Chicago Sun-Times
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Obama distances himself from Wright: "He does not speak for me."

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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.

10 Comments

I hope you'll comment on this Trib story:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-obama-donateapr27,1,751102.story

The story is about how Obama got $112,000 in retainer fees from a ping pong promoter (true) and helped the guy get a state subsidy. One of Obama's aides was working for both Obama and the promoter at the same time.

Is Rev. Wright selfish?
No one questions whether he is briliant.
But, if he was so offended by the distortion--why not address it at the time the speech was 'news'--why did he wait?
It would have been nice for Wright to have noted that you can take ANYONE out of context--and that's exactly what happened to Geraldine Ferraro and others.
He does not seem to be trying to 'unite' but rather divide and 'finger wag' and I fail to see how that is a considerate person's reaction to a parishioner's campaign situation.
It's nice to see Barack has a sense of humor--the 'we're not coordinating' commment is great.
I still think Barack is a great veep now and will be a greater pres 8 years from now.
And that's not a bad thing at all. Pelosi needs to reconsider her comments about a Clinton/Obama ticket.

Barack Obama clearly states his position and this is what the majority of voters believe and fully accept, it is just when some of the media and again some Clinton supporters will move on, you are way out of touch and you both do more damage than good.

Lynn-any word on what Mary Mitchell's got to say about this?

Do you remember the poster that featured a photo of Richard Nixon with the caption: Would you buy a used car from this man?

In that sense, Barack does appear to be presidential.

I was raised conservative, entire family conserevative but after Bush's tenure in office I have lost faith in the republican party to do anything right. I don't see a black man in Obama, I see the future of this country and I am white. My problem with Wright is this guy doesn't have a clue that all he is doing by continuing to keep himself in the spotlight is destroying the best chance this country has for restoring the lore: black or white. Furhtermore, his points are unintelligent and annoying and he will lose the race for Obama all by himself, because he is not gaining support for obama, he is turning people against him.

I am not an Obama fan, but not because of Rev Wright or Obama's color. I voted for him in the primary for Senator and for Senator. I woulod really like to see him do something as Senator before I consider him for President.

I am very alarmed by Rev Wright's recent comments. I admit I do not know much about the Black Church. I find it rather offensive that he feels Black Christianity should be different than White Christianity. We have several black members and have had several African Priests at our parish. (By the way they were both delightful and we still stay in touch). I feel rhetoric such as he has been using lately does nothing but work people up and make them angry. If this is what the Black Church preaches, no wonder there is so much violence in the black communities. I view him as a completely different issue than the election.

I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT REV. WRIGHT, LAPEL PINS, REZKO, PETER PAUL, HSU, REV. HAGEE, AND BILL CLINTON. I GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ME. TO ANY DNC OFFICIALS, DEMOCRAT PARTY LEADERS, AND SUPER DELEGATES. TO ALL REPUBLICANS. TO MSNBC, CNN, FOX, ABC, CHRIS MATTHEWS, ABRAMS, LOU DOBBS, HANNITY, COLM, PAT BUCHANAN, AND JOE SCARBOROUGH. I WORKED HARD RAISING TWO CHILDREN BY MYSELF AND STILL PUT MYSELF THROUGH COLLEGE WITHOUT GRANTS. I DID NOT RECEIVE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE OR CHILD SUPPORT. I WAS INJURED ON THE JOB AND DUE TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY DENYING ADEQUATE TREATMENT, I AM NOW FORCED TO LIVE ON DISABILITY AT AN AMOUNT WHICH IS A FRACTION OF WHAT I WAS PROUDLY EARNING ON MY OWN. I DID NOT NEED A 'MOTHER' TO FORCE INSURANCE ON ME BECAUSE I HAD SENSE TO GET IT FOR MYSELF. I HAVE AN ELDERLY MOTHER NOW LIVING WITH ME CAUSE MEDICAL TREATMENT WAS INDEQUATE TO TREAT HER - AND SHE HAD INSURANCE. I HAVE TWO ADULT DAUGHTERS LIVING WITH ME BECAUSE DESPITE THEM GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND WORKING, THEY CANNOT AFFORD TO LIVE INDEPENDENTLY AT THE ECONOMY ESTABLISHED BY CORPORATE AMERICA. ONE DAUGHTER, WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE, IS NOW 'PUNISHED' WITH A BABY AND SHE CANNOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THE SACRIFICES SHE MUST MAKE FOR HER CHILD. THANKFULLY, SHE IS STILL IN COLLEGE BUT I AM BASICALLY RAISING HER CHILD THE BEST I CAN WITH MY DISABILITY. SHE IS MANAGING HER MONEY VERY WELL AND THE BULK OF HER PAYCHECK GOES TO HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES. WE ARE A PROUD BLACK FAMILY RAISED TO BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING YOU WANT BY YOUR OWN STUBBORN EFFORT. WE WERE RAISED IN A HOME WITH AN ABUSIVE, ALCOHOLIC FATHER AND IS THE INDIRECT CAUSE OF US LOSING OUR ONLY BROTHER AT AGE 19. THE FOUR GIRLS LEFT (INCLUDING ME) WORKED OUR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE CAUSE MAMA COULD NOT AFFORT TO PAY FOR COLLEGE FOR US. SHE ONLY HAD A 6TH GRADE EDUCATION AND WORKED AS A MAID FOR WHITE WOMEN BUT SHE WAS ABLE TO BUY AND PAY OFF HER HOME AFTER HER DIVORCE FROM DAD. I AM SO DAMN BITTER THAT IN AMERICA AN IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, A MEMBER OF OUR PARTY HAD TO WORK HARD THROUGH ISSUES I DESCRIBED ABOVE AND IS NOW BEING JUDGED BY STUPID THINGS LIKE LAPEL PINS, REV. WRIGHT, AND SAYING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. WHEN THIS CAMPAIGN STARTED, I EXPECTED THE DEMOCRAT CANDIDATES TO SELL THEMSELVES ON THEIR OWN MERITS. I SURE AS HELL IS NOT GOING TO ATTRIBUTE STRENGTH TO A CANDIDATE JUST BECAUSE HE/SHE IS BETTER AT SMEAR ATTACKS. THAT IS NOTHING TO BE PROUD OF. I EXPECT HE/SHE TO BE INTELLIGENT AND TALK STRAIGHT TO THE PEOPLE BECAUSE I THOUGHT WE THE PEOPLE WERE ADULTS. DAMN IT, WHY ARE WE MAKING DECISIONS BASED ON THINGS THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FINANCIAL WOES AND MISERY AND STRIFE WE ARE ALL EXPERIENCING TODAY? YEA, I AM SCREAMING CAUSE I AM BITTER AS HELL. IF YOU LIKE HILLARY THEN VOTE FOR HER. IF YOU LIKE OBAMA THEN VOTE FOR HIM. IF YOU PREFER MCCAIN THEN VOTE FOR HIM. I AM STUBBORN AND WILL NOT DEVIATE FROM HOPE CAUSE DAMN IT TO HELL, THAT IS ALL I NEED RIGHT NOW. THE CORPORATE AMERICA HAS SHIT ON ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND I GUESS I AM ONE OF THE PRECIOUS FEW WHO ARE TRULY SICK OF AMERICA LEADERS SMILING AND LYING TO MY FACE AND SHITTING ON ME LATER. ALL I CARE ABOUT IS GAS PRICES, HOME FORECLOSURES, TAXES ON THE ELDERLY, COLLEGE BREAKS FOR MY CHILDREN, CHILDREN DYING IN IRAQ, JOBS GOING OVER SEAS, HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES CONTROLLING MY CARE, DECIDING TO BUY FOOD OR PAY HOME MORTGAGE, AND THE LIST GOES ON. I DON'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS ABOUT WRIGHT, HAGEE, REZKO, HSU, OR EVEN BOSNIA LIES. I VOTING FOR HOPE. ALL THE OTHER SHIT HAS BEEN TRIED AND FAILED. INCLUDING HEALTH CARE. FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU THEN CHANGE IT, DAMN IT. IF YOU HILLARY SUPPORTERS IS BUYING THE STUFF SHE IS SAYING THEN VOTE FOR HER - UNCONDITIONALLYY. IF OBAMA IS GIVING YOU HOPE IN THIS 'LAND OF EQUALITY' THEN VOTE FOR HIM - UNCONDITIONALLY. IF MCCAIN IS OFFERING A WAR TO KILL OFF MORE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN, THE VOTE FOR HIM UNCONDITIONALLY. AND IF YOU STUPID ENOUGH TO LET CHRIS MATTHEWS, BILL O'REILLY, LOU DOBBS, PAT BUCHANAN, REV. WRIGHT, AND REV. HAGEE MAKE YOUR DECISION FOR YOU THEN ACCEPT THE OUTCOME OF YOUR VOTE - UNCONDITIONALLY. AND ACCEPT IT LIKE A GROWN UP. MY LAST WORD IS TO HOWARD DEAN AND DEMOCRAT PARTY - MAYBE YOU ALL ARE SCARED OF THE CLINTON MACHINE BUT THE PEOPLE ARE NOT. IF IT IS TRUE WHAT THE NEWS MEDIA SAYS THAT THE CLINTONS OWN THE DEMOCRATIC PART THEN YOU NEED TO LET THE PEOPLE KNOW THAT BECAUSE SOME OF US DO NOT BELONG TO THE CLINTON PARTY - WE BELONG TO THE DEMOCRAT PARTY. THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF TIME TO START A NEW PARTY.

Rev. Wright may not speak for Obama, but his association with him , Ayers and Rezko speak of Obamas lack of judgment and integrity, Shows him to be very naive. These are not the qualities that inspire leadership. Obama is not electable. He has given the Republican party so much ammunition for the fall. The man of hope and inspiration no longer exist. I hate to think what is yet to come!

There is nothing like an old fool, Pastor or not he still thinks he should be in the line light I was so happy to see that obamana cut him loose . good that's all I can say

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 28, 2008 6:26 PM.

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