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March 14th, 2008
05:42 PM ET

Obama answers critics on 360° tonight

We had been working on this story all day  – the controversy over Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

360° tonight

Anderson talks with Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, responding to his pastor’s firestorm of controversy. 360° Tonight, 10p ET.

Rev. Wright recently had this to say, "Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single parent home, Barack was.  Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary, Hillary ain’t never been called a n*****!  Hillary has never had her people defined as a non-person.”

Harsh words from a man Obama has called his spiritual mentor (he officiated the Obamas’ wedding and baptized their two children).  Yesterday, Sen. Obama was not commenting, so our plan for tonight was to run a story looking at the history of this kind of rhetoric in black churches and what Rev. Wright’s comments could mean for the his most famous congregation member.

But late in the day, the Obama campaign had a change of heart, offering up the Senator himself to address the issue.  So we’ll have that tonight, Anderson and Senator Obama responding to his pastor’s firestorm of controversy.

Program note: Anderson Cooper 360° airs live at 10p ET on CNN


Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (505 Responses)
  1. African American Women for Hillary

    This is what happens when you play the race card. This is dual-edged sword. Obama has to realize he opened this Pandora’s Box when his campaign silenced Bill Clinton in South Carolina. His campaign took a statement meant as a mere comparison to a former leader (fact) and turned it into a racial slur (perception). My gut tells me Mr. Obama is not all that he is cracked up to be. First you must look at the acts of the person; next the words and then the associations of the person. Based on this premise, Mr. Obama does not pass the litmus test. Hillary Clinton has so much more to offer America... and her perspective is not a one sided but a majestic kaleidoscope that encompasses the melting pot we call AMERICA!!!!!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  2. barbara

    I wonder why these tapes have been brought out of the archives now? If it isn't the Clinton campaign (and I would hope they wouldn't play THAT dirty) then who in the media sees the need to inflame an already divided country even further?

    I weep to think that analysts, commentators and TV personalities would do such damage to our country just to enhance the security of their positions. The media does have some responsibility as to what they serve up to the viewer.

    Remember the old Indian adage about walking a mile in the other mans' shoes before judging.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  3. Tony Greco

    A plea for Sanity:
    How is it that in today's America a Minister can blame 911 on Homosexuals, and Katrina on Gay Pride Parades...and that is deemed rational –so much so, that the preacher can still be a guest in Television and John McCain doesn't have to denouncem renoucne and reoudiate him, give back the money he raised for him and reject their support.

    And yet a Pastor who blames 911 on the blow back of American foreign policy....that man is obscene, is hateful of america, considered beyond the pale.

    What is more rational cause and effect...homosexuality or foreign policy.

    Obama is about a different politics. Obama represents the politics of the SANE.

    Count me among them.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  4. Joan

    Anderson, Please play more of the Wright tapes. I think we need to find out how this man thinks.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  5. Rick from Canada

    watched the piece on barrack obama and the comments made by the reverend from his church. i think that this should have been reported on but it now seems like overkill and that the media should move on and get back to the things that really matter in your election process and report on how the candidates plan to handle your declining economy, the war in iraq and not dwell or flog to death the fact that someones reverend made some contraversial comments. We hope that the candidates get on with the rebuilding of the economy and status of the united states. Thanks for listening

    March 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  6. Errol Kennedy

    Will the real Obama please stand up. Are there any questions now as to what Michelle Obama meant when she said that she is only now "proud to be an American" since her husband is running? After the attempt to discredit Geraldine Ferraro just over 24 hrs ago it will be interesting to see how they use "words" to spin this one, its time we take a real close look at who we elect to the highest office in the nation.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  7. Chris Rubio

    Where else but in a church would you expect to hear what ails the congregation? And since Church is a place for instruction run by fallible people, some raw statements are said. Though I disagree with the Pastor's characterization of war time actions, recent and in the past, the racial statements he made regarding who runs America is absolutely correct. It is run by whites. It is a fact. To be fair, you should read what some Jews are saying about the murders of students this past week or the muslims are saying about the recent US bombing in Pakistan, killing civilians. The spokesman who talked about not having a scriptual basis for speaking out against your own country has not read the prophets in the old testament. Religion is not about teaching tranquility as your guest stated, but how to life in a world without tranquility. Whether as a Christian, Jew, or Muslim, murder and death, racism, occupation is a part of our existence. One must always be able to persuade its leaders to change their ways, but the reality on the street sometimes is far from "tranquil".

    March 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  8. Ralph

    How can the "Rev> Moss III compare the "Rev Wright" to Jesus. There is no comparison.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  9. Jay from Utah

    In reference to the reverend; Any person has the right to freedom of speech. Non profits do not, why not just revoke the non-profit status of the church and reverend, place him the status of Don Imas and move on?
    Thanks

    March 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  10. Cur"E"Us

    Just reading over the comments on the Blog and watching the guest on the the show, I realize that some people will happily crucify someone for the actions of others.
    I respect Mr. Obama and believe that his vision to unite America has reached a cross road. Anyone that thinks that he is in agreement with Pastor Wright apparently has not followed his campaign or read his books. It's time we stop pointing fingers and judge this man on his character and accomplishment. There are a lot of people that support his campaign that will have skewed view of America and their personal view for what ever reason or life experiences should not detract from Mr. Obama's ability ability to unite this country. He has denounced Pastor Wright as should anyone who wants to represent "ALL AMERICANS".

    March 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  11. Sandra

    With Obamas wifes comments about "feeling like an american for the first time" this supports the fact that Obamas wife thinks like most black americans , who still have hatred in their heart.

    I am afraid. America should be afraid that if a black president is elected now that blacks will view it as a free ticket to behave as they wish.

    Obama is not uniting america. He is dividing it. He cannot force blacks to change their outlook when they have so much hatred in their hearts. The USA is not ready for a black president. Blacks have to let go of their hatred first. If Obama wins, there will be more division in the USA than previously. He should hand over to Clinton if he really cares about a united america. Again, blacks have to let go of their hatred, and it cannot happen overnight, and it is not happening now. It is not only with black leaders, it is with the people. For the record, I am black, and I will vote for Clinton.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  12. Bill - New Jersey

    Mr. Obama’s attempt to justify Mr. Wright’s inflammatory and racist comments clearly shows that he is not qualified to hold the highest position in this country. To say that he was not aware of these types of statements is naïve at best. I had very high hopes for this man when he said he wanted to unify the people of America. I can see very clearly now that my faith was misplaced.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  13. cousin dick

    Yeah, nearly 20 years of attending this guy's and he never once heard him utter these hate messages. Incredulous! The investigative reporters need to button this down. Clearly, my friends:

    CHANGE WE CAN'T BELIEVE IN!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  14. bbs

    I would like to hear Sen. Obama state that in truth, Pastor Wright is really Pastor Wrong. I used to hear that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton didn't want to see Obama win because it would ruin their line that blacks are treated so poorly. I gave that no credence. However, it seems to me by Pastor Wrong's remarks that he really does want to start racial strife when it has taken 250-300 years to overcome this problem among most people. A majority of white people have crossed that line and accept black people as equals – which they should. It seems to me that Pastor Wrong is trying to recreate devisiveness between races. I believe it's time for Senator Obama to find a more progressive pastor and church. I'm glad Pastor Wrong is retiring – his time has passed.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  15. Chris Dykstra

    When the statements made by Obama's pastor are compared with the statements made by the radical clerics Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, all of whom have said that God has punished America for its sin by inflicting 9.11 and various other disasters, they seem relatively benign. George Bush and many other GOP politicians have courted these crazies for years.

    Anderson – if you are going to get into ceaselessly re-playing soundbites from inflammatory religious figures, why don't you review the greatest hits of all the guys that support mainstream republicans. Wipe the smug off of Tony Perkins face by asking him to defend Hagee's call to invade Iran with Israel to hasten the second coming. Now THAT's a guy you want talking to the man with his finger on the button.

    While you are at it, when you are doing stories about the influence of religion on the Bush Adminsitration – why not do a little research into the 150 legal interns from Pat Robertson's academically suspect Regent "university" who ended up being good little DOJ storm troopers? Why not investigate religious litmus testing at every level of the US government for the past 8 years? Ask Perkins to defend that...

    The Obama's pastor story is a small, ugly story, unless you frame it against the backdrop of the pervasive crazy-talk of religious actors across our political landscape AND the all to real religious corruption infecting our government.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  16. Luis

    Senator,

    Did you vote in the interests of the Oil Companies, did you ever attend Trinity and hear your pastor, did you ever consider the moral or PR issues related to your land purchase? If you did, how can I trust your judgement that you you keep telling us you that is superior to the other candidates?

    Truly disappointed>

    March 14, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  17. Bill A

    I have heard many sermons by Rev. Wright on visits to my church when I leaved in NJ. Everything that I have been hearing related to him is very unfair and not reflective of the man I know. People must stop letting the media make up their minds when it comes to making decisions. Read and listen for yourself and then make up your own mind if able to do so.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  18. Rob

    Sen. Obama lost my support. I will vote anyone but Barack Obama.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  19. Pat

    Barack will say anything - anything – not to jeopardize his chances at the presidency. I do not believe Barack Obama - he is lying. What is so sad is that David Gergen is also stalling for Barack by saying we should be talking about the economy rather than Barack's mentor, his retired minister. I usually always respect David Gergen's opinion, but not this time.....his partially came across loud & clear this time. The public does not really know Barack and Michelle Obama, and instances like this should not be rushed over and ignored. Yes, they need to be thoroughly examined - it should have been done before this point in time. I always wonder why Michelle appears to have a "chip on her shoulder," but info like we are now learning explains this couple's attitude and explains why they feel they are "entitled" to this nomination. I have never seen so much division in our Party since these two came on the scene and want to label everything as racism when things are not going their way.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  20. Rev. Dennis Maher

    I am a white Presbyterian minister of 35 years and am highly offended by the way the media is treating Jeremiah Wright. He is a highly respected UCC pastor and yet you have Tony Perkins, a right wing zealot, commenting on a scholar, a prophet, and builder of a wonderful congregation in Chicago. I am disappointed in Obama for condemning Wright's preaching. The psalms and Isaiah, and Jesus were all against governments which wage unjust wars and will not see the poor in their midst, but this message can hardly be preached in this country. I despair of this nation and its continual election of fear mongering demogogues who only posture about their faith. There is nothing anti American about Wright, but then none of the media seem to have any religious sensibilities and cannot know this.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  21. kathy

    What was so racist about what the reverand said,what he says is true coming from a man of his age and history. What Obama can hopefully be is a bridge from the thoughts of that generation to the hopes of the future generation. The world I grew up in as a 42 year old white woman is not the world that the reverand grew up in nor the world that my 9 year old biracial daughter will grow up in and thrive in.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  22. G. Beatty

    When JFK ran for President, a leader in my (white) Protestant church, someone I had always respected, began circulating anti-Catholic literature. Several years later, on a visit to Jackson, Mississippi, I listened to a church-going member of the White Citizens Council deliver a strong message of white superiority, all based, he said, on biblical precepts dating back to Noah. Religious teachings can be a source of moral transcendence or they can be a source of the worst kind of bigotry.

    Anyone who has listed to Barack Obama understands in an instant that he is not a bigot, that he depores polarizing and hateful speech, and that he seeks to move the nation beyond the various hatreds that continue to roil not far beneath the surface of our politics.

    It is unfortunate that the grating and intemperate remarks of Rev. Wright are now being amplified by the media as part of a campaign to discredit Obama on the basis of statements his minister made. The silver lining is that–as Obama said in his interview–this may create an opportunity for some serious teaching and dialog about the issues raised by the ministers remarks.

    One point that deserves closer analysis is the relationship between "patriotism" and religious teaching. One of your guests seemed to claim that the Bible requires patriotism. This is not correct. One only need recall Nazi Germany to see the flaw in the logic: If one's country is engaging in a great moral wrong, it is the duty of Christians to point out the wrong and to protest. The greatest love of one's country may be displayed by those who criticize actions by that country that disrespect its fundamental values.

    We were led into a fundamentally tragic war in Iraq (a country that had not attacked us and denied any intention to do us harm) by a President and a media who used fear and patriotic slogans to drum up war fever and silence critics. One can deplore Reverand Wright's inflammatory language (in the clips shown in the media) and at the same time view him as someone with the courage to condemn actions he views as morally unjustified even though those actions may represent conventional wisdom.

    In any event, I return to the original point. Politicians should be judged by their own views and not by the sermons of their ministers. This latest "guilt by association" attack on Obama is deeply troubling.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  23. Theresa Johnson

    Finally Obama is being unmasked. Of course we blacks know he agrees with Rev. Wright. His wife also meant exactly what she said couple of weeks ago. It just slipped out of her, but because of press adulation of Obama, she recovered quickly. This one is much harder to wiggle out of for the press, hence finally some investigation as to who Obama really is and what he believes. Obama believes exactly what Rev. Wright said. I should know, I'm black too.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  24. Offended

    I hope when you find out that Obama did, in fact, know about these speeches and was most likely at a few of them ... that you REPORT IT!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  25. thatgirl_'bama

    joe_dallas, I don't think that this pastor was preaching hate. we only saw a blurb, but I do believe that he was making a point of relation to harship and the struggle of racial equality. the truth does hurt AND Obama is about racial and political reconciliation....it would be nice to see this campaign be focused on the issues....like the economy....NAFTA!!!!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  26. Debbie

    It's important to understand how the U.C.C denomination is run..as a member of the U.C.C. for 49 years, I spent 6 years with a minister whose views I didn't share, and who angered me enough that I walked out of a church service....HOWEVER I've seen them come and I've seen them go..We don't follow lock -step with what our leaders say. My church family and the peace I felt sitting in the pews, my closeness to God is what was important. I consider this independence a blessing, and although I am supporting Hillary in the campaign process,admire Sen. Obama for his faithfulness to his church

    March 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  27. Allison

    Anderson,
    Will there be any coverage of Hillary's anti-gay minister or McCain's??? The time is ripe now.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  28. alexa

    I don't believe that Obama, after belonging to Jerimiah's Wright's church since the early 1990's, didn't know the nature of Wright's sermons.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  29. Joyce

    Anderson Cooper, How many other candidates or elected officals have you asked to sing the national anthem and how many would sing it if they could not sing. How embarrasing, Well, all you Obama haters you got what you wanted. I could see the pain in his eyes. This man has spent his life trying to help people and look what he gets.

    I went to a church where I didn't like the minister for many years because it was hard to break the ties with the members. Black churches have a real sense of family that I guess most other churches don't. I don't believe in my heart that this man hates white people.

    People are yelling racism, but I have yet to hear that what the pastor said was not true.Now you can all sleep tonight and sleep well, Mission accomplished.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  30. ANGELA

    Some of tthese writers seem clueless as to what has been going on in this country AGAINST African Americans. Please, nothing said was incorrect. The black experience in the country has probably been the overall worst out of every race here. Instead of trying to turn the tables on black folks, try looking in the mirror. Blacks have no reason to apologize, America should be apologizing to Blacks. Maybe then, all of us can finally GET ALONG (Rodney King). Blacks don't want to be enemies with whites, and they did not enslave whites, so stop playing the innocent card and instead trying having some compassion.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  31. Trisha

    I wish CNN ands all other networks would stop this guilt by association. Sen Obama is obviously Not in favor of his pastors views and every step this man has made in life until now has proved it! He is such a bright, caring indvidual and from start to present his campain has reflected this. I really hope that people see this story for what it is, rubbish!
    Sen Obama, you hang in there, the people of America are brighter than you know and we are still behind you. As for me I will only vote for you because you have brightened up America and your speeches have lifted my heart, time and time again!!

    Trisha
    Monsey, NY

    March 14, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  32. Jasper

    So let me get this straight ... CNN would like us to understand the history of black churches in America in order to convince us why it's acceptable for Pastor Wright to make anti-American rants and radical racial slurs against whites?

    March 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  33. Louise

    This is not a religious issue... it is not a race issue... it is a trust issue. It is obvious we can not trust Senator Obama. He says he knew a year ago about these sermons but he waited until now, when his candidacy is in jeopardy, to denounce these anti-American statements. He has misled millions of people. I am a lifelong Democrat, but, if he becomes the Democratic candidate for the Presidency, I will actively support and campaign in my State for Senator McCain. I must distance myself from Senator Obama.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  34. Wil Van Zyl

    Firstly let me start off by saying almost all Christian ministers can be lunatics at times do I need to list off names? Go and look how many controversial comments were made by Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Jerry Farwell etc.. etc..
    Don't believe me? check all the Christian leaders who consulted former Presidents they all said stupid stuff time to time.. religion and politics don't mix period!!
    Lets keep in mind Christianity is also full of controversy big time also and a lot of it goes against the popular belief but most Americans claim to be Christian and the bible has all sorts of crazy things in it! But so what it's our faith. The Bible says it's wrong to be Gay should Obama being Christian have to defend Christianity? Of course not.
    To add we can all listen to what this minister said and condemn him but you know what? what he said was actually the truth as much as it stinks and is awful.. One of America's biggest sins is racism and white America is in complete denial because of shame. This minister just sounded off on what most people of color think..Not just black people but Latins, Indians, Asians even Jews and Italians talk this way at home and they all deal with racism and it's not in the past but still very present.
    Obviously if your running from President you can't associate yourself with these type of comments but come on America they are all very true comments he made. Barack did the right thing tonight.
    I'd vote for him in a minute God knows he must have endured a ton of racism even to get this far! most would have given up!
    So people please be real and stop acting ignorant like you live in Neverland come on!

    Obama 2008 He is and will be the next President accept it!!!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  35. Tivoli Eclipse

    Reverend Wright forced Barack Obama by accident or on purpose to address Black feelings, Black thought, and Black judgment. It is almost painful to watch Barack Obama's apology for his Spirtual Advisor/Mentor... This discussion is long overdue. There is no way Barack Obama can sail to the Presidency of the United States of America without acknowledging the struggles and resistance of his biggest supporters.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  36. Bill Brown

    I'm having a hard time believing that Senator Obama (over a 20 year time frame) never had a clue that Reverend Wright's sermons contained "inflammatory " content. It's hard to imagine that no one in Obama's church "family" ever brought any of this to his attention, even if he was never actually present during one of these sermons. For me this is now an issue of credibility.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  37. Veronica in California

    "An incredible, powerful, prophetic voice of this age." This is how Obama's NEW pastor describes Wright TONIGHT.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  38. carol

    At the end of the interview tonight, when Anderson asked Obama if he would still sing the song, "God Bless America," was I the only one who noticed that Obama laughed, side-stepped the question with humor, but did NOT EVER SAY HE WOULD SING THE SONG! Would that have been so hard for him to give an affirmative answer if he had one?

    March 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  39. Rose

    First, I do not approve of the comments made by Pastor Wright! And, I also often do not approve of some of the statements that my own pastor and others make and have made in my presence during a church service. I know these statements are reflections of their personal beliefs and not my own. It is important for one to understand that the Africian American church theology and style of preaching (which may combine social issues and politics) is somewhat different from the anglo church. You might recall that the Civil Rights movement was birth from the African American church. With that said, I hope and strongly believe that as citizens "we" need to move forward in our own relationships w/in our communities beyond race and gender issues. All of this last week has taught me that we have a very long way to go in race relations. Our communities are different and we need to understand and respect those differences. Sadly, who will teach us? And, are we willing to be taught? We need leadership. Everyone can take steps to improve these relationships on a daily basis while understanding that the African American experience is quite different from what one would say is the American experience. The expressions of these experiences through a different lens does not make one any less loyal to this country. Much healing is needed in America among American citizens. And, circumstances such as those we have been hearing tells us that we have a lots of work to do.
    Can we do it? Yes, we can!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  40. Danny

    What happened to freedom of speech in the US?

    March 14, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  41. emeka nwagbara

    It will be wise to scrutinize the pastors of clinton and mccain or if they do not attend churchs a list of books they have read in the last 20years before crucifying Obama for the views of his pastor.
    Can anybody show that Obama has acted out the content of this sermons in any way in the last 20years.If not is that not enough evidence that he has not been influenced by this so called negative sermons.
    What is going on is just reverse racism.
    By the way I have had many white ministers insinuating that America is in danger of Gods curse because of legalization of abortion,the same ministers have endorsed presidential candidates and minimal dust is raised about this.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  42. Daniel Sather

    Anderson, I am disappointed in your coverage of Obama's Pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I am an United Church of Christ pastor of the same denomination as Rev. Wright. I have worshiped at Trinity UCC and have heard Rev. Wright preach several times. I don't know if you are a Christian or if you attend a congregation. If you do, clearly you have the wrong idea about a Christian commitment and what it means to be a member of a congregation.

    In the United Church of Christ we are free thinkers. Just because a preacher has a fiery sermon and one that may be offensive to members or to white America, does not mean that we have to agree with the pastor. We are free to glean what is helpful, meaningful and inspirational and we can discard the rest. To associate Rev. Wright's controversial statements about Hillary Clinton to Obama isn't fair, nor is it good reporting.

    Let me say a word about Rev. Wright. Rev. Wright is a product of the sixties as Obama shared with you tonight. Clearly Barack Obama has had a different experience with people of all color and whites. Rev. Wright speaks from his experience and Obama will speak from his. Rev. Wright is an outstanding preacher and is inspirational (I am not saying the particular clip the press keeps showing is one of his better sermons). Rev. Wright clearly preaches from a historically African American model. He speaks as a prophet and as a spiritual guide. His personal understanding of his calling is to lift up black Americans and especially black men. The media shouldn't fault Rev. Wright for this - after all, America has not been just or fair to African Americans, especially African American men. Relations are better today, but it is better because of prophets like Rev. Wright who blazed a trail for all oppressed people.

    Enough already on Rev. Wright. The man is retiring and it really has nothing, NOTHING to do with the views or values of Obama. Doesn't the media get tired of rehashing old news? Let's get off Jeremiah Wright story, put it in the context of a black, retiring preacher who has made a difference in lives of millions of people. Obama is a good man and Hillary is a hard-working and committed woman. Both will make a wonderful president as long as the media doesn't destroy it for them. And finally, I would like to challenge you to pay a visit to Trinity UCC and see for yourself the kind of ministry that congregation provides for over 8000 members. Let's move on.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  43. Carol

    20 years and this is the first time he's ever said anything like this??? Come on, even Michelle Obama said this was the first time she's been proud to be an American.....the Obama's have been hearing this for as long as they've belonged to this church. And now Barack is just doing damage control.

    He's just Jesse Jackson in another body.....

    If Obama gets the nod I will not only vote for McCain but I will leave the Democratic party!!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  44. Kirk

    Anderson concerning the statements about Barack's pastor it his
    opinion. But knowing Barack and Michelle values and concerns for this
    Country is true Hope. I'm sorry things like this occur but it makes New's.
    I'm very proud to see History in the making that Barack will be a next
    President of the United State.We are very lucky as a Country I'm ready
    for that next new chapter for our Country.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  45. Sting

    I am a white man. I am a victim of COURT APPROVED racism. I took several civil service exams and scored in the top one percent of all applicants, but I was "passed over" so less qualified blacks could be hired. They had to "fill the quota" mandated by the Supreme Court. It's called Affirmative Action, and it is racial discrimination and it is approved by the Supreme Court of these United States.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  46. Danny

    Obama is in a difficult position with these statements, but (I'm European) the way he just dealt with it, shows what a great leader he is. I'm sure that he agrees with most of it, and that is because most of it is true. Hillary didn't live the life of black man in the US. There are still more black men in jail then there are in school. What that pastor said is true, but it's not something white people like to hear. That's why I think Obama handled it with grace and the attitude of a statesmen. Obama has to find a balance between white and black, and in the US that is not easy. Obama is Americas hope for a better relation with the world, he really is a wonderful person who is as honest as he can be with a controversial statement like this...

    Danny, Belgium

    March 14, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  47. Donald Dureau

    Chris said it all very well

    March 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  48. Larry Motsinger

    I find it hard to believe that Obama did not know of the racist tone of his spiritual advisor and mentor Rev Jeremiah Wright in like of the fact that his church gave an award to Louis Farakan. It's one thing to talk about bringing people and another to ignore divisive speech by your pastor of twenty years. A politician can talk about change and hope but what kind of change are we talking about.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  49. Ed

    The most disturbing thing about the preaching of Rev. Wright, besides its obvious racist characteristics, is the relentless HATE and his ability to INCITE people (the parishoners seen in the video).

    I will state that I do not believe Barak Obama in his attempt to explain away the Rev. Wright situation.

    In the course of 20 years it is just not possible that if Obama never attended one of these services, where the pastor espoused racial views, that he at least would have known about them.

    I personally fear Sen. Obama hides more than what he would prefer America to see. Why not? -the presidency is at stake!

    Remember, Michelle Obama was never really proud of this country before. Was that taught to her and Barak through their 20 year
    attendance at the Rev. Wright's church?

    March 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  50. Artemis

    I was totally shocked by the visual excerpts from Rev. Wright's sermons. As a former leftist in my youth, I am aware of the existence of these kind of extremist, hate-filled, blame-the-Government and the dominant culture for all the ills of humanity, beliefs, espoused in the most vicous and violent terms possible. But now I have learned that Borack Obama has been shaped, mentored, spiritually counseled, and influenced for 20 years TO THE PRESENT DAY by such beliefs! It is disingenuous of him to say that he was never aware of such beliefs–does he think we are all idiots? He has a long lifetime of close association with this man's philosophy and guidance–he tells us so in his own autobiography. He just left out the white-hating, US hating, rich-hating, and I might add, woman-hating, that I hear in these sermons! It is apparent that you will feel unable to criticize or investigate this long close relationship and what it really says and means, because no doubt you will be labeled as racists. Now I can see how cleverly the threat of racism has been used against us, the liberals, and the liberal media. Well, it is NOT racism to take note of the extraordinary picture this glimpse into Obama's background gives us. In fact, i realize it would be racist NOT to investigate this matter seriously–Obama and his mentor and his extreme leftist politics should be looked into as you would for ANYONE else! -- A deeply disillusioned & angry & frightened Dem

    March 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
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