April 25th, 2010
01:59 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama meets with Rev. Billy Graham


Before leaving North Carolina Sunday, the president will met with the Rev. Billy Graham, shown here in a 2005 file photo. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) - President Barack Obama met Sunday with the Rev. Billy Graham before leaving North Carolina to attend the memorial service for 29 West Virginia coal miners killed in a recent explosion.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said the visit was a follow-up to Obama's telephone call to Graham on the evangelist's 91st birthday last November. At that time, Burton said, the two agreed to meet as soon as possible.

Before Sunday's meeting, Burton described Graham as an important spiritual leader and national treasure.

Obama had a private prayer and conversation with Graham, Burton said, adding that Obama was "extraordinarily gratified" for the meeting. Graham's son, Franklin, also was there, Burton said.

Full story

Updated: 2:04 p.m.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Gil

    I hope that they will pray for the misguided Party of No that is holding America Hostage. (First Health Care, now threats to filibuster the Supreme Court choice, even before the person is named, Financial Reform and Now Immigration Reform!) Remember this Americans come elections next November!

    April 25, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. ronalde

    FOR WHAT Graham has said it all meeting with him will not changehis views ,forget the meeting and go straight to west virginia for the memorial service this far more important to the people of this country letting them know that we care for the hard working woman and men who has made this country great meeting with this bible thumping hipocrite will not help anything but please a few ingorant people in the south,God said how can you love me who is heaven but hate you brother on earth,move on mr.president it just ien't worth it.

    April 25, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Anonymous

    i'm expecting the right wingers to come up with some negative spin on this.

    April 25, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. ib

    He should say "I'm sorry for the way you are being treated" but this president is to arrogrant to say I'm sorry to anyone.

    April 25, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. jackml

    So perhaps this will at last promote Obama to the equal status of that last great Christian president George W Bush? Not! Bush was a phoney who has spent his entire life in self centeredness, while Obama has dedicated his life to helping others.
    You can tell a tree by the fruit it bears!

    April 25, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. 8 Years of the Bush Error = Recession and Record Unemployment for ? Years.

    The good Christian Graham will save the American taxpayer some bucks by sending his private jet to pick up the Obama family and returning to the mountaintop compound.

    April 25, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. Jo

    Why is the President meeting with The Rev. Graham? After reading "Republican Gomorrhea" I find it disconcerting that any President would meet with a evangelical minister. Is The Rev. Graham trying to convince Obama that his son is not some right-wing extremist and can be trusted? We need more info from CNN, please!

    April 25, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. 21k

    we need to stop giving so much attention to religious beliefs and self-promoting religious leaders in this country. it's the year 2010: we've been to the moon, the human genome is becoming better understood, and no supreme being stopped the Holocaust. there is no longer any excuse for ancient myths to have a place in shaping government policies.

    April 25, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Thanks for the disaster, Dubya!

    Pure politicking...otherwise why meet with this old geezer fantasy-monger. Religion is for people that can't cope with reality.

    April 25, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Jenny

    Rev. Graham: Don't waste your time; he isn't one of 'us'.

    April 25, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Jesus Francisco

    Billy Graham has always coveted these meetings with Presidents. Too bad his counsel has always proven to be less than worthless. Hopefully, Billy has learned from his conversation with Nixon to make sure no one is recording his conversations any more.

    April 25, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Pioneer 2

    I firmly hope that Billy Graham put sense on the mind of President Obama. Obama is an ideologue and needs to soften up a little. Dr King worked hard during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, even giving up his life for fair treatment of colored people, are now being squandered by President Obama administration in just under 2 years. Billy Graham must explain to Obama about the danger of playing with race card every time he encountered opposition. In my humble opinion, I see clearer line divide of race issues between white and black people now a days. It is scary and not good for America. May God help us all.

    April 25, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |

    No, ib, Billy Graham should say "I am sorry for the way you've been treated" to Pres. Obama.

    April 25, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. Hendrik

    I personally would meet with none of these Evangelical monsters. It is just idiotic that these Christian masses do not see their leaders for what they are: lying and sel-serving. It is amazing how these so called Christians hate their fellow man so much. They think that, because they are good with Jesus, they have no responsibility to those less fortunate than they. I hope they go to hell; they can join me there because God knows I have done some bad things in my life.

    Disgusting, uninformed morons.

    April 25, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Lib

    Unfortunately, the President of the United States has to meet with All kinds of people in this country. After all, whether they like it or not, he is president to all the people in this country. And, it is a good thing to know your enemies.

    April 25, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. Kathleen

    And, beside the point, ALL PARTY OF NO are liars and in bed with CORPORATIONS. And Tea Partiers are against Obama because he is BLACK. Their filthy signs are just excuses to lie about what is the cause and their "real motives". Even Good Caucasion People know they are racist. And "if" you can listen to FOX or LIMBAUGH for 5 minutes (I can't) then you may very well be a Racist and for Corporations and evangelicals running our Political arena.

    April 25, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. rawley

    Do any of you remember the Democratic Party of the last 8 years and their desire to ruin this USA. But time changes all things, remember that progressives

    April 25, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Patty Patriot

    For the Christians out there – pray for the Reverend Billy Graham for strength an courage as he meets with this adversary.

    April 25, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Priscilla

    President Obama, good! Please seek Rev Graham's counsel about Israel and other current events. God Bless you!

    April 25, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Peggy Makowsky

    Reverend Graham is a national treasure and greatly loved by many. Those of you who are not religious, that is your right to do so, ut, please, have a little respect for yourself and your fellow man and let the rest of us believe if we wish to do so. Reverend Graham has helped many people in this world, both emotionally and with his charitable organization.

    April 25, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. reptrnddem

    Why is everyone so quick to judge these days? How can you listen and see what this president is doing, and not no that he is doing what he thinks is right for this country. He may not do it pretty, but he is making changes generally for the better. Even though evangelicals and most of conservatives won't even give this guy a chance, he is still reaching out to their constituents. That shows courage, respect, and yes maybe a bit of political savy.

    April 25, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. sssimon

    I wonder if Obama really believes all that religious nonsense? He is such a smart and well educated guy. Surely not.

    In a perfect world religious belief would bar someone from holding high office.

    April 25, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. johnnyhouse

    He has met with plenty of Islamic leaders with no problem but I doubt he bows to Mr Graham. Probably not a religious matter.Probably a slip of the lip matter which is a no no these days.

    April 25, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |

    Protestant – Muslim summit. I assume that Obama thinks that his irrepressible charm and powers of persuasion will convince Graham to drop his life long beliefs and join the jihad.

    April 25, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. mh

    Good. Maybe Dr. Graham can lead Obama to the Lord and disuade him from his muslim religion.

    April 25, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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