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April 21st, 2008
01:50 PM ET

Why is Gov. Rendell so silent today about Louis Farrakhan?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/21/art.rendell2.jpg%5D

Roland S. Martin
360° Contributor and Radio Host

Associations, associations, associations.

Words, words, words.

I keep writing about them because they are all quite interesting.

Sen. Barack Obama¹s longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has been at the center of a lot of criticism, including his relationship with Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan.

As I've written before, folks should be careful to not use one person's praise against their opponent because you might have to do the same to one of your supporters.

In the ABC debate, Sen. Hillary Clinton again brought up Rev. Wright's association with Farrakhan. Trust me, it wasn't positive. And in the previous debate with Obama on MSNBC, she called on him to repudiate and denounce Farrakhan¹s unsolicited praise of the junior senator from Illinois.

A lot of folks have commented on the issue, but one person who has been real quiet has been Gov. Ed Rendell.

Maybe that's because as mayor of Philadelphia, Rendell, who is Jewish, had some really wonderful things to say about Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

You can hear his words for yourself by clicking here: (part 1 and part 2).

Now, for a broader discussion about individuals and words, should Rendell renounce his prior praise, delivered in a passionate speech? Or do we learn a lesson by seeing individuals through more than one lense?

I would love to ask Rendell if he feels the same about Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam today as he did 11 years ago?


Filed under: Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. cherlesq

    It is very disappointing that not one television program ran this story tonight.

    April 21, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  2. Anita

    I suppose that "I am not dumb" Hillary doesn't know anything about this! She certainly has selective memory. This news needs to be out on every newscast, every a.m. program, and every blog. The people of PA deserve to know the type of candidate that Hillary really is. I think that people know Obama a lot better than they do Hillary–the Clinton machine at work once again! God bless Obama and let us hope that he wins–time is running out for the USA.

    April 21, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  3. Rob, Arvada, CO

    Well said, Melissa, I only hope that Pennsylvania can save this country by doing the right thing and voting for Obama, before things get much much worse. And they will if this woman is handed the keys to the white-house. We are a nation of honor and integrity, and Clinton wants us all to fear terrorists lurking around every bush, and every tree. Sorry, I am not afraid, and I stand tall with Obama.

    April 21, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  4. Steve

    Why is it that White politicians like Ed Rendell can stand on stage and praise Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam, and the press says nothing and does nothing.

    But when Obama's Pastor, Rev. Wright, praises Farrakhan, the press is all over Obama? Which is the more direct connection with Farrakhan, Clinton's chief political surrogate in Pennsylvania on stage with Farrakhan praising him, or, a retired pastor of a Church of 8000 people making positive comments about him?

    It seems like one big fat racial double standard to me!

    And where has the media been on this story? Did you want to make sure that Clinton wins Pennsylvania so that you could continue to collect your advertising revenues for a few more months?

    April 21, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  5. Daniel in Loganville, GA

    Keep us informed on both sides Roland Thank you

    April 21, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  6. Chuck in Alabama

    This speech is 11 years old. Obama sat in church with Wright just months ago. BIG difference. There is no doubt that Obama agreed with "most" of what Wright had to say up until Wright left the church.

    Apples and Oranges.

    Every breath the Clinton's have ever breathed has been vetted thanks to the "anti-Hillary" media. If Obama's dirty little secrets are suddenly sneaking their ugly little heads up now in the 11th hour, well, boo hoo.

    April 21, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  7. leland

    The McClinton's are the BIGGEST HYPROCRITS in politics.

    The Democrats need to stop the McClinton's. We don't need an impeached ex-President first man and untruthful President back in the white house. This would look bad on the Democratic resume.

    vote for change OBAMA 08!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    P.S. Great reporting Roland.

    April 21, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    Good find Roland. I wonder if Rendell feels the same today or just considers Farrakhan a non-issue and would rather talk about things that really matter to his constituents – jobs, the economy, the war. There is too many side "issues" that are really not issues but distractions – they only serve to steer the conversation away from what matters. Long after this race is over and we have chosen a new President the issues of jobs, gas prices, food prices, climate change, Iraq and Afghanistan, health care, etc. will still be with us and Farrakhan will still be a non-issue.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 21, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    Senator Clinton we will be listienng tonight on both Keith Oberman and Larry King Live to see if you renounce and repudiate Ed Rendell. My guess is that she won't. Now this is poetic justice.

    April 21, 2008 at 7:48 pm |
  11. Ida Ward

    I find it ironic that HRC stated that it is important to "vett" the relationships of Obama, but her relationships are off limits. I see not a double but a triple standard here. If you are fair and balanced, you will vett HRC on this same issue.

    April 21, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  12. Diana

    Man, this is really iritating! I hope it is mentioned with the flyer that is going out for Obama to counter her latest fear mongering ad. The one quoting Bill that we should go with our hopes not our fears! Thank you Anderson for trying to make it even coverage unlike many others I have sat here and watched and swore not to watch anymore.

    April 21, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  13. Jan carley

    Well Hillary need to reject and denounce Gov Rendell....come on cable news hold her accountable!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  14. Rajia, Cary,NC

    This is just about the clearest case of how a misinformed public can be manipulated that I've seen. This video should be getting the kind of airtime that the Rev. Wright videos got. Then, Hillary shuold be forced to reject and denounce Ed Rendell for praising Farrakhan. And should happen starting now, before voters of PA vote tomorrow.

    April 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  15. American in Switzerland

    Good question to ask HRC Roland but why so late in the game? I'm all the way in another continent and clearly see what the Clintons are doing to Obama. Oh wait! They're preparing him for the Republican attack machine. Pathetic! I've lost all the respect I once had for the Clintons.

    April 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  16. Just Capri

    HYPOCRISY!! Why hasn't anyone in the MSM asked Hillary about her co-defendant's prior praise and association with Farrakhan? Explain that, why?!

    April 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  17. Grannieannie TN

    Thank you for posting this truth and the clip. After Larry King tonight I hope Anderson will include this - to be fair and balanced

    April 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  18. Terry

    This is why I love your reporting so much Anderson...I actually think a lot of reporters out there would just ignore this story, especially today.
    Thanks for keeping them honest!

    April 21, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  19. CW

    Roland, thanks for addressing this. I hope that you are on CNN tonight & bring up this issue. I have not seen this on any of the other networks today. Please submit this to Larry also, so he can ask HRC about this tonight on his show. I saw this link about an hour ago & was coming to your blog to post.

    April 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  20. Biyoyo, Memphis, TN

    Why is Gov. Rendell so silent today about Louis Farrakhan?

    Because you mainstream media guys have not been asking Clinton or Rendell about this.
    The Clintons have truck-loads of questionable associations more than Obama, but all what you guys (CNN, MSNBC, FOX etc) have done is to focus on Obama. Like somebody once said: because Obama is black, he has to apologize for everything all black people have said! Shame on the MSM!

    April 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  21. Melissa

    The truth always comes to light. As the Bible says, "Judge not that you be not judged."

    First Hillary judges Obama about NAFTA when her own key advisor openly engaged in a Colombia trade deal. Then she judges Obama about Rev. Wright's connection to Farrakhan when her own top surrogate openly praises Farrakhan. And PA wants this woman to be our next President???

    Wake up, people. Hillary is unfit, unpresidential, and unqualified to be our next Commander in Chief.

    Obama 2008!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  22. CharDA

    Rendell used Farrakhan to calm racial tension and he & Hillary are shaking in their boots that is doesn't blow up in the news. Thats why Hillary has a smirk on her face everytime Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Rev. Farrakhan names is mentioned in the debates, because she too is connected with them both.

    I wish I was a cartoonist and draw Hillary & Rendell discussing how to get rid of the picture.

    I'm sure there's a picture out there somewhere, can we find a picture with the both of them on stage–I would love to see it!

    April 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  23. Susan M.

    Roland,
    you are so blatantly desperate to throw out a last minute attack any way you can!
    I have noticed that in the past couple of days Senator Obama's surrogates have become downright mean and nasty. Bill Bradley yesterday was despicable in his hateful comments about Hillary. Her surrogate Jon Corzine stuck to the issues and was a complete gentleman, whereas Bradley got deep down in the dirt.
    Barack Obama sends out his henchmen, you included, to pitch the dirt for him. Shame on you all!

    April 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  24. Burnell

    It's amazing how Mrs. Clinton was quick to jump on Sen. Obama's relationship with Pastor Wright. But, when Sen. Obama responded with the fact her (Mrs. Clinton) own Pastor supported Pastor Wright and that he was being caricatured, she "shut down." She was quick to go to a break when asked if she wanted to respond. If you would listen to the whole sermon of Pastor Wright in context, Pastor Wright was only repeating the words of the Ambassador to Iraq at the time. What is Sen. Clinton going to do now, leave her church??? She was also quick to jump on the bandwagon of Sen Obama's relationship with Mr. Ayers. However, Sen Obama pointed to the fact that her own husband (then President Clinton), during his administration freed 2 of it's members. Should we be wary of her relationships? Should she leave her own husband, or may this come and back and bite her later? Once again, she has shown that she is an oppurtunist that will do and say anything for the nomination. "A drowning man, wil grab the leg closest to the boat". She realizes that she can't win and with her elitist attitude, she despises Sen. Obama from taking what she thought would be a sure thing she "thought" she was entitled to.
    Burnell
    Chicago

    April 21, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  25. KINGBWI

    While this is just another example (and there are so many), of the "mis-whatevers" offered by Hillary and her campaign, it doesn't even come close to exposing how scary it will be if someone like her get's the nomination. Think about it, she can't even run her campaign efficiently and effectively (they're broke), what makes anyone think that she can run the country. And that's just the economics of the whole scheme! Not to mention the war, healthcare etc. No thanks, I'll take my chances with the commuinity organizer who's audacity of hope and hard work got him where he is today! Yes, We, Can and Will!
    OBAMA 08-16

    April 21, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  26. Mom of 3 in PA

    Thank you for posting this.

    April 21, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  27. cherlesq

    Why isn't this on CNN right now. Wolf is in the Situation Room with Carville. Why doesn't he ask about it? We can't wait ubnti 10pm. This needs to be out now.

    April 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  28. Sheri in AZ

    More Clinton hypocrisy. According to Michael Moore's endorsement of Obama today, the Clintons invited Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the White House to counsel them during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

    Can anyone in the "media" verify the accuracy of that association? Sounds like more of the same hypocrisy from the Clintons. Point one finger of blame at Obama, while three more fingers are pointing back at the Clintons.

    I've had enough. I hope the PA voters have, too.

    April 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  29. mona

    well isn't this interesting!!! Hillary supporters are so quick to jump all over Obama and now look!! I say let's run this 24/7 on every single station for the next month!!
    Oh the hypocrysy Hillary and Mr. Rendell!!

    April 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  30. Grant

    So Clinton attacks Obama on national television because his *church* honored Farrakhan once upon a time, and it turns out her own number one campaign surrogate in Pennsylvania did exactly the same thing.

    So Hillary tries to launch yet another petty attack on Obama and it once again explodes in her face. I'm ever so surprised, you'd think she'd eventually learn something. I believe Hillary is making the rounds on the news shows tonight... anyone actually going to ask her to address this you think?

    April 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  31. Michael

    This had better make the news!

    April 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  32. troy

    Mr. Martin,

    You have been a beacon of truth throughout this whole election.
    You have continuously exposed the hypocracy of not only mainstream news outlets, but of the pundits who you share the stage with.

    Please don't let the media get away with not reporting this. You truly give voice to the many who are voiceless.

    Keep up the good work kind Sir.

    April 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  33. nerakami

    But the bigger question is: Why does the media choose to pick certain comments or information to put in their perpetual loop and not others?

    Why is the version being fed to the public so skewered and in bits and pieces? Why is it not the responsibility on any decent news organization to always check into the complete picture instead of running with the "sound-bite" versions and present all findings to the American people?

    Why does the media feel they have the right to taint the information being put out there to the nation which ultimately, on some level brainwashes us?

    Why has responsible journalism gone on hiatus?

    April 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  34. E.Hayes - GA

    Thank you Roland for posting this link up. Maybe Hilary will be scrutinized the same way Obama has about the Rev. Wright situation.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  35. Jo

    Okay Roland I'm looking for you to blast this ALL OVER THE NEWS!!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  36. Helen

    Good work, Roland Martin. We know this would not ever come out in the Clinton camp. Keep giving America the full story on all of the players. I can't wait to see who's telling whom to denounce and separate themselves from N.O.I. and Mister Farrakhan.
    Obama 08!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  37. JJ

    Roland, you are the best. Over on the blogosphere the main theme is "the msm won't pick this up" – Thanks Roland!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  38. AJ

    I wonder if Larry King will ask Senator Clinton about Louis Farrakhan tonight when she appears on his show.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  39. Rachel

    Roland, please ask Larry King to ask Hillary during his interview with her tonight to repudiate and denounce Rendell for his association with Farrakhan, before PA votes tomorrow. Ask Larry to prove he's a mensch! He'll know what you mean.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  40. kp224

    Wow! The Clinton whining really has cowed the main stream media into saying nothing about her controversies, when stories like this (and Columbia, etc.) are not front and center but her Bosnia lie and Obama's flag pin deficit are. Sadly – this is being probably being uncovered too late for the Pennsylvania primaries. Good job journalists! Not.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  41. Marc, Scranton, PA

    How has this not made the headlines yet!?!?

    April 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  42. Slater

    I think you answered your question with your last question; 11 years ago it was 1997. Encompassing these years is the 9-11 tragedy.

    I think everyone has a different opinion of the Nation of Islam, understandably, due to events in the 11 years since 1997.

    Before asking him, perhaps you should thoroughly consider your motives and ask yourself how events of the last 11 years have effected your overall view of the Nation of Islam.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  43. Allan

    Thank you AGAIN, Roland, for bringing some balance into this discussion.

    You see, no true political leader can succeed in 21st century America without being able to reach across divides of race, religion and ideology to forge new coalitions around comman HUMAN needs.

    We need a President who does less rejecting and renouncing, and more reconciling.

    The irony is that this information is only damaging to Clinton's support among the people whom she attempted to frighten away from Obama with Farrakhan.

    I recall something about living by the sword...

    April 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  44. The truth shall set you free!

    Thanks a lot for posting this information. I this wasn't on video like the Bosnia then many will be fooled as usual. The truth shall set you free!
    Why is HRC camp trying to destroy a fellow democrat who has run the most respectable and responsible campaign and wishes to bring about a real positive Change for the people by the people, because they are power hungry, and feel a sense of entitlement??

    April 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  45. Brad

    I am so ready for all of this to be over...I feel like preschool is almost out. But what is elementy school going to be like you know McCain and Obamma or Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  46. EJ - Ohio

    Oh my!

    How did you find that? lol

    April 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  47. Observer

    Wow! Why hasn't anyone asked HRC about this? I guess HRC must have "misspoken" about Rev. Farrakhan. It is up to Pa folks to demonstrate if they are going to be fooled again like Ohioian were. Sen. Clinton said "I might be many things but I am not dum", the question is: are Pa people smart enough to get the game she is playing with Pa folks that deserves a better and honest treatment?

    April 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  48. PhillySon

    If this speech was made 11 years ago, why is it just now coming to light?...just one day before the PA primary?... delivered by a JEWISH mayor?...now I am not a conspiracy theorist and I would be the last person to submit a case of purposeful character assasination of Sen. Obama but to blast Rev. Write's speech (in which he is QUOTING a White US Ambassador) over every MSM venue and then to have this video just now surface, as vocal as Gov. Rendell has been for Sen. Clinton, seems more than a little suspect to me. OMG, this fish stinks to high heaven!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  49. Pennsylvania for Obama

    The Clintons have 10 times more questionable associations than Obama. But because they're Caucasian it doesn�t seem to matter.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  50. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    It is typical Clinton politics to push guilt by association on their opponents while ignoring their own associations with the same people.

    Reverend Wright was also one of the religious leaders invited to the Clinton White House when the Clinton's were trying to shore up their own Christian credentials after Bill Clinton's very public infidelity.

    I have no problem with how people lead their lives and Clinton's infidelity should have remained an issue between him, his wife, and his God, but I do object to the brazen hypocrisy of the Clintons.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
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