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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. Barbara Bakley

    Please wake up America! It is up to all of you to do your due diligence to investigate this wolf in sheeps clothing. He himself has the Preacher speeches, that mesmerized at least a third of this Nation. The followers are his flock, and have not looked past who this person is, to lead the greatest Country in the World. Wright is a Racist, and obviously is what he teaches in many of his Sermons. It is naive to think that Obama has not been in attendence to not know what Wright stands for. if you didn't believe as Wright does, why would you still be a member of his Parish? The hatred was about as strong as I have ever experienced watching those tapes. I understand Wright is now selling them, and there are at least 12 tapes for sale.

    How dare him say that we deserved the attack from 911, and tarnish the memory of all those that sacrificed their lives needlessly. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard these tapes yesterday. If anyone forgives Obama's association with this "man" for the past 20 years, them shame on you. You have no idea what a man that has been schooled in that manner, can bring to the top office in the world! It IS..G-D Bless America, not G-d damn America. If you don't like it here, then leave this great Nation, and take you hatred and your followers with you. We are a different country now, and we are all trying to get along as One Nation Under G-d. We certainly don't need a Preacher dividing us now, nor a Presidential Candidate covering his true beliefs! It is all of your Civic duty to make sure this doesn't happen! For this reason, I back Hillary all the way! Our Country will turn around and take care of it's own. We need a fighter like her. Our economy will come back, and health care for all will be a reality! Go Hilllary!

    (by the way, if Barack was so poor, how did he go to Harvard? I would love to know the answer to that.)

    March 15, 2008 at 1:14 am |
  2. david

    You know as an obama supporter, i am really suprised barack attends a church of such kind. I think this is his chance to show the judgement he talks about. Good judgment is not only the ability to oppose the war in Iraq but also to make the right decision in every endeavour of one's life.

    I would suggest that he distance himself from that "pastor". Although it is an inevitable fact that America like many countries has got it's dark side but you don't amplify such things about the very country you live.

    NO matter what, i still cannot give my support to Hillary, i would advise every one to take a look at the youtube video called "the shocking video hillary doesn't want you to see" in order to know the real hillary and the threat she poses to America.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:14 am |
  3. Tomie

    Someone needs to remind the pastor, that yes, Obama did come from a single parent home, and was raised by his white mother, and the reason his mother raised him without a father is because his african father deserted him and his mother. Hummmmmm

    March 15, 2008 at 1:14 am |
  4. Paul

    America IS run by privileged rich white men.

    I don't see the problem here.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:14 am |
  5. Jason

    Let me state, upfront, that while I think Sen. Obama is an admirable man, I am a supporter of Hillary. Still, I am troubled by this issue. On the one hand I can respect Sen. Obama's need to "set" the record straight. However, I'm dumbfounded by the hypocrisy of it...Here you have a black man preaching that Obama is NOT white...and that he is not a recipient or beneficiary of white privilege – and there isn't anyone crying racism. Yet, you have G. Ferraro saying the same thing in reverse...Obama has gotten as far as he has because he is black – and she is dubbed a racist and suggesting that he is not qualified or competent because of his color. It's fascinating that there is discussion about "ignoring" racial identities and looking at what brings us together as Americans – RACE will always be a factor in this country. You can not acknowledge Senator Obama without acknowledging he is a BLACK man in the same way you can not acknowledge Senator Clinton without acknowledging that she is a woman. These should not be characteristics we avoid or shy away from, but instead, embrace and move past.

    We the capacity to move beyond them...according to Sen. Obama...but we also have the capacity to acknowledge, accept and embrace it so that we can move beyond.

    Just my 2 cents!
    JR

    March 15, 2008 at 1:13 am |
  6. Jim

    I hope all of this garbage does not cause race riots. It seem like the media is trying to start racial divide. I believe that a black man has a chance of becoming President, most of white America is trying to start racial divide. If this keeps up black people are going to feel that again they where treated unfairly and the presidency was stolen from them which will cause black people to revoke.

    I do not care what his pastor said; he was raised in a different era. I care about change of the country. We have had enough of the Bushes and Clintons with the same old smear campaigns and fixed elections. Obama stands for change know matter what race we are and if he loses the campaign because of this, lookout! Al Sharpton and every other black leader will be asking for blacks to stand up which is going to cause race riots.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:13 am |
  7. Bev

    I have watched all of the debates and noted several times that Barack did not answer most of the questions, he managed to dance around them. With regard to the one on one debates with Hilary, it seemed she was always asked the question first which gave him the chance to either agree and embellish on her answer or disagree but not really give any answer with regard to what he would do.
    As for tonite and after seeing the video it seems that people are finally realizing that the potential 1st lady was not proud of her country until her husband decided to run for president, she has said it was his dream not hers. I guess thier pastor has had a much deeper effect on his family then Barack realized??? because he of course never heard any of those sort of comments and never even heard about them until this week.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:11 am |
  8. Phillip Brand

    This isn't as bad as the Larry Sinclair scandal.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:10 am |
  9. Em

    AC asked Senator Obama if he would sing "God Bless America" and he never answered the question, he smiled and said I would not sing it here as to not offend the ears of his listeners, but he never answered the question. A very slick lawyer just like John Edwards. Am I the only one who noticed he did not answer the question?

    March 15, 2008 at 1:10 am |
  10. Bie

    All,

    Obama should not be held accountable for his former pastor’s words. Who among us has not been in the presence of a speaker that has made comments against what we believe?

    I agree with Obama when he stated that this is a teaching moment for America. For you see, diversity is promoted on a daily basis in most of our businesses, schools, homes and churches today.

    However, not too long ago in the distance past, America did not embrace all of her people. There were laws which supported hatred and for some the past is still present.

    African Americans did not run away from America when she embraced these laws meant to destroy a race of people. Americans of all races and gender pulled together and worked for the Civil Rights of all her citizens.

    Today, let us stand with Obama to work on the issues that seek to divide us.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:09 am |
  11. Angie

    KIM-
    The difference is McCaine is not a memeber of that church and has NEVER attended a sermon.
    Barack is.....no need in writing anymore.
    Again...amazed

    March 15, 2008 at 1:07 am |
  12. brigit

    Another comment. Sen. Obama mother was white his maternal grand parents are whites. He is half white. He can't possible hate himself, his mother, grand parents. I think people are making too much out of this.
    Also This language shows us that there are issues in the african american community that need to be dealt with, that is right. It is not enough to abolish segragation, slavery a lot of people still carry wound from the past and are angry. The way we address is not by saying get over it already. Bill CLinton understood something, he stood up and apologized to the survivors of the Turkigan Experiement. imagine one minute, you or your mother, son or sister was the subject of this terrible experience. it is very easy to stay on the sideline and poitn fingers toward others. That is why we need BO because no one else can address the racial issues in this country the way he can. That is right been biracial, he is uniquely qualified to speak to both sides of the ailes. And we better address them seriously. When our children hang nouses at school or other get beaten because of the color of their skin, it is time we act. Demonizing others aint gonna solve the problem. We need to address the race issue. it is not a matter of giving people food stamps etc... Barack understand and somebody better deal with this, building more prisons aint gonna solve this problem and we and our children are all suffering from our past hunting us. When you see an innocent pregnant woman killed in her own house by a black police officer, you understand that we have got problems to address in this country and spending billions of dollars in Iraq while this is happening in our own backyard is not going to help us in the long run. Demonizing others is not going to solve that. We need to come together speak and listen to each others and try to bridge our differences and understand the other party. that is what makes Obama campaign so special, let grab this opportunity and not get caught in some side story that have nothign to do with BArack Obama as a person. THis guy was not raised as a christian, came to faith as an adult when he was 26years old working as a community organiser, give him a break

    March 15, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  13. Anette

    To my fellow comment posters. Please take the opportunity to do your research. There have been controversial comments by many clergy that relation to candidates.

    Someone said earlier in these post that Obama scars you, it scars me that you are so easily swayed. I am truly appalled by the pastor! He was wrong. However, I will not jump ship when the waters get choppy. I will support Obama until the end and if you are so easily swayed by something that someone said, and not the candidate, then you should look inside yourself and ask, why?

    March 15, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  14. Brian

    So far, Mr. Obama's campaign has been almost flawless... Today is the start of the real test for his candidacy.

    The campaign that Mr Obama is following is a message of hope: It is a message that things can and must be done differently. Confrontation breeds confrontation, hysterics breeds hysterics, hate breeds hate.

    Is it not possible that Mr Obama's own campaign of hope and doing-things-differently is a response, in part to the energy found in the pulpit at his own church?

    As Mr. Obama said himself, there are issues and anger in his own community. Indeed there is a lot of anger in the United States (and elsewhere) and the methods of dealing with that anger up to now have not worked.

    The 2008 campaign is about finding a new balance between the collective conscience and the collective ego of the American People.

    I expect that this pre-election and election campaign is going to be a painful one as there is a lot to atone for resulting from decisions made by the current President.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:04 am |
  15. Robyn Clarke

    Anderson,

    My great grandfather was designated patient number 230-S in the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment conducted by the United States Public Health Service for 40 years from 1932-1972. In light of the countless episodes of racism perpetuated against blacks in America, without a doubt African Americans have a widespread mistrust of the government and white society in general.

    In addressing one of Reverend White's comments and the idea that America could or would possibly infect African Americans with aids.... well ask my family what we believe is possible.

    As Johnetta B Cole once said: "The trurth is that the historical and current condition of you and yours is rooted in slavery, is shaped by it, it bound to it, and is the reality against which all else must be engaged."

    March 15, 2008 at 1:03 am |
  16. john vegas

    I hate $4.00 gas and I am a REALTOR and selling homes is tough. There are a lot of very important issues facing the next President the country needs a hard working intelligent person to turn things around and one of the thinks this President has to do is surround himself with compentent loyal Americans. We are in trouble in this country and its not just the war that is minor compared to what lies ahead. Obama is a smooth talker we need more than that, he attended this church this is a poor choice for someone who is supposed to have good judgement. Do you want him to be in charge, I don't. I have no idea who to vote for but it will not be him, because he doesn't answer questions he is arrogant and shifty. You can't change what you did by saying I don't approve but the fact is he is a member of a racist American hating church we do not need him!

    March 15, 2008 at 1:03 am |
  17. JE

    judy nichols, I am sad that you have allowed the media to changed your mind and not vote for Obama. I hope that you will really payattention to what is really goin on. I wish, (hope) that you will visit an Afrian American church and possible get an nderstanding on how some ministers preach. It is mostly about remaining positive, and accepting , the mishaps thaone endures, as well as keeping your head-up, when you are called the "N" word. Please don't allow the media to change you mind. Vote from your inner spirit, you will not go wrong.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:01 am |
  18. Pj - a Canadian friend of the USA

    The Reverend Wright's style/message is a distraction and largely irrelevant to current campaigning – as is the case with similar events for the other candidates. Give the 3 campaigning Senators (intelligent adults) some credit for being able to form their own opinions and actions.
    Sen. Obama said clearly he does not share the Reverend Wright's beliefs. I'm prepared to take him at his word until he behaves differently. In my view – the real issues for the US are the economy and relations with other nations. The best future President is the one most able to divorce him/herself from the politics of greed and abuse of personal power. In my view, Sen. Obama is the only candidate who is likely to create new paradigms and ways of thinking in Washington and bring an integrative force to the office and actions of the Presidency.
    Give your head a shake people, there is no perfect candidate!

    Love your show Anderson! – from a westcoast 360 fan.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:00 am |
  19. sue

    Barack Obama Doesn't have to answer for Reverend Wright , He said he doesn't agree with the Reverend, and he has seperated his self from him. thats enough for me . you people are as bad as the media you jump on every little piece of garbage and try to destroy the best thing we have for the future. Or better yet you want Hillary for President someone who will rent out the white house room by room or maybe she'll save one room for Bill to play in with his female friends or maybe she'll hide all her tax records and other underhanded doing in one room . she'll tell you anything to pull the wool over your eyes.she's a snake in the grass.and she won't get my vote.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:59 am |
  20. Sarah

    I just watched Anderson Cooper 360 tonight on Senator Obama, Reverend Wright, and his replacement as the new pastor of Trinity church. There is no excuse for people who say the things Reverend Wright and the new pastor say and think the way they think. It is racism and hatred, pure and simple. Do not excuse their words and actions as a matter of others not understanding the black experience, the black way of thinking, the black whatever.
    It is a smokescreen to cover their message of hatred and racism. Regardless of what has happened to any of our ancestors in the past, there is no excuse for words and actions like those I have heard and seen tonight. We all have the same opportunities today, and it is up to each of us to pull ourselves out of whatever negative situation we are in and work for a better future. Noone owes us anything, regardless of our forefathers' past or what some are think they are owed.
    We have rights, but we should not have the right to speak about others and act like Reverend Wright, the new pastor, and people like those in the congregation of Trinity church have been. When I hear people talk and see people act like I've heard and seen tonight, it disgusts me. It should disgust everyone in America. God Help Us All.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:59 am |
  21. Ann

    If any of us were in a church and the minister said "we should not say God Bless America, but God Damn America", I would hope that everyone would get up and walk out and then...meet to dismiss the minister.
    It's beyond me, how and why anyone would stay close to a person, for so long, that has the views of Obama's minister / advisor / "old uncle", etc. etc. Obama's explanation and logic is like that old expression..."that dog don't hunt".
    It also seems that the IRS should be investigating the status of this church.
    From what I've seen and heard from Obama, he doesn't have definitive plans for anything and his oratory about change and hope is quite tiresome. Quite frankly, I think he should step away from his campaign for the presidency.
    Thank you for your time.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:52 am |
  22. Earl

    Obviously, Obama knew along what this preacher was saying. Impossible to claim a man as mentor, friend and teacher for 20 years and not know what he stands for. Barack is flat-out lying to say he was unaware. Then , it only makes you wonder why this preacher retires and is unavailable for comment at such a convenient time for the Obama campaign. Aware of the damage this would do, it seems this preacher was "retired" and told to avoid interviews. I'm ready to bet some video will surface showing Obama at one of these inflammatory sermons. Then it become obvious that he was lying through his teeth during his interview with AC.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:52 am |
  23. Jack D. Lee

    I am from Texas, white, 47, bible belt conservative and very curious as to where the media's interest in sermons has been all my life. I think that this is the first time I have seen a news article about a sermon on television. Here are my questions: Has H. Clinton ever been passed up by a cab because of her skin color? Was she raised by a single parent in the inner city? Has she ever been classified as a non-person? Has she ever been called a N###er? An overwhelming NO resounds to answer these questions. Does America lead the world in murders? Yes! Remember, we are now in church setting so you have to count the abortions, too. I have heard very similar sermons in my Southern Baptist Church here in Texas. It is all white and the sermons focused on the plights of farmers in a world where that does not consider their sacrifices. Where were you for that one?
    Come on, your only problem with these comments is that the pastor had the gall to say them in the first place.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:51 am |
  24. tylar smith

    America Please. You are the biggest hypocrite I know. You are salacious and damning. I wish I could find the words to tell you how ashamed I was to be one. People bomb us because we feel we are better that others. Even though this nation was established to escape religious persecution. What happened to our freedoms and liberties. This country should feel Honored that it gave birth to a Barack Obama, a man who has trancended race only to be ultimately defined by it. I don't want to be held to the words current President a man who when asked about the prices of food and gas said that he had dodge the question, because it was so big a question and he was so small a man. Then you have a man who has fought for people he believed needed a champion and though he did not agree with everything a man said believes he has the right to say it. What is America and what exactly do we stand for if it is not simple truths like freedom of speech and belief. I cry tonight while I listen to the news I cry for America in all her hypocrisy. and if you elevate yourself without taking stock your only asking for more intolerance from the rest of the world.. what is wrong with you will you never learn from your mistakes. You don't believe in god remember you pulled him from your schools don't try to add him to your elections. You don't owe a man anything but you owe a man everything!

    March 15, 2008 at 12:50 am |
  25. Delane

    As a white 63-year-old female who grew up in Appalachia during the time of the civil rights movements, I can tell you that we were taught to be afraid of blacks. The small town that was the county seat of our county had an area that was called "N*****town", and we had to pass through that area to get to the shopping areas. We locked the car doors going through that area of town!

    Yes, I can appreciate what Dr. Wright said about Hillary not knowing what it was like for Barack, nor would she understand my poor upbringing, nor would Barack. I certainly don't understand Hillary's upbringing – or Barack's, either. We are all unique and a product of where we came from and what we learned and lived.

    We all see the world from the prism of our own life experiences. There is no other way we can see it, and each of us are going to have a different perspective, just as we would see a room differently if we moved from one end of it to another. We cannot deny our uniqueness, no matter how much we try to have everyone be the same. It's impossible!

    I am a firm believer that politics has no place in the pulpit. While our outlook of politics may be shaped by messages preached from the pulpit, I think it is WAY past time that we get back to the original intent of the Constitution – the separation of church and state. If politics is what a congregation of people wants to discuss, then they need to meet some place besides a church to pursue that discussion. Let religion be in the church, and politics on the streets and in the homes or meeting halls.

    Another thing I do agree with Dr. Wright about is that we need to be honest about what the government of the US has done in going overseas and bombed so many countries, so many times. How can we not expect "Our chickens to come home to roost"? The Bible says "AS YOU GIVE, SO SHALL YOU RECEIVE.'" It is undeniable that the US has given much death and destruction in many places, to many people. I am very much anti-war, and my belief system says ALL of us are children of God, and in God's sight we are all equal. ALL life is precious, be it Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or any other religious name.

    I find the Republican Conservative view of abortion as being murder, yet they are the biggest supporters of war, which is no less murder than abortion, totally ridiculous. I would LOVE to have a person such as Tony Perkins explain to me, with Biblical backup, how he squares the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" and the war. It doesn't say Thou shalt not kill, except in war, or any other circumstances. Yet, they have backed war and look at those who have lost their lives as a result – American, Iraqi, Afghani, British and I really don't know how many other nationalities of those who have died! They (Conservatives) cherry pick what is right and what is wrong, and expect everyone else to allow them to dictate what is proper. Yet, they don't want to listen to anyone who is anti-war! Murder is murder, unborn, crawling or walking around! If it is wrong for one person to kill another, then why should a group (government, which is a group of people who is supposed to have sense enough to govern rightly) have any moral authority to kill people from another country and call that justifiied because it is "war"? Makes NO sense! NONE!

    I find it saddening that such a hullabaloo over a few sentences from one man in a pulpit is causing such an uproar, trying to bring down a good man who is in politics. To me it is narrow-mindedness such as this that has caused the splits we have between various groups in this country. Why can't we judge Barack Obama by the strength of his character and not the color of his skin? Is that not what part of MLK's dream was?

    Barack Obama cannot control what anyone else says, nor should he be held responsible. His message of hope is being drowned out with this idiotic nonsense.

    I know I sat through many messages in churches that I didn't agree with, but I was a child and couldn't say anything, nor could I get up and leave. Many years later I went on my own spiritual journey trying to understand what was passed off as religion and "God's word", only to find that it was only one person's perception of the Bible.

    However big the congregation, the number of people will equal the number of different perceptions of what they heard from that pulpit that day, because they are hearing from their level of understanding. No two people will walk away with exactly the same take on what they heard.

    I suppose Hillary is lucky in this fight, since to my knowledge, she doesn't attend a church or is not affiliated with one that I am aware of, so there's no way she can be attacked on this front.

    Why oh why can't separate church and state, as our forefathers set forth in the Constitution??? WHEN we do that, this entire conversation would be totally moot. There'd be no preaching politics from pulpits. When that ceases, and we get back to running this country according to the Constitution, things will get better. Then, and only then.

    Norfolk, VA

    March 15, 2008 at 12:49 am |
  26. Beth Sutton

    Let's drop the sensationalism and have a real and honest conversation about this important issue of racial tension. David Gergen was the only person on 360 with both the intelligence and integrity to approach this in a real and respectful manner (I have no idea what happened to Anderson cooper tonight but his approach was a disgrace!).

    David Gergen is right: the Black American experience and the White American experience are not the same. How could it be otherwise? I am a white American – thankfully my ancestors came here after slavery, but that is little relief in the horror of our history. How could I possibly know what it is to have my family members shackled and sold and beaten. When I imagine the face I see on my daughter and know on my mother on another woman two hundred years back, I do not have to see her having her children ripped from her arms or bending to the whip. How could I possibly know what it is to hold that heritage? Maybe Holocaust survivors can glimpse the experience. Maybe the American Indian can. Certainly each knows his own horror. But how can we help but have different perspectives and different ears with the very different lives we have lived. Let's stop looking for sensational divisions and start trying to honestly hear one another and honor the heritage that has brought us here.

    Is there some gain from this endless divisiveness? Lets listen to David Gergen: stop pretending and start having a real conversation towards understanding and healing.

    Beth Sutton

    March 15, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  27. Lorraine from the Sault

    I totally agree with Jo Ann's comments and I just want to add one thing
    Why did Mr. Obama say that if he was in the church when Rev. Wright was giving one of these sermons "he probably would of gotten up and left or probably would of spoken to the Rev. after?
    I know if it was me in that church, I would of stood up and made my views known immediately. There would of been no "probable" involved.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:46 am |
  28. Julio Sanchez

    Barack is telling the truth, because the pastor was facing retirement and made these comments at the end of his career.

    Even so, what is so bad about the videos? Just because a black person is yelling? RUN FOR YOUR TASER ANDERSON!!! Anyway, alot of what he says is TRUE, especially about Hillary. She got her political career as a 'wedding gift', just like Bush got his as a 'birthday gift'. Furthermore, Hillary and all of her supporters act like they are entitled to the presidency just because shes a woman. If anyone is playing a "card" it's Hillary.

    In fact, Barack has never made race an issue. The idea that he is winning because of "the black vote", and even the medias recent focus on his "race", shows a kind of institutionalized racism. It makes you wonder why this story surfaced now (so soon after the bigot in the Clinton Camp resigned and tried to play the martyr).

    Her campaign is obviously resorting to lowdown dirty tactics, and hitting below the belt (where not even McCain would). It also makes you wonder why the media has gotten so scared of Hillary lately.

    Apparently, the only thing scarier than angry black men is angry white women.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:44 am |
  29. Matt

    Just like we have opinions of white people who are still stuck in the 50's & 60's, we have black people who are also. I'm a black man who are about the same age as Barrack and the views that paster Wright ignorantly tried to influence on to his congregation are not the views of most black people, I know in my heart that his views was not the views of the Obama family.

    I think the main thing that the old paster do not understand is that Barrack is just as much White as he is Black. Just as Barrack is trying to make people understand that the 50's & 60's are over and done with. If you want to still see racism, you should get a time machine because this is 2008 and we don't have the time nor room for racism.

    Just as there is one America, we are one. The comments of a friend, paster or relative is not the views of a whole race and it sure is not the views of Barrack Obama. We have work to do as a nation to change the views of people like paster Wright. I think the man who is just as much white as he is black should lead the way. Whites and blacks have come too far to turn back now, so let's move forward and focus on getting Barrack in the Presidency to clear up this economy. Don't let the media, paster Wright or anyone tell you how you should think!

    March 15, 2008 at 12:44 am |
  30. JE

    Intresting Giselle Evans, what makes you think the children were in the same setting. Usually the childre are in bible study or childrens church. Think about it!

    March 15, 2008 at 12:42 am |
  31. Rhonda Cotner

    Have we ever heard this kind of sentiment issuing from Senator Obama?
    The answer is no. Cull 30 years of sermons from most pastors and there will be at least a few statements that we would heartily disagree with.
    It's a free country even for ministers.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:42 am |
  32. Marie Gaithersburg

    I found the comment about Pres. Clinton particulary appaling I must say.
    Keep in mind these are 2 sermons out off 1000s that this pastor delivered during his ministry. People are talking about 20 years of BO in this church. There are no evidence that this is what was been preached in this church weeks after weeks. While I strongly disagree with Mr. Wright statements, we should not act like this was preached in church weeks after weeks. Also How do you know that Barack was going to church weeks after weeks so that he could not miss one sermon. Also how do you know if BO was so strongly involved in the service that he knew everything that was going on. I do not believe that this was been preached every single week. This are excerpts from two sermons, may be the media can show us more sermons that were delivered by Dr. Wright in a time frame of 6 months for exple so we can see if there was a pattern. I would not leave my church just because a stupid pastor does say some stupid things sometimes. I know what my church believe in and the convictions of my pastors don't always reflect those of my church or my personal. So please stop acting as though all that was preached at this church was hate of America and hate of white folks, I don't believe that. I am sure I have said things in my life that were not always right, but the key here is the pattern, if that is what is preached in this church every single week, then there is reason to be concerned abotu BO not catching it, but if these were isolated incidents, you can not expect him to be there each time that this happen, how do you know he goes to church every week.
    This shows that there are problems in this coutry which need to be addressed, teh way we do it is not by putting people in a box and demonizing them, but we need to try and understand why people do and say what they say and how can we help them change their attitute, not demonize them, the truth is they live among us and are part of this society. We need to find a way of dealing with these problems by encouraging dialogue so that we can get to know our neighbor, people of different race , background and culture. We have to teach our history to our children so that thye can understand others people around them. African American history etc... we need to open up a dialogue precisely with people who bring up these type of contreversy etc...
    I don't believe one minute that the views of Rev. Wright reflect those of Sen. BO, he is an honest person who want the best out of America. Show us the big picture was was been preached in that church not two sermons, that is just not enough to draw a conclusion here

    March 15, 2008 at 12:41 am |
  33. Connie

    His pastor's comments might be the undoing of his candicacy, which would be a tragedy for America. For one thing, White America is unlikely to be familiar with Black ministers' preaching style of Rev. Wright, and will find it intimidating, by itself. When his perceived Anti-American rhetoric is added, too many will be scared away. However, from everything I have read and seen, Barack is truly who he claims to be . . one who transcends race and who wants to bring the races together. He does not share the bitterness that Rev. Wright expresses and embodies the hopes for a better future for all races. He has lived in a different time and has not shared the same history. His election as President would very well be the beginning of the end of the kind of resentment expressed by Rev. Wright. Yet, it appears that his association with Rev. Wright might just end that possibility. What a shame!

    March 15, 2008 at 12:40 am |
  34. Jacqueline

    It's interesting that so many people have had the time to go back and listen the the pastor's previous sermons. Have any of you attempted to learn more about African American history? How many books have you read or how many African Americans have you set down with the see what it really means to be black in America? My guess would be, not many.

    Most importantly, since many of you are passing such strong judgment... let the person without sin cast the first stone.

    There are more important issues at hand. Oh, and to say Obama is a terrorist and there is a Muslim connection is just ignorant.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:39 am |
  35. Kitty Thompson

    Senator Obama tried to keep his campaign "above" the issue of race and even though his campaign is equally criticized by the media for the "constant bickering back-and-forth" with the Clinton campaign. The soon to be sworn in Governor of New York can "see" that this is a media manipulated game. Like hungry beasts the Clinton campaign has worked tirelessly to bring the issue of race to the forefront. Oh, I heard that Bigfoot is feeling a little threaten these days that he might be losing his status as America's most popular monster!!! Get off this foolishness and get back on point – joblessness, mortgage crisis, rising gas prices, Americans without healthcare coverage – THOSE ARE THE ISSUES THAT MATTER TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

    March 15, 2008 at 12:38 am |
  36. Nancy

    I think that the media keeps things stirred up. It's like a feeding frenzy. They love controversy. Perhaps if so much emphasis wasn't put on these negative reportings, we could get on with the problems at hand: like our economy, education, and so on. Obama has been in public service, in the Illinois congress, and the U.S. Senate for many, many years. Does anyone really think that he could have "hidden" any anti-American feelings from so many for so long?

    March 15, 2008 at 12:37 am |
  37. Bill Cheek, Ross Ca

    This is where media coverage veers off track and makes issues come alive simply by the reporting. We see a clip of the Pastor Wright's sermon from Christmas that is taken out of context and played repeatedly with the clear implication that if Obama attends that church, it must be his view too. The implication is that he speaks for Obama which may not be true. What is more important is the issues that underlie that kind of preaching. Black people still carry deep wounds from the way they have been treated in this country. Preachers bring them to life in black churches in a very black way. It's their way of expressing themselves. If you really want to dig deeper, dig into the issues that underly the sermon and ask the candidates how they think those issues need to be addressed. But don't go implying that a candidate's acceptance of the support of a religious preacher means that he agrees with everything that is said.

    But more importantly, where is the conversation about the economy. (we are in a very serious crisis) Where is the conversation about how the rest of the world views America as a result of the Bush years. (it's terrible and they mostly really like Obama,) What about global warming? (We are way behind the world) What about out-sourcing jobs. (Hillary supported the expansion of the H1B visa program that directly affected Immigrants from India, yet she also is speaking about changing NAFTA and being on the side of the working man in Ohio. She's very much a hypocrite on that issue simply to court the Indian vote. Where is that issue being covered?) There are way more important issues to cover than the way you are crafting this story. What about immigration, the war in Iraq, how to deal with Iran, meeting without pre-conditions, gas prices at $4 per gallon, a crashing dollar. Let's get on with it!

    Anderson, I like your show, but I don't like the way you are covering this one.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:37 am |
  38. JE

    sandra cleary Obama does not scare me yo do. Reasoning, you said "you don’t think Obama should be President because of all the things he has been involved with, especially his middle east connections. The man scares you". Honey if Hillary and MacCain don't scare you, then honey where have you been, and what cloud are you on?

    March 15, 2008 at 12:36 am |
  39. carlos

    Hilary doesn't know what it's like to be a black man and Obama doesn't know what it's like to be a white woman. Sounds like a wash.

    And shame on Hilary growing up in a two parent home – how shameful!

    March 15, 2008 at 12:36 am |
  40. Lorraine Panico

    Mr. Obama has denounced the Rev. Wright's comments as "anti-American Rhetoric". One of his top aides called the Canadian Embassy and said "don't worry about what Mr. Obama is saying about NAFTA. It is only "CAMPAIGN RHETORIC".
    Am I the only one who thinks that it is funny that the same word "RHETORIC" is used again?
    A Canadian Diplomat is probably going to be fired because he confirmed that this story is true but Mr. Obama has told the American Press Representatives on the plane with him that it is a lie.
    Frankly, I disbelieve his statement that he knew nothing in both of these instances and his denial of them

    March 15, 2008 at 12:36 am |
  41. Judy

    I am truly disappointed with Obama and will not vote for him in November. He just lost big time in Pennsylvania and did serious damage to his campaign. Everyone needs to question:" What did Barack know about pastor Wright and when did he know it ?"Probably twenty years ago.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:35 am |
  42. Abraham

    whats funny is that no one here seems to know that all this video is from only 2 sermons over a period of 20 years. so it is viable that he did not hear it especially since he is on the campaign trail. cnn only played part of the speech and again only 2 speeches. by the way most of it is true if not all of it. lastly this is a way of getting us away from the issues. if i judge you by your company then alot of us be damned. how many of us have lifetime friends that have done things we dont agree with but we remained friends. i had one who cheated on his wife and i am completely against that but he's my friend. he can't influence me but we will always be friends. if he kills someone tomorrow we are still friends, just one of us will be in jail. despite disagreements you don't turn your back on lifetime friends, they don't turn the corner everyday. and for those in white america who still don't know, BLACKS ARE TREATED DIFFERENTLY IN THIS COUNTRY. so stop acting suprised by his comments. my worst experience with racism was in the Navy in 2004, this is after i was shot twice protecting my country. i'm home now and badly injured and i still see it, its gotten better but its not gone.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:34 am |
  43. Sharon S

    Obama says he has better judgement to be president of the United States than Clinton or McCain! Rezko the slum lord & criminal, Pastor Wright the racist & being a member of that church for 20 YEARS, Michelle Obama & her lack of patriotism, cigarette addiction, drugs.......... What good judgement can he possible think he has? God help us all if he should actually become president!!!

    March 15, 2008 at 12:34 am |
  44. Joyce

    This is realy good topic for B.O. now his critics have come a full round and admitted that he goes to a church and not a mosque as we were made to believe. He actually prays to Jesus...finally it has come clear to me he is a Christian....God bless the soul that started all this...keep the fire burning ... the longer it burns the better ....it will help clear those muslim rumors to many people...like me..Hallelujah...go OB

    March 15, 2008 at 12:33 am |
  45. June

    Time spent in jail with a couple friends would be better spent than attending a church whose pastor spouts such unchristian remarks. Comments like he made would have to be the norm and not the exception or he wouldn't have had the gall to state them. Obama's mentor and church of 20 some years should give people a clue that things are not all goodness and light.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:30 am |
  46. William Combs

    "I went to a racist church for twenty years and never heard anything racist. I never felt any need to separate myself from this black separatist racist philosophy because my seat was always empty
    when anything bad was said."

    YOU ARE COMPLICIT IN THIS POLITICIAN"S LIES.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:30 am |
  47. beverly

    hi anderson,
    i really like you as a pe rson and hope you want take what i will speek on the wrong way what i really want to speak on isbarack cause i am a di hard barack surporter. with all due respect most other anchors i and i quote fell don't like barack and i wonder why i don't want to assume. but i will surely email them and see if they can be real and fess up because i feel we are adults and can even agree to disagree ok . i feel ms clinton and her husband has started all this cause he is leading in all areas except 1 so to me this is running a very unfair campagne. anderson you can at least say this man just is'nt cut to play dirty like she does. and i can't stress enough how bad it looks for her to keep bashing him like she is doing. like he has said it don't get her no where so now its like a wave or something everybody else has cought it now and has taken it and making more of it than what its worth. anderson stay being who you are and i'll forever give you your props. ( ha ha ) as if you really care what props i can give you

    god bless
    and keep strong

    March 15, 2008 at 12:29 am |
  48. Fannie M. Coleman

    Rev Wright has a right to say these things. This man lived trough your racist history and us black people are still living it. If Obama was a white man he would be judged on the issues not the color of his skin You know that this country is racist. if not, It would have been a Black man or woman long before now. They think he has a chance and they are trying to derail that effort day by day. We have had to fight these people for every gain we have made. And it should not be this way if we are all Americans. You are lying though your teeth if you say we are all judged equally in thie Country.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:29 am |
  49. ANGELA

    I think the PLAN is to discredit Obama. I watched the interview and it seems like he was on trial. What, now a black Presidential candidate has to be demeaned by reporters like this is his 3rd strike for stealing a little girls ice cream? Please, have some respect for the man, you may not want him as your president, but a whole lot of folks do. Barack is not the racist, his pastor is only truthful about the African American experience. What should be looked into, his how Hillary has turned against blacks in an blink of an eye and all her scemes to bring race into this campaine. The party is officially torn! Mission accomplished.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:28 am |
  50. sue

    I really have to question Obama's judgment here. I can't believe he has been going to church for all of these years and listening to this brainwashing. I know that it is important to surround yourself with positive people, and I make an effort to do so myself. I am Catholic and have recently realized that there are many Catholics out there who are very closed minded. I drive either 45 minutes or an hour and 10 minutes to make sure I get a Sunday sermon with a positive message and not one that is filled with hate. If you listen to that type of negative talk, you will think that way after a period of time. You then become very negative and intolerant of people without realizing it. If Obama can't figure out his pastor after 20 years, how will we expect him to surround himself with the right type of people when he gets into office? Obama said that he never heard the pastor make remarks like those on the videos when he was there. Did Obama not listen to comments made by other members of the congregation? If he has really been going to church there for all of these years, I would expect him to be in touch with other memebers of the congregation. It does not matter at this point that he is distancing himself from this pastor. It is entirely too late – 19 or 18 years ago would have been appropriate. Given the fact that Obama does not have the experience that the other candidates have, it is most important that he surround himself with the right people. It is just shocking that he has continued to listen to this guy until there have been issues on the campaign trail. I originally thought that I may be able to vote for him, but now, i will be surprised if I am able to do so.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:27 am |
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