April 28th, 2008
06:55 PM ET

GOP Strategist: What Obama needs to do about Rev. Wright

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/04/28/wright.transcript/art.wright2.ap.jpg caption="Jeremiah Wright speaks at an NAACP dinner on Sunday night."]

Ed Rollins
Fmr. Huckabee Nat'l Campaign Chairman

In any election, it is difficult for an unknown and undefined candidate. The first rule of any political campaign is always go out and define yourself before your opponent does it for you.

Even though the 2008 race for the Democratic nomination has been long and expensive, the front runner Senator Obama is still unknown by most voters.

He said he was going to be a different kind of leader, a healer. One who brought people together, not divide them up by groups or special interests. And many voters thought and hoped that was going to be true.

Unfortunately, on his way to the nomination, it's not his opponent Hillary Clinton who is defining him, it's his own friend and former spiritual leader, whose language and rhetoric has been hateful and unpatriotic.

The candidate brushed him aside and tried to move on after the first damage, but Rev. Wright likes the big audience and obviously likes the media attention and maybe even the controversy. He is defining Obama in a way that can only lead to devastating results.

If this race becomes one about the repression of Black America and/or the United States' perceived sins against other nations, according to the gospel of Rev Wright, then the junior senator from Illinois becomes an easy target.

Comments like this one from the Rev. Wright:
"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands (killed on 9/11) in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye... We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

And Rev. Wright's likening the Romans at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion to our brave US Marines and suggesting that the United States was acting like Al Qaeda under a different color flag. This is not a concept that Barack can defend, and now he needs to get himself as far away from the good reverend as possible.

Who is the real Obama? That's the first question I would raise if I were running a campaign against him. If the answer scares white voters or disturbs patriotic Americans, his march to victory is long and improbable.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Ed Rollins • Raw Politics • Rev. Jeremiah Wright
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. Brenda, NY

    I find it ironic all these people attempting to defend Rev Wright and say that just because Obama went to the Church for 20 years doesn't mean he agrees with the pastor. I wonder how many people would be defending Clinton or McCain if it was discovered that they attended monthly meetings of the KKK and tried to say they didn't agree with what was being said. The truth is that Obama is first and foremost a politician with ambitions. He needs the large following of the Trinity Church to maintain his seat in the Senate but his association with this hate filled, racist egomaniac will not play to the rest of the country if he is trying to portray himself as a great uniter. Unfortunately, he has no shot at the general election. Now he is just hedging his bets, trying to not have to complete disassociate himself from the church in case he needs them in the future.

    April 29, 2008 at 6:50 am |
  2. Willie Thomas

    Obama is done. Rev. Wright is going to cost him the nomination cause he can't shut up!!!

    April 29, 2008 at 6:48 am |
  3. henry adekola

    I am an African and I am sick to death with politics that does not address the issues............Its appalling to see so called political analyst like yourself stoop so low to allow yourself to be swallowed by the rantings of a man(Rev J Wright) who is seeking public attention.

    When they are serious issues like home foreclosures, rising gas and food items you pundits choose to air skits from this man that Barack Obama has publicly denounced.
    This election is going to define the route America( and the rest of the world) will take in the next 4-8 years and instead of looking at the candidates and getting them to address issues, you are busy wasting air time/blog space ranting about Rev Wright, Geraldine Ferraro etc.....

    Know this......The world is not just watching the candidates but also the american press. Wake up!

    April 29, 2008 at 6:43 am |
  4. darian

    Wright was only telling the truth, but it's the truth that hurts. You Americans need someone else to tell you the truth if you can't see it. How can you evolve as a society and as a nation if any critic or observation is considered unpatriotic and hateful. That's the exact reason why you have been stagnating as a society for almost a decade now. You have an agressive and expansionist government that bombs anyone who doesn't do what they say, you've lost 4000 Americans in Iraq (for what?) not to mention the 1 million Iraqis dead, what did they ever do to America? And your own government doesn't care about you – no universal healthcare, high gas prices, tax cuts for the wealthy,etc. I'm from Eastern Europe and I've studied in America and I'm ashamed to have ever spent even a dollar in a country that America has become. Americans surely deserve better!

    April 29, 2008 at 6:10 am |
  5. roberta

    with ALL this ranting about rev wright WHY dont we go at it billery about their monica lewisnsty . and how bout the papers they stole from the office of that gut who died and he wasnt even in the ground yet . if its down betweenh clinton or mcain im stayin in bed on election day.

    April 29, 2008 at 6:03 am |
  6. Sue Katz

    Rev. Dr. Wright, his portrayal in the media and the public reaction tells a huge, huge story about America today. I just watched the whole interview with Bill Moyer on PBS and listened to his NAACP speech and I have to say the interview with Moyers was simply fantastic, uplifting and a fresh of breath air. This is really what journalism should be about – with professional journalists facilitating a discussion or interaction between the public and people in the news on the questions that matter so that the public can get a full picture and make their own judgments.

    I have lived in Rwanda and South Africa where the mainstream media distorted truths and spread misinformation, turning the simple differences between races into the fuel for fear, hate and a complete disregard for humanity and the fundamental right to life. The result – genocide and decades of the murderous, dehumanizing apartheid system all perpetuated and sustained by ordinary people like you and I.

    It is impossible for me not to see the similarity in the actions and role of the print and electronic media in the US today in their handling and commentary on the snippets and subsequent analysis they themselves chose to release repeatedly and in the inflammatory nature of the responses of bloggers here and on other sites.

    This country, like all others, has a past and present replete with mistakes and the sign of its maturity isn't going to be found in denial or a refusal to discuss these but in the commitment and maturity shown by ordinary people to set any fears and prejudice aside and sit around the "table" together to discuss these mistakes honestly, understand their impact and design solutions together that will take the country forward united in purpose.

    April 29, 2008 at 6:01 am |
  7. Jimmy (Nigeria)

    Please, please,please, we've had enough of debates. After having had 26 debates, what else does Billlharry want americans to know about Obama. He's leading, so? Let the poor Senator go about personal contacts with the electorates other than sitting across a desperado woman who would do anything to win. Enough of that trash of NAFTA, Wright, Etcs. Let the people now make their choice, which of course, it's now so obvious who they want as their next President.

    April 29, 2008 at 6:01 am |
  8. georgy

    Finally the real Obama is coming to light. His campaign has been filled with hatefilled, trash-talking just as his pastor's. He had trashed the Clintons, the USA and the good base of the Democratic party since the start of his campaign. He's turned this party against itself by bashing everyone from Bill to Ferraro, even Johnson (BET). His campaign is finally getting what it deserves – white backlash. We don't respect a man who will flip off his opponent and shrug off a candidate when he loses a debate. Let the kids drink the kool-aid. We adults are smarter than that. Shame on you, Barack!

    April 29, 2008 at 5:40 am |
  9. evelyn

    what has faith got to do with politics? obama and his religion should not be an issue at this point but how to blank out all the negative hype and concern himself with the Change he wants to bring to the American people he has talked about from the onset which they all believe in. STAY FOCUS!

    April 29, 2008 at 5:36 am |
  10. anne, us virgin islands

    After hearing the full context of Wright's speech, that he was quoting someone else, and that he was wishing for all Americans to shape up, the media owes Wright a full and obvious apology. They were irresponsible in reporting only snippets. They were irresponsible in not discussing that black ministers and white southeners usually shout and preach fire and brimstone and it is not like they are wishing bad things to happen but simply warning folk? That this was a style issue? You would think that they would have some shame and a lesson learned after their woeful failure to question the bush intention to invade Iraq and whether there were weapons there.
    This man is a veteran, a patriotic, and the one who probably led Obama to Christ. For that, we all thank him. Meanwhile, Obama is being castigated for what someone else didn't even do, while Hillary is getting a pass on her own lies. Can we at least criticize Barack for his own misdeeds if there are any? Can we see snippets of Wright's service to the US as a marine? Can we see equal comparison of McCain's associates: ie George Bush, who not only is unpatriotic, but possibly criminal?
    Can we hear about issues? Are you going to committ America to four more years of a president who won because of non-issues like gay marriage? Can you emphasize that every time we buy gas and feel bitter (and make no mistake, we are bitter) that it's justified to prevent two lesbians from marrying?
    Will a responsible media please stand up. Let us elect our president, whoever it is, based on actual experience, past votes, political agendas, temperament, honesty, and potential to unify the congress to get things done, and let the media focus only on that.

    April 29, 2008 at 5:32 am |
  11. DONNA

    If any (WHITE) PASTOR or PRIEST said any of the racist things that have come out of REV. WRIGHTS mouth ... he or she would have been arrested ...
    Why is this DOUBLE STANDARD ok ??
    RACISM is RACISM ... period ....
    This person is full of HATE, BLAME and ANGER .....
    And this was a preacher ????

    April 29, 2008 at 5:31 am |
  12. DONNA

    Response to ANDREW April 28th, 2008 11:48 pm ET

    FUNNY you say Rev. WRIGHT isnt the issue or canidate but you say
    " BILLARY " is....INTERESTING!! ... yet more double standards .... what a shame ...

    Rev. Wright is not the candidate and not the issue. CNN is overplaying him. Billary’s lying and racism and McCain’s stupidity (senility?) are legitimate issues. Wright is just a red herring.

    April 29, 2008 at 5:25 am |
  13. Dianne

    I was heartened by CNN's willingness to show Rev. Wright's speech in its entirety yesterday. Today, I see more spin and sound bites again with the same negativity. Please continue to show the leadership and courage you have shown by providing true unbiased coverage and promote POSITIVE political commentary. CNN is a Media Leader and an important vehicle for positive change. Use your influential voices to help improve our country. Although I am white I understand the passion in Rev. Wright's words and others that spoke at the NAACP event yesterday. Help this country get back on track by emphasizing the positive not the negative. Get over this stuff with Rev. Wright. Focus on Obama, not Rev. Wright. Obama is the one running for office. YOU CAN CHOOSE to be positive and forward thinking – we are watching! Use your powerful influence to promote good works; our country depends on it!!!

    April 29, 2008 at 5:25 am |
  14. Jerry

    By the way, while the media was going BONKERS over the Rev. Wright speech, about 100 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq, 10,000 American jobs went overseas, and our president took two naps and a cookie break.

    April 29, 2008 at 5:22 am |
  15. DONNA

    in response to JAY :
    Are you kidding ?????
    Almost EVERY people at one time or another throughout HISTORY was enslaved by another people and nation.....READ a History book.
    If every people were "reaping the benefits of what their ancestors established" then most of the WORLD would be "REAPING" ....good and bad ......
    How many MORE years will some people use the PAST to explain their FAILURES ???

    April 29, 2008 at 5:20 am |
  16. DONNA

    Finally people are starting to see BARACKS inexperience ...
    This is a huge issue for him and he is not handling it well ....
    What if our nation was being confronted with something huge ... what would he say .. ?
    "Well if we dont respond, it will just go away" ???
    Surely people are starting to see the Senator CLYBURG and Rev. Wright playing the RACE CARD at every turn ... And then complaining that others are doing it ..... They need to look in the mirror... EVERYTHING that comes out of their mouths is RACE this RACE that .... They are the ones stirring up mess....
    Senator Clinton will make a great president with Barack as VP , and them together would be unstopable ..
    He will learn a great deal from her too while he is VP, and our party will heal ..
    BARACK will be a great president after Hillary Clintons term.....

    April 29, 2008 at 5:11 am |
  17. Gary Chandler in Canada

    He comes off as a 'bitter' man who clings to religion to be right. Even his snide comment at the NACCP speech about the 100 members who are not going forward. He had to take snipe shots at an NACCP group who disagree with him.
    You can take the man out of the marines, but you can't take the marine out of the man.
    He should think of how Christ would talk!

    April 29, 2008 at 4:47 am |
  18. Evangel

    It will be unfortunate if Rev. Wright is proven right by America. Because this will be the case should Obama be denied his victory, should the superdelagates overturn the popular choice. Then Rev. Wright will say 'have I not said so that America will not allow somebody different from the caucasians (white) to be the President.' How much I wish Rev. Wright is proven wrong.

    April 29, 2008 at 4:23 am |
  19. Gay Givens

    I've heard a lot about Obama's former pastor's comments on your show and nothing at all about Clinton's former pastor being sentenced for child molestation involving a 7-year old girl. Have you not heard about Hillary's pastor or are you biased? If Obama is to be held accountable for his pastor's actions, then so should Hillary.

    April 29, 2008 at 4:12 am |
  20. R Middleton

    Barack Obama should step down and let the Reverend run instead, he seems to be the only one who sees the USA the same as the rest of the world does and ehat he is saying is the truth like you have never heard it said before, at least he seems to be well travelled and listens to the world, or his conscious does not allow him to lie. The truth is what it is and Americans need to see this otherwise they will be voting Presidents that invade other countries based on lies.

    April 29, 2008 at 4:00 am |
  21. Matthew Baren

    Listening to this obnoxious loud-mouth ignoramus once again spew his hate filled rhetoric (and, make no mistake, it is clearly and plainly hate mongering masked in "you other-than-black folk just don't understand what I'm REALLY saying") is just nuaeseating and I am sick of listening to his ignorant rants. Never mind the incalculable damage he has likely done to Obama. As a Clinton supporter, I am hardly sorry for Barack. But, as an American I abhor this guy's whole perspective and attitude. I won't even waste my time explaining what is so reprehensible regarding his hateful and extreme comments about us as a people, our society, our military, our country, 911 and so much more he obviously feels so compelled to hurl his, yes, bombastic blathering about. People can plainly see him for what he is as we have seen plenty of his kind throughout history. Louis Farrakhan and David Duke come to mind. He is obviously not nearly worth the attention he has so shrewdly fostered for himself. Nonetheless, I bother writing this to join those who understand the importance of shining a bright light on characters like wright in our society whose divisive rhetoric and wrong-headed scapegoating of others serves not only to exacerbate the enduring fractures we seek to heal in our nation, but, ironically, directly contradicts the over-arching theme of the very person he proclaims to be supporting – that of "bringing the nation together." I don't imagine this is what Obama had in mind. If he becomes the democratic candidate, it will be his "Test" (for me) in this election to witness his response to this kind of mind.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:56 am |
  22. sheron

    No one's is even listening to issues anymore. It has turned into he say; she say; they say. What really bothers me is that Clinton with a failed campaign, mutiny all around, her vote to get us into this war, creditors in hot pursuit and her ability to gain points by being a "bully" to her democratic opponent, and exceptionally friendly to her republican opponent is gaining momentum. What type of people are we when we rather have the best of the worst. Obama only wanted a different America. Oh, well, it will be business as usual. Back to killing in Iraq, sending more and more young men and women to their death, making them do multiple tours, the terrible treatment of our militia when they return home, the high rate of suicide among our military, around the world people continue to starve, food prices rise higher, people continue to lose their homes, their jobs, and don't let me start on gas prices. I had so much hope for this country. Little by little, it's being drained out of my body. Please remember, If Clinton got us into this mess, don't believe her when she said she will get us out.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:35 am |
  23. carlos

    First I would like to say I am sick and tired of some white americans who refuse to understand the position of black americans. I served in the military in the 70's and witnessed first hand racial prejudice against blacks in the southern states of america and this was by officers in the U.S. army. What black people have come to realize is white america still don't except the fact that black people were treated subhuman and now believe we should be grateful that we have some freedom.

    Second i don't think you people really see what you be saying on CNN. for instance ya'll say Rev. Wright should not have said this or id that, Rev. Wright is not paying for the publicity that you guys have afforded him. Why have CNN diverted to covering Rev Wright instead of the campaign. Rev Wright is not running for office so why is he getting so much press? Oh yeah its because sen.Obama was in his church for 20 years. Well white america please tell me how many white people have left home and distance themselves from there racist cousins ,uncles ,mothers fathers grandparents etc.If your ancestors had slaves and believe that blacks are inferior do any of you i see on CNN believe what your forefathers believed in the 40's 30's 20' hummmm. Last but not least I hear CNN say Sen. Obama can't get the white working class vote like the Black vote do not count I don't hear that Sen. Clinton would have a hard time gettting the black vote? maybe CNN and Hillary believe that black votes don't count in main stream america. I wish CNN would go back to covering the political race and leave the racist race alone.I am tired of all the childish nit picking of a black candidate.....who checked nixon channey,bush,washington,or any other candidates preachers or there religious beliefs. Although I don't trust Hillary anymore if she was the nomoniee I would vote for her before I would vote republican.Obama supporter.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:22 am |
  24. RAL

    RAL, Sierra Vista, AZ

    Even though I’m a big fan of watching violence, corruption and war on TV programs such as Law and Order (SVU), Sopranos, CSI (Miami), and the many programs aired on the History Channel; I’m a Christian who appreciates an end to the spin of the truth. Politicians are good at spinning the truth. I believe Reverend Wright is a sincere and forward person who tell us how the world is really like.

    In the last couple of weeks these TV programs to include the Democratic Elections have been outshined by the recent televised Reverend Wright’s comments and standpoints. I have my TV remote handy racing from one channel to another to hear and see more of the Reverend’s ideology.

    Sunday, I watched Reverend’s Wright’s NAACP’s speech, demonstration and explanation of how we learn differently due to influences related to our cultures and origin. He held my attention as he continued with his speech even though I don’t know anything of the subjective and objective learning traits of humans.

    Haven’t heard any of the sound bites that have made many of my Americans comrades alarmed and angry at him, but will make every effort to listen to Reverend’s Wright’s past speeches on the internet before I say thumbs up (support) or thumbs down (not support) his viewpoints. What are really his motivations, time will only tell?

    America give him more air-time.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:22 am |
  25. Marie

    I believe that Rev Wright is in some way jealous/envious of Sen Obama. I've thought and thought about this. What other reason could it be that he erupts 1 week before a huge defining primary contest. He really doesn't want Sen Obama to become the next POTUS. He's probably thinking that, here comes this young buck that thinks he's going to CHANGE the world and I've been preaching for over 30 years and haven't had the same effect Obama has made within 2 years. I feel sorry for the pastor. He needs to ask God to forgive him for the envy he holds within. Maybe he suffers from veteran shock or something. Had I been Sen Obama's pastor, I would have preferred to have the legacy of being the pastor of the first historic African American President vs. a deranged, selfish, circus pastor of Sen Obama. God Bless Us All. The devil is amongst us.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:21 am |
  26. Yvonne

    I find the invasion of the media into Rev. Wright�s life and ministry is bordering on illegal and in violation of civil rights. Are we going to follow him to all his speaking engagements from now on?

    Because Obama has been treated unfairly, I believe God is going to intervene and sway the vote in his favor. Millions will be moved to vote for him. God is the one who puts up and takes down.

    We cannot put Rev. Wright under Mouth Arrest. This is a free country. He has to be free to continue to preach. Only countries under oppressive governments prevent people from speaking truth to power. What's going on?

    I wonder how this will look in the history books ten years from now. America has a chance to redeem herself from embarrassing history. Don't add more nonsense to the history books. Change is coming and people are getting uneasy.

    This whole episode will work in Obama's favor because people are going to feel that he's being treated unfairly being accused based on someone else's words and they'll cast their vote for him. Americans are smart people and true Americans enjoy fighting for justice.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:21 am |
  27. Ann Marie

    Rev. Wright is not as scary as restoring an incumbent First Lady for a third term. That would be a rude awakening for America. We're blinded to it now. America is just proving to the rest of the world that she has not grown much in 40 years.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:18 am |
  28. Bernie Smith

    The real issues aren't being address: Jobs, Gas, Housing, War, Outsourcing jobs, Medical bills, and much more. As Democrats we need to stop this mess before Mc Cain get in office from the fear from both Obama and Hillary. We need to get this race over before its too late for the Democrats. I am a Democrats and I feel so embrass about this election 2008.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:08 am |
  29. Bilo

    I don`t see anything wrong about what the Reverend Wright said.
    He speaks the truths. American ` s policies had done a lot of bad things. I don`t understand why people are so chocked and outraged.
    It`s ok that Whites people start slavery, discrimination, kill people but nobody is allowed to talk about it. I think those people are in denial. What goes around comes back around. I think people should wake up and do self- critricism.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:07 am |
  30. Laverie Williams

    Please tell us that people can read ,Our News commentators can not just state their views,any well read person can understand,and really see what is really going on , who own the press. They are derailing Obama,it is deliberate. It is a public disservice. We need ojective news programs who will just give out the news Lou Dobbs is over the edge, He perpetuating the myth and thinks he is doing a public service, Be careful he only want to make you (John Q Publc ) to lose focus on the real issues.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:04 am |
  31. sheron

    We are in peril, democrats! Should we vote for Obama, the best chance for a solid and unified america? or Clinton, who is seen as a sneaky snake? Obama,who "had" a pastor that speaks truths about this country, and the terrible way it treats it's citizens? Or,Clinton, who has a husband that turned the white house and governor's house into a brothel? Do any of these other candidates even go to church? I can't take it anymore!!!!! I am staying home on election day. Cutting off all the televisions, and radios, and getting some much needed sleep. All these twists, turns, lies, etc, is wearing me down.

    April 29, 2008 at 3:03 am |
  32. Edward Hernandez

    RE; Jeramiah Wright............Is it possible that the fact that the Obama Campaign has done so well prior to this recent issue (Rev. Wright) and the fact that the American voter has supported his campaign for President of the United States regardless of race has presented a threat to certain Black Leaders.......... Rev Wright has affirmed his friendship with Louis Farakhan and It may undermines the extreme positions that they profess regarding blacks in America. If Obama was to be elected President it may threaten some of their arguements regarding racial discrimination in this country. Another thing I that surprises me is that none of our black leaders " Sharpton of Jackson" have stepped up and come to speak-up for Obama.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:58 am |
  33. Candace

    I just do not understand why McCain nor any other Republican has been attacked with their connection with mega-church preachers like Rod Parsely, John Hagee, Pat Robertson, etc. These men have made anti-American statements over and over again in their sermons. But this is not an issue. Instead, the media is focusing on Obama's pastor. I'm not even decided on which I will vote for (Clinton or Obama) yet, but it's getting to be a bit ridiculous. In the end, I know the Republican party (and Clinton) are just upset and shocked at the success of Obama. He's beating them at their own game without their ties to special interest monies. I know they're not sleeping well, at all:)

    April 29, 2008 at 2:55 am |
  34. Judy

    I agree that terrible, shameful acts have been perpetrated on African Americans as late as the 1970's. I didn't do any of it, though. I'm not guilty. I'm just a white female over 65, living on a dwindling pension and trying to survive. I try to understand my black brothers and sisters, but they don't want me in their family because I'm white.

    Rev. Wright and similar black ministers are free to discuss political issues from the pulpit, but a minister to a white congretation who speaks of political issues that don't support the president, like the Pasadena All-Saints Episcopal church for example, are notified they will lose their non-profit status unless they stick to pure religiion. It's a perfect example of reverse discrimination.

    Black solidarity frightens me because I know it is a strong body and that it doesn't want to promote any of my interests and in many respects wishes me dead or at least out the way and all my assets reallocated. Why did Obama stay in that church for twenty years if he didn't believe in theor concepts? If Hillary Clinton doesn't get the nomination, I'm going to cross party lines and vote for John McCain in the general election.

    Barack Obama may be sincere in saying he wants to represent all people, but he's not saying it in such a way as to convince me. He seems to back down when he's confronted with a strong opponent and might be lead around the nose by his favorite Rev. when in the White House. Cheny standing behind Bush was bad enough, Wright standing behind Obama might be dangerous.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:52 am |
  35. Wilson

    I really think Rev, Wright is all about his own ego. I do have to say, beyond that point, he believes in his own truth. The problem with our country is we all believe in our "own truth". We all think our way is the best way, we, as Americans, have been taught this from our birth. We, as Americans, need to understand that our differences are tearing our Country apart. War, against war, whatever religion you may have, (or like myself, claim and practice a few times a year...), rich or poor, (and with our non "recession"), there are no middle class anymore, I am among the poor. Differences are the fabric of our Nation, when are we as a society going to except we are all equal? I just think those who are offended by Rev. Wright need to look into themselves and decide, is this really worth my hurt? There are so many people in New Orleans still living in trailers, Pres. Bush could not even get out of the plane to see what Katrina did to one of the most important cities in our country. Three years later, New Orleans, Mississippi, and several parts of the south are STILL SUFFERING. When are we going to start caring about our own? Black and white, start there, then think about everyone else in our Country, how many American Indians do you see everyday? Guess what, the rest of us are immigrants. I am tired of the elitist attitude we have, I am 3rd generation Italian and my Mother is Jewish, that makes me jewish. I am a minority. I say these things because my husband and I are getting by, we have a home, we live okay, and I pass as caucasian, God forbid anyone know I am Jewish or Italian. We, as a country need to get over this, you may not like everyone but I promise you, there is something in everyone you can love, we need to just get over ourselves. NO ONE IS BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE, remember...God Bless America

    April 29, 2008 at 2:51 am |
  36. Richard Senger

    Wow, must be a slow news week. Rev. Wright will sell a lot of books thanks to CNN. This will slide off Obama. He is not Rev. Wright.
    More quotes out of context to produce smoke and mirrors is not good reporting and the commentary is pretty one sided. Yawn... where is the channel changer?

    April 29, 2008 at 2:50 am |
  37. Patty Chapman

    Looks like a tinge of racism is still alive and well in America! Barack Obama must have a tremendous tolerance level which is a definite asset for a person that is running for President. How could so many intelligent people possibly consider HC to be President of the most powerful country in the world? This has nothing to do with voting for a woman, but please let it be anyone else but HC. Has anyone considered what some of the leaders of the Middle Eastern Countries will think of having her as President of the U.S. They will never accept a woman who is already threatening Iran or any other country. What a dangerous situation this could be. And then there is Bill!! Pathetic. How much scarier can this get!

    April 29, 2008 at 2:43 am |
  38. Big Mike

    The Rev. Wright has become a central and distracting issue for Obama, and the media scrutiny of Wright will only continue to increase, regardless of it's importance of lack of. Let's forget that this man is NOT running for predsident, and that Obama has repudiated some of the more outlandish things he has stated, and also that he has nothing to do with the real impactful issues Americans face. Where is this venomous hate in his sermons that people speak of? Does he use rhetoric that is edgy and pushing the envelope? Yes! But much of what he says is factual and based on truth. The problem with America, particularly white America, their never comfortable being reminded of their transgressions, and their certainly not comfortable being reminded with Wright's kind of cander.

    Only in America is a black man asked to transcend his race, when it comes to running for president. At the beginning Obama was the candidate of change with a message that resonated with a swath of Americans clamouring for change, now he is becoming the "Black" candidate, and he will NOT win the presidency based on that definition.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:39 am |
  39. ellie

    Senator Obama is not responsible for the views of Reverand Wright.
    I believe we still have the freedom of speech and thought in this country. There are those in the media who wish to destroy Obama's run for the presidency and think that the general public will be fooled once again by this false scandal. I'm betting voters have had enough of the spin of media pundits. I know I have.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:39 am |
  40. shar

    Comments on this blog have focused on racism and it is apparent that there is a racist among us and that racist is Rev. Wright. I cannot believe that Obama did not know that his Pastor was a bigot and a racist. All of Obama's talk of unity was a sham.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:37 am |
  41. Steve Huey

    I've watch all the programs that CNN has put out this month and the shocking thing to me is how each of you show comtempt for Sen. Obama and glory for Sen. Clinton. Rev. Wright is not running for the Oval Office, but the media the one that is stirring the pot to arouse people of the white race to not vote for Sen. Obama because he's black. At the end of the day God is still in control and He has already choosen the nominee and President of these United States. We do need change and only so far only one person can bring that about no matter how much you riddicule them and try to make them responsibile for another man's true researched comments. So what are you really saying is that whites have not or ever opressed blacks? Whites, so not hire their own even if a black is more quailfied? Blacks and whites are treated on the dame scale across the board? That blacks do not have to work twice or four times as hard as whites? all these questions you can only say yes to them but you as white people hate to face what you are actually guilty of especially when someone make you look at what you have done to a people and continuing to do but covering up. And as for your panel How can they comment on what they saw on youtube.com when ti was doctored to run over and over again. Why didn't anyone send for a transcript of the sermon to get a better understanding of what was said and in what text it was said in before you put this onslot against Sen.Obama. Sen. Clinton told and out right lie and yhou covered it up and made her out to be some woman of righteousness, Who do you know that could mistake running under cover from bombs. Give us real news and stop your own politicing for the candidate that you want. The bible says that what the devil means for evil against you, God, will turn it around for His good. And that's probaly the reason Sen. Obama has not said anything because when he spoke in Philly He did what need to be done. You want him to do what you want him to do but you nor this country will ask black america to forgive you for all you have done to us as a people and a nation for over four hundred years, but you gave retribution to the Jews and you had nothing to dowith the holocaust, but yhou did have something to do with hangings, separation of fathers for wives and children, lynchings, killings, bombings just because someone had more than you or because of a lie, inprisoned for something you didn't do, and much,much more. why are you asking for something you can not give yourself. And those dumb black folks who have join you are just traders to thier own race. they don't here white americans back biting just to be heard. shame on them, they do not speak for black america. Have a poll for the black community and you will see the difference.,

    April 29, 2008 at 2:37 am |
  42. Terry W. Brookman

    Wright could be saveing Obamas life and thousands of others.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:31 am |
  43. Robert Eckels

    Just as when people have negative statement about Israel that person is labeled anti semantic. The attack on the black church through Rev. Wright is a racist act. White American needs Senator Obama to be a terrorist so that they can feel good about not voting for a Black man.

    White American are treating Senator Obama like the treated the black soldier in WWII.

    No matter how courageous they fought for the country the black man has always been placed on the no fly list for White America.

    People on the no fly list are considered terrorist and have a hard time being employed, getting a loan, and getting equal justice. This is what the black experience is in this country.

    You are doing your best to keep the black American on that list and ensure that we never get off. this is why CNN does the story they way you do.

    You find the black American that would chose the white doll over the black doll because they too can not get the black American off the list.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:30 am |
  44. Richard Zaldivar

    It is a bit tiring to hear and see the news clips of the Rev. Wright's comments. One could hear and read the news about the reverend, but what good does it do? The comments were not from the candidate and have nothing to do with the issues that confront this nation.

    This country is broke, we are in a recession, the price of oil and the cost of food increases, thus will ultimately lead to massive inflation. If that was not bad, Iran is on the brink of containing a nuclear weapon, there is an increase of tension in the middle east, gang killings, increase of crystal meth use among the youth of you community and all we have on the front page of the newspaper is Rev. Wright. And we as Americans are smart?

    April 29, 2008 at 2:24 am |
  45. Rosetta

    When Jesus tried to point out the sins of the Jews they turned against him. Anytime America's indiscretions are pointed out, it's always unpatriotic or anti American. Slavery and racism in America was wrong among other things. Does that make someone who voices that fact Un American? It is what it is, regardless of the messenger. Faye Wattington, and Carol Simpson must not have ever sit in a black church in Amerca, because anyone who has sit in a black church in America, cannot truthfully deny that they have not heard this type of message. If Barack Obama is to understand the plight of the people for whom he seeks to represent, where should we have him go. With the help of the media America continues to be in denial. White America will continue to be dumbfounded about these types of sermons until they make a conscious effort to listen to the whole message.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:22 am |
  46. John Hunt Columbus, Ohio

    If Obama continues to swing at his central position while ignoring Reverend Wright, Clinton will steal home. He must recount his victories and reconnect how he has defined himself to achive those victories. To do this, Reverend Wright must be marginalized. Both Wright and Hillary are playing Dirty Dozen. He can' affod to join in the game. His only recourse at this point is to engage McCain full-bore, convincing the voters he has already scored and the game is over for Clinton. She can slide into home, but when the dust settles, she'll find the crowd has already gone home.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:21 am |
  47. Mary in Oklahoma

    Rev. Wright, Senator Obama and the people who really believe that our country is not the best should investigate the possibility of immigrating to Africa or some other country where the beliefs are more in line with the Black Liberation Theology teachings. Millions of people from around the world could come here and find a happier and more prosperious life in their place.
    Doesn't Rev. Wright's church teach tolerance and forgiveness???

    April 29, 2008 at 2:19 am |
  48. John C.

    The separation of Church and State is when the problem began for our country. What would be the base for the laws of the land if no for religion. Jesus was dislike by the kings because he preached against the beliefs of the king. Our country should upheld the views of the religion. But, also because our country is made of different religions we must respect everyone's opinion to believe in what he or
    she wants. The U.S is hated around the world by many nations. Not , just because we are free or we are smart. Why can't we open our eyes and ask why do other countries hate Americans so much. We get upset at Iran when it countries tries to create nuclear weapons, but we don't set an example because we still have nuclear weapons. I can I tell you what you are doing wrong and I justify what I am doing which is the same thing is right.

    People are mad at Rev. Wright because he quoted a speaker from another country. That believe that America thinks she is more important than God. What is incorrect about that statement? America is not more important than GOD. People of this country is so arrogant and have so much pride that we can't see that everything we do is not right. We in the name of killing terrorist we kill children, mothers and innocent people. I ask again what is right about that. Going to war should similar to self defense laws. You must be in physical harm in order to go to war. You don't take the law into your own hands and kill someone because that steal your property to verbally threaten you this is wrong, and this is what our country does.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:18 am |
  49. Peggy Brittain

    Your CNN contributors hold the belief that Barack Obama needs to distance himself from Rev. Wright. How can he do that after attending this church for twenty years? How can he be credible to disavow the church and the pastor who brought him to Christianity? There are many other black churches in Southside Chicago. Did Barack even try any of them, or did Rev. Wright simply strike a cord in him from the outset? Wouldn't he be a hypocrit to denounce his church and pastor at this point? I know I wouldn't believe him.

    Peggy, Ohio

    April 29, 2008 at 2:16 am |
  50. Zack

    It's ashame that the crabs in the barrow theory always come when it relates to the black community in America. I compare Senators Obama's reaction to that Martin Luther King, overall he has taken the high road. It's sad to see that most analyst consider that a weakness. I feel it's show that even in the hard times his focus will still remain on the citizens of our country. I would however advise Obama to remind us all of what he stands for and make a direct comparison to Rev. Wright. Rev. Wright does NOT represent the black community at ALL. He definitely does NOT represent the Christian Community. Jesus was persecuted and he responded with love. (taking the high road) I wonder why he felt he needed to defend himself especially at the expense Obama. Obama please align yourself with Men and Women of God and pubicly rebuke these challenges of your faith.

    April 29, 2008 at 2:13 am |
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