WASHINGTON--With nonstop coverage Monday on his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright--day three of widely covered comments--Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) addressed the situation that threatens his presidential bid at a media availability hastily scheduled on the tarmac in Wilmington, North Carolina. Said Obama of Wright, "He does not speak for me."
"I have said before and I will repeat again that some of the comments Rev Wright offend me and I understand why they have offended the American people.
"He does not speak for me. He does not speak for the campaign. And, so, he may make statements in the future that don't reflect my values or my concerns."
" What I'm going to spend my time talking about for the duration of this campaign is how we're going to bring about change that can help the American people live their lives and make sure that their children, their grandchildren can live out their American dream."
"I think certainly what the last three days indicate is that we're not coordinating with him, right?
" He's obviously free to speak his mind. But I want to emphasize, this is my former Pastor. Many of the statements that he's made both to trigger this initial controversy and that he's made over the last several days are not statements that I had heard him make previously. They don't represent my views. And they don't represent what this campaign is about. But he is obviously free to make those statements.