April 30th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton calls Wright comments 'offensive and outrageous'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/30/art.clintonpastor.ap.jpg caption=" Clinton sharply criticized Wright Wednesday."] (CNN) - Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she personally took offense to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's recent comments, the New York senator’s harshest assessment yet of Barack Obama's former minister.

"I think it’s offensive and outrageous. I’m going to express my opinion, others can express theirs," Clinton told Fox’s Bill O'Reilly. "It is part of just, you know, an atmosphere we’re in today.”

The comments appear to be a shift in Clinton’s tone on the matter. On Tuesday she criticized Republican presidential nominee John McCain for not doing enough to stop Republican ads running in North Carolina and Mississippi that feature Wright's comments.

"I regret the efforts by the Republicans to politicize this matter," Clinton said of the ad.

Speaking at the National Press Club Monday, Wright did not back down from some of his controversial remarks, including those that seemed to suggest the U.S. government might be responsible for the spread of AIDS among African-Americans, and his equation of U.S. wartime efforts with terrorism.

Wright also said Obama was acting like a politician in denouncing his controversial sermons.

Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Obama said he was outraged with Wright's latest comments.

"What particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing," Obama said, adding that Wright had shown "little regard for me" and seemed more concerned with "taking center stage."

Obama also said Wright's comments were not only "divisive and destructive," but they "end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (499 Responses)
  1. Leo in Nevada

    All of a sudden Obama is just distancing himself after 20 years of knowing the Rev.? Obama is no different from any other politician, he does what it takes and say what it takes to get elected. The man is unelectable and will lose to McCain. The man fails under pressure, he is no leader. He's not going to get out of this one with all the speech writers he has. I pitty da fool.

    April 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Henri


    April 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. harness

    If we could harness all the wind blowing out of the Obama folks and use it for positive rather than negative purposes... we could power the nation.

    No one is listening to you lying, hypocritical haters and your demagogue of aleader.

    April 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Aaron

    I will surely vote for Clinton.
    Her dentist is better and is more patriotic.

    April 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |

    HRC is speaking out about Sen Obamas former pastor for political gains only but she knows that Sen Obama is a true man of change and is tthe only person who can bring forth real change in Washington, because if he was the same old politician then he would bring up the fact that the Clintons former Pastor was just convicted of improper relations with a SEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL and he is going to jail . I am a black man born and raised in Memphis, TN I served 12 yrs in the military and currently working for the Federal Government as a DOD ARMY Civilian I say that to say this that i do not agree with everything Rev Wright says but there is some truth to some things he said not the aids, or terrorism comment but that there is two Americas one white and one black but he is free to think and say what he wants no matter how stupid he sounds saying it.

    April 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Chipster

    60 years old White Lady – It isn't Hillary Clinton's place to comment, explain, apologize or otherwise address her husband's infidelity. Her most personal pain was a public spectacle and became part of a national witch hunt to try to find some sort of crime committed by the Clintons. $70 million later, there was still no crime even identified. Whitewater was nothing more than a failed real estate investment. How did it ever warrant investigation? Normally, at least some sort of evidence of a crime is required. Ken Starr only managed to prove that the President lied about an affair. $70 million is a lot for taxpayers to pay for that and Sen. Clinton had nothing to do with it. She has no need to explain her personal humiliation to anyone or why she chose to hold her family together. That is her business and completely irrelevant to her skills and impressive record of public service.

    April 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. 58 old white wemen for OBAMA



    April 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. J.S.

    Hillary Clinton needs to go back to her multi-million dollar mansion in upstate New York with her kitchen sinks, her tax returns, her lies, her negativity, and her pickup trucks. She is no longer relevant. It's over for her. She has been defeated.

    The Democratic Party needs to rally behind it's victorious nominee and focus on the real issue and the real battle.

    John McCain and the GOP in November.

    This is the most important issue!!! Hillary Clinton is not an important issue anymore.

    April 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Nora

    HRC set up the whole thing on Monday.. Her supporter invited Rev Wr. to the press club... Clintons are so dirty... But this time we, the people, will stop you, liars.

    April 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Chido Williams

    "I would not have remained in that church' thats Hillary pertaining to Obama. How come you kept Bill while he took advantage of our taxes money to screw Monica/JENNIFFER in the oval office and you still married to him. You never explained nothing to us.

    April 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. stephanie

    As a Clinton supporter, I think that the only person to blame for Reverend Wright's statements are Reverend Wright. Obama and Clinton are not to blame.

    April 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. mike

    Obamamaniacs just want this to be over and they will rant on about HRC and what a bum she is just to divert attention from the facts. The fact is that BHO has shown poor judgement with both Wright and Ayers. It is perfectly legit to criticise him for that. If anyone is stuck on a spin cycle its BHO and his loony followers.

    April 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Anthony

    Senator Obama is in a pickle. He's known Rev. Wright for 20 years. He's attended his sermons and called the man his spiritual mentor. Wright officiated at his marriage and baptized his children. Obama knows how the reverend thinks and what he believes. Saying he didn't know is disingenuous. Obama will not win the nomination because of Revco, Wright, Ayers and whatever the Republicans decide to reveal next. I'm sure there's more out there . . . there must be. Hillary is right to be outraged. We should all be.

    April 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Franky

    You know, Hillary makes me laugh. I mean, one day she doesn't mention about the pastor, another minute(or couple days later) she says how could someone attend the church, another minute she asked Senator McCain to "try" and pull down the ad in North Carolina and now, she says this. Come one guys, is no secret, Hillary is trying to earn extra points and since she has something to say when everybody has already said something, then she gives her opinion. No offense to Hillary but I never seen a girl who has more periods than Hillary....that woman is always on a rag. I'm out guys!

    April 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Jot

    I have no doubt in my mind that all the Obamanias like reverend wright and everything he stands for. For them to attack Hillary because of her comments about the issues is pathetic. As a democratic, I pray to God if Obama is the nominee for McCain to win the general election, not because I don't like Obama but to punish those who support him

    April 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. sunny

    you people are idiots! Obama has a lengthy history of poor choices and a fear of answering any question that is not fluff. He is the emperor in the emperors new clothes. Prancing around with everyone afraid to say what is right in front of them. Finally exposed for what he is he double talks and lies.
    Shame on him for not being truthful and honest and portraying himself as the victim. He has and will continue to cause a racial divide. It is very sad for all Americans. I am so happy his wife is "Finally" proud to be an American. Prejudge comes in all colors. It is lovely the hate she allows her children to hear in a place of worship. People can not continue to be victim of their own making. Everyone should be accountable for their actions!
    Hillary comments are those of a person in a Presidential race. People expect those running to comment and be informed of current events.
    Wake up!

    April 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. stage fright

    Truth be told,

    I think Obama staged the public fight, to fool people into thinking that he does not agree with Wright and to stage a public distancing from him.

    April 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. paulie_nj

    RJW will not go away as long as Obama is in the picture. Obama himself said that RJW is/was is spiritual advisor, a man who was like a father to him, a family member and that he could not disown him any more than he could disown his own white grandmother. And now the hypocrite decides to disown RJW after he merely enforced the same comments that have been played over in sound bites. RJW is correct in staing that Obama has acted like a politician and is saying what he needs to say in order to win, just he did with NAFTA (wink, wink). For Obama to say he does not have the same views as RJW is absurd for someone who spent 20 years with the man. How can you be around someone for 20 years and not know and share his views? Let's get real people !!!

    April 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Shirley-Ohio


    April 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. wait a minute

    I don't understand how the Republicans got involved in Rev. Wright's trouble with Obama. McCain did not scold the woman who yelled at Hillary with unkind words and Dems jumped at him for not educating that voter. Now again, McCain is scolded for not educating Rev. Wright fiercely. What is wrong with freedom of speech? What did so many people die for? We are not a communist country and I want both my freedom of speech and Rev. Wright's. I disagree with his views on a lot of things, but I respect his right to speak up. I don't like Hillary to be in charge of my brain and my words. She even tried to correct Obama in a debate for using the wrong words.

    Hillary should see "The People vs. Larry Flynt" to understand what it means by true democracy. I will fear to have a president who acts like a dictator in any country and call it democracy.

    If Hillary were to be elected, we will have to learn democracy from Venezuela, whose citizens knew how to protect their democracy better than we do.

    If Hillary were to be elected, American democracy will be stalled.
    What is your choice?

    I disagree with Rev. Wright's many ideas, but he should have the right to speech. We should encourage critical thinking, instead of forbidding some from speaking their unpopular mind.

    Does Hillary understand what democracy really is?
    Senator McCain certainly does in this aspect.

    April 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. lewc

    Topics of Interest:

    1. HRC's (current) pastor-Charges of Molestation of 7 year old

    2. Peter Paul vs. The Clintons-17 Million Dollar Law Suit

    These topics are being heard in the courts currently, so why can't we get some dialog in this regard from CNN?

    April 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Tammy - KCMO

    Hillary you just keep sinking lower and lower. I will never vote for you.

    "The woman who organized Reverend Jeremiah Wright's event at the National Press Club, Monday, is a Hillary Clinton supporter. Barbara Reynolds is a member of the Press Club's Speakers Committee and coordinated the event."

    You are not innocent by any means and are responsible more than anyone else for politicizing this. You aren't a Democrat – you are a Republican in sheeps clothing.

    April 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. AMP

    Obama supports blaming Clinton for Wright's actions and ALL of BO's goof ups! Incredible!

    April 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Tess, TX

    Whatever Hillary says or does, will never please most of Obama supporters! They are bitter, angry, agressive, and soooooo hateful! Don't worry, if Obama get nominated, hundred of thousand Hillary supporters will stay home on the election day to watch John McCain get all the votes!

    April 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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