratings. There is no possible way for HIllary to win...or catch up. So why are we giving additional hope to these clinton fans. Obama has won 30 of the last 42 states....yes 30. He is poised to win NC and possibly Indiana. He has more votes and delegates.

    She needs to win every state by 65%...yes 65% to at least break even. She has not done that yet. So why is she staying in. She is in for her own political gain to run in 4 years.

    So, democratic party. Tell the pundits, talking heads and media to stop looking for ratings.

    God Bless America.

    April 28, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. rcf

    Did anyone listen to the introduction of Reverend Wright? This is a man who has done a lot of good. This is a man who did NOT seek deferrments from military duty. He served his country. This is a man who did NOT dodge his military duty.
    All in all it boils down to a simple fact – Obama was the golden boy until it became "OMG he might win!" The 'good ole boys' would rather have a shrill voiced, lying, untrustworthy woman then an African-American in the White House.
    It is going to be interesting to watch and see what snippets will be taken from Reverend Wright's speech to use against Obama, in spite of Soledad O'Brien's efforts to show and speak of how it really was.

    April 28, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Nanc, MN

    As i recall he was his pastor until it became a politcal liability. And people want to call Hillary a hypocite, give me a break.

    April 28, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Iva

    Why do you consistently refer to Rev. Wright as Obama's ex-pastor? He's name is Jeremiah Wright NOT Obama's ex-pastor! Obama and Rev. Wright have both attempted to distance themselves from each other, BUT you keep attaching Barack Obama to the Rev. Wright. When you reference Rev. Wright's comments, say "Rev. Wright," NOT "Obama's ex-pastor!"

    April 28, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Ms. Sallie FL

    i ' am glad he came out ,because he is the peacher, and he the one spoking the words ,not Obama ,please get it right

    April 28, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Susan MO

    He is not his ex-minister. Obama, we heard you loud and clear

    April 28, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. Burt, IN

    Obama always refers to Wright as his "former minister". Wright retired about 3 weeks ago and Obama instantly added "former" to his comments. I agree that Obama is not Wright but he is very close to him and has been for 20 years. Before the chickens came home to roost, Obama referred to Wright as his "spiritual advisor" and "mentor" and took the title for one of his books from a sermon Wright delivered. Wright was a member of his campaign (advisor on religious affairs or something similar) until the uproar caused Wright to leave. Obama lied to us when Wright's racism and anti-American views were made public by telling us that, in the 20 years he sat in that church, he had never heard Wright say anything that was racist or against the U.S. No one believes him.

    April 28, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. J.Winn MA

    "but I just want to emphasize he is my former pastor." My how quick Obama's affections change!

    His reference to He Is Like an Uncle to me, his statement He inspired me, His Gratitude that HE brought him back to his religion, His Proud referene to the fact that HE married us and baptized our children, His admission to Wright as His Mentor, has all been REDUCED to Wright is now ONLY HIS Former Pastor! Is Wright now his Former Uncle too? I guess Wright has been excommunicated from Obama's family and is no longer someone whom Obama will not denounce! Politics sure has a way of diminishing one's loyalties! I guess like George Bush said, "If Your Not With Me, Your Agains Me! Wright has been removed from the Obama List Titled, People Who Can Foster My Presidential Nomination!

    April 28, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Canadian Neighbour

    Obama is running for President, 'NOT' Rev. Wright !
    Cnn, it's time to move on.

    April 28, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. Kim

    The Shameless Hillary monster sacrifices Rev. Wright like a Judas. This after Rev. Wright was the Pastor the Clintons chose to help them through the Billary Clinton sex scandel. Rev. Wright was an honored guest at the Clinton white house and now Hillary betrays him for a few sleazy votes.

    April 28, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. Ladyleo

    Why is Rev Wright an issue for Obama? I don't go to church for political advice nor do I contact my congressman for religious advice. They have nothing to do with each other. I am turning this over to GOD and let him work this out,.

    April 28, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. Daryl from Seattle

    I heard a rock star said hateful things about America in an interview, like racism still exists, we shouldn't have gone into Iraq, and slavery was a bad thing. So un-American! I also heard Obama is a fan of that rock star........therefore, he MUST be un-American too!!!

    April 28, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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