PHILADELPHIA, PA.- -Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), hoping to sideline a controversy that threatens his presidential quest, said Tuesday he will not “disown” the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as he pleaded for understanding that simmering anger in this county—from blacks and whites—fuels “a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years.”
Obama is trying to extricate himself from the crisis prompted by the surfacing of racially inflammatory sermons preached by his spiritual mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the senior pastor at Trinity United Chuch of Christ on Chicago’s South Side.
Obama admitted in his speech that he personally heard some of Wright’s fiery rhetoric. “Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in the church? Yes.”
On Friday, Obama, in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama said something different. “I'll be honest with you. I wasn't in church when any of those sermons were issued.”
Obama probably made that admission in his speech knowing that reporters were trying to determine if he was in church for one of Wright’s divisive missives.