But the sermons I’ve always hear[d] were no different than the sermons you hear in many African-American churches. I had not heard him make such, what I consider to be objectionable remarks from the pulpit. Had I heard them while I was in church, I would have objected.
That was yesterday. Today Obama said:
“Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.”
COOPER: (AUDIO GAP) … was created by the government to kill black people. He’s called America the number-one killer around the world. He’s said that black people shouldn’t sing “God Bless America,” but say God damn America.
There’s a lot of folks in America right now who have heard that. And I want to ask you why you have been listening to this pastor and close to him for nearly 20 years?
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, Anderson, you know, I strongly condemn the statements that have been shown on the tape.
I have to confess that those are not statements that I ever heard when I was sitting in the pews at this church. This is a church that I have been a member of for 20 years. This is a well-established, typical, historically African-American church in the South Side of Chicago, with a wonderful set of ministries.
And what I have been hearing and had been hearing in church was talk about Jesus and talk about faith and values and serving the poor…
OBAMA: … something that the church (INAUDIBLE) some.
But so the — what is — what is undeniable is that, you know, these are a series of incendiary statements that I can’t object to strongly enough. Had I heard those in the church, I would have told Reverend Wright that, you know, that I profoundly disagreed with them. They didn’t reflect my values, and they didn’t reflect my ideals.
COOPER: Did you not know, though, that, I mean, a couple days after 9/11, he said, you know, this was America’s chickens coming home to roost, a result of what he called American terrorism around the world?
COOPER: I mean, you may not have been there, but have you — you must have heard that he had said these things.
OBAMA: You know, I confess that I did not hear about this until — until I started running for president.
COOPER: But, I mean, uncles are blood relatives who you’re kind of stuck with at family gatherings, even when they say outrageous things. You can’t get rid of them.
You can walk out of a church. You can walk go up to a pastor and say, this is wrong.
OBAMA: And, as I said, Anderson, if I had heard any of those statements, I probably would have walked up, and I probably would have told Reverend Wright that they were wrong.
But they were not statements that I heard when I was in church.
COOPER: So, no one in the church ever said to you, man, last week, you missed this sermon; Reverend Wright said this; or…
COOPER: I mean, I think I read in your books that you listened to tapes of Reverend Wright when you were at Harvard Law School.
OBAMA: I did.
COOPER: So, you had no idea?
OBAMA: I understand.
I did not. Well, I want to be clear that, when I ran for president, some of these statements started surfacing.
Contrary to his earlier suggestion, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) acknowledged in his speech Tuesday that he had heard “controversial” remarks by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
“Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy?” Obama said. “Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely — just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.”
Obama did not specify which statements.
In his first detailed response to the firestorm over Wright’s remarks charging that the United States is a racist country, Obama said in a posting on The Huffington Post:
“The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign.”
Big Media wants to protect Obama. Big Media will lionize Obama’s ‘lack of judgement and full of lies’ speech. But the damage has been done. Americans have seen the real Obama. Big Media tried to lionize Mitt Romney’s empty speech on religion too. But the damage had already been done.
Barack Obama (D-Rezko) today is a proven liar and hypocrite.
His old white grandma is a racist too, we’re told.
Today, Barack Obama proved himself a liar and a hypocrite.
Barack Obama today will once again exploit racial issues, divide the country, and with the help of Big Media attempt to further bamboozle the American electorate.
The issue regarding Reverend Wright has very little to do with race – the issue is Barack Obama’s judgment.
Instead of addressing his lack of judgment, Obama will again exploit race and racial tensions for his benefit. Obama himself has introduced racial tensions to this election – in order to try to save his useless candidacy.
Obama still considers Antoin “Tony” Rezko his friend even though this 20 year friendship led to the tormenting and exploitation of impoverished African-Americans and abuse of minority development programs in Chicago.
Obama, purposefully set out to exploit prejudice against gay Americans in South Carolina last October. Obama stoked the base prejudices of socially conservative, African-American solid Democrats for his personal political benefit.
Today, as in June 2007, Obama “The Innocent” will attempt to cover ugly actions with flowery words. When Obama does something dirty he tries to disguise the dirt with flowery language. Flowery language is his stock in trade.
* * *
Barack Obama has never been vetted, let alone fully vetted. Obama’s barely existent, weak, excuses have thus far been abetted by Big Media, but voters in Big States have not been taken in.
Though he has faced questions about controversial statements by the pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., for more than a year, Mr. Obama is enduring intense new scrutiny now over Mr. Wright’s characterizations of the United States as fundamentally racist and the government as corrupt and murderous.
Mr. Obama, in a speech Tuesday in Philadelphia, will repeat his earlier denunciations of the minister’s words, aides said. But they said he would also use the opportunity to open a broader discussion of race, which his campaign has said throughout the contest that it wants to transcend. He will bluntly address racial divisions, one aide said, talking about the way they play out in church, in the campaign, and beyond.
Again, Obama is stoking racial strife, racial issues, race itself – for his own personal benefit. Instead of answering why Obama has displayed, repeatedly, total lack of judgment in decades long, generations long relationships – Obama will try to drag us all into his Obama drama of race “in a broader context“. We don’t need to discuss Reverend Wright in a “broader context”. We need Obama to specifically address his lack of judgment.
Instead of addressing his personal, selfish, lack of judgment, Obama will try to drag us all into the abyss. Obama is inflaming racial tensions, which he earlier was touting as no longer relevant, because Americans are beginning to see through his flim flam act no matter how much Big Media trys to protect him:
The episode has left Mr. Obama tending to a firestorm fed by matters no less combustible than faith, patriotism and race. It could help Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign advance its argument that Mr. Obama is “unvetted,” and that he is less electable than Mrs. Clinton come fall. In interviews, Republican strategists mapped out how Mr. Obama’s association with Mr. Wright could be used against him in a general election.
One of several Republican ads:
Mr. Obama is particularly vulnerable because voters are still getting to know him, said Democratic and Republican strategists — and a few voters as well. The Wright affair “makes me question other things. What else do we not know?” asked Karen Norton, 58, a computer saleswoman in North Carolina and a Republican who said that, until now, she had been stirred by Mr. Obama’s message of national reconciliation.
Mr. Wright’s statements, said strategists, threaten his greatest strength, his reputation as a unifying, uplifting figure, capable of moving the country past old labels and divisions.
“The problem is the complete contradiction between the message of the Obama campaign and the message of the minister who’s been his close friend and confidant for 20 years,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican consultant unaffiliated with any campaign.
Mr. Obama has also pitched himself as a candidate who can attract religious voters back to the Democratic Party, one who speaks the language of the Bible fluently and testifies about what he says is the impact of Christianity on his own life.
“What better way to try to undercut the way he integrates faith and political vision than to say we should all be secretly afraid of his church?” said Jim Wallis, a left-leaning evangelical who has had longstanding relationships with both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, and who says that Mr. Wright has been unfairly caricatured in recent portrayals.
In strategic terms, Mr. Wright’s statements are tricky for the Obama campaign to address. The more the candidate denounces the minister’s words, the more voters may question why Mr. Obama attached himself to Mr. Wright in the first place and stuck with him for so long, not only attending his church but naming a book after one of his sermons.
Because of his own emphasis on powerful oratory, said Todd Harris, a Republican strategist, Mr. Obama cannot dismiss Mr. Wright’s words as mere rhetoric.
“At the core of the campaign is the fact that words matter,” said Mr. Harris, who is not now affiliated with any campaign. “Central to the idea of his candidacy is the idea that a speech can change the world. You can’t have a campaign that has that notion at its core and then point to other people’s words and say, those don’t really matter.”
Asked how Republicans might use the Wright matter in the general election, Mr. Harris cited several incidents that could be used to question Mr. Obama’s patriotism. “Negative ads are built on negative patterns,” he said.
He pointed to Mr. Obama decision to stop wearing a American flag lapel pin and the statement that his wife made about being proud of her country for the first time in her lifetime.
Shamelessly, Barack Obama will not only push the Democratic Party to the racial abyss for his own personal benefit but Barack Obama will continue to employ the language of Republican strategists to “blame Washington”.
Words are powerful–whether Sen. Barack Obama’s soaring, unifying rhetoric or the divisive language from his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. “Just words,” as Obama often has observed, fuel movements of hope and change. Obama’s words–in a speech here Tuesday near Independence Hall–about race and Wright will determine if his campaign will be crippled by the Wright controversy.
But if his approach is to “blame Washington” for his political problems stemming from his association with Wright and Tony Rezko–an Obama fund-raiser now on trial in Chicago on federal corruption charges–as he did in an interview Monday with Gwen Ifill of PBS, it will be harder to get this episode behind him. A major strategic plank of the Obama campaign is to run against Washington.
Ifill asked if his relations with Rezko and Wright reflected on his judgement. Obama said, “And probably what’s true is because I haven’t been in Washington as long as Senator Clinton or others that I have not distanced myself from these people for as long a period of time as somebody more steeped in Washington politics might have.” [snip]
MS. IFILL: The distinction between you and Senator Clinton that’s been drawn by both of you over the last several weeks has been judgment versus experience. So let me ask you about your judgment on some issues, not only Reverend Wright and your association with him over the years but also Tony Rezko who you’ve talked a lot about recently, the Chicago developer who is now on trial on federal charges. Do you think that your association with those two people or people we don’t know about would raise questions about your judgment?
SEN. OBAMA: Well, no, look, all of us have people in our lives who we meet, we get to know, in some cases form friendships with, who end up getting themselves into trouble or say things that we don’t agree with. And probably what’s true is because I haven’t been in Washington as long as Senator Clinton or others that I have not distanced myself from these people for as long a period of time as somebody more steeped in Washington politics might have. But keep in mind, on all these issues, there is no allegations that I’ve done anything wrong, just as in the situation with Reverend Wright there is no allegation that I’ve said something that was inappropriate. And so I think the American people recognize that all of us have friends or associates or people who we meet along the way who are not ideal or perfect. But that’s part of what life is about.
But there’s a line smart politicians don’t cross — somewhere between “I’m qualified to be president” and “I’m born to be president.” Wherever it lies, Barack Obama better watch his step.
He’s bordering on arrogance.
The dictionary defines the word as an “offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.” Obama may not be offensive or overbearing, but he can be a bit too cocky for his own good.
The freshman senator told reporters in July that he would overcome Hillary Rodham Clinton’s lead in the polls because “to know me is to love me.”
A few months later, he said, “Every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama’s been there.”
Tell that to Big State Democrats. Tell that to Texas. Tell that to Ohio. Tell that to Pennsylvania.
But both Obama and his wife, Michelle, ooze a sense of entitlement.
“Barack is one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics,” his wife said a few weeks ago, adding that Americans will get only one chance to elect him.
Obama’s cool self-confidence got him into trouble in New Hampshire when he said Clinton was “likable enough,” faint praise that grated on female votes who didn’t appreciate him condescending to the former first lady.
Privately, aides and associates of Obama tell stories about a boss who can be aloof and ungracious. He holds firmly to views and doesn’t like to be challenged, traits that President Bush packaged and sold under the “resolute” brand in the 2004 election. For Bush, those qualities proved to be dangerous in a time of war and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
If arrogance is a display of self-importance and superiority, Obama earns the pejorative every time he calls his pre-invasion opposition to the war in Iraq an act of courage.
While he deserves credit for forecasting the complications of war in 2002, Obama’s opposition carried scant political risk because he was a little-known state lawmaker courting liberal voters in Illinois. In 2004, when denouncing the war and war-enabling Democrats would have jeopardized his prized speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, Obama ducked the issue.
It may be that he has just the right mix of confidence and humility to lead the nation (Obama likes to say, “I’m reminded every day that I’m not a perfect man”). But if the young senator wins the nomination, even the smallest trace of arrogance will be an issue with voters who still consider him a blank slate.
Privately, Obama associates actually call him much more than “aloof and ungracious”. Privately, as we have heard, they call him nasty.
Voters won’t cut Obama as much slack on the humility test because he’s sold himself as something different. While rejecting the “me”-centric status quo and promising a new era of post-partisan reform, Obama has said the movement he has created is not about him; it’s about what Americans can do together if their faith in government is restored.
The power of his message lies in its humility. As he told 7,000 supporters at a rally last month, “I am an imperfect vessel for your hopes and dreams.”
Nobody expects Obama to be perfect. But he better never forget that he isn’t.
Sadly, some of his incense burning supporters actually believe this drivel.
Big Media and Obama’s incense burning supporters will go along with Obama dragging us all into a racial nightmare in order to extract himself from his own lack of judgment:
Some questions: Why did Barack Obama take so long to “reject outright” the harshly critical statements about America made by his minister, Jeremiah Wright, not to mention the praise the same minister lavished on Louis Farrakhan just last November?
How is it possible that Obama did not know about these remarks, when he is a member of Wright’s congregation and so close to the man that he likens him to “an old uncle”?
How is it possible that a campaign apparatus that sniffed out Geraldine Ferraro’s offensive statement to a local California newspaper (the Daily Breeze, 12th paragraph) did not know that Wright’s statements condemning America were all over the Internet and had been cited March 6 by the (reputable) anti-Obama columnist Ronald Kessler? The sermon was also available on YouTube.
In other words, how is it possible that a man who has made judgment the centerpiece of his presidential campaign has shown so little of it in this matter?
One possible answer to these questions is that Obama has learned to rely on a sycophantic media that hears any criticism of him as either (1) racist, (2) vaguely racist or (3) doing the bidding of Hillary and Bill Clinton. You only have to turn your attention to the interview Obama granted MSNBC’s fawning Keith Olbermann for an example. Obama was asked whether he had known that Wright had suggested substituting the phrase “God damn America” for “God bless America.”
“You know, frankly, I didn’t,” Obama said. “I wasn’t in church during the time when the statements were made.”
But had you heard about them? Did your crack campaign staff alert you? And what about Wright’s honoring Farrakhan? Had you heard about that? Did you feel any obligation to denounce those remarks — not Farrakhan’s, as you had done, but those of Wright himself? Don’t you consider yourself a public figure whom others look to for leadership? Do you think you failed them here? [snip]
But a presidential candidate is not a mere church member, and he operates in a different context. We examine everything about him for the slightest clue about character. On Wright, Obama has shown a worrisome tic. He has done so also with his relationship with Tony Rezko, the shadowy Chicago political figure. Obama last week submitted to a grilling on this matter by the staff of the Chicago Tribune and was given a clean bill of health. I accept it. But that hardly changes the fact that Obama should never have done business with Rezko in the first place. He concedes that now, but it was still a failure of judgment.
For 20 years, Obama has attended Wright’s church, listened to his weekly sermons, entertained him in his home. Yet, says Obama, he never heard any racist rants at church, nor was he aware that Wright held so poisoned a view of his country.
Sorry, that is not credible. Wright is a famous preacher in black America, and Obama’s denial he was aware of his views marks him either as a dissembler or a man so obtuse he ought not be a security guard at Wal-Mart, let alone president.
It is easy now to understand why Michelle Obama, before Barack began to win, had never once been proud of her country.
Obama has now moved to separate himself from Wright’s rants and removed him from the campaign roster. And he will likely be forced, with anguish, to turn his back on, repudiate, and reject his beloved friend and teacher.
But it is too late for that. For Wright has, for millions of Americans, filled in the blanks about Obama. Wright tells us the kind of company Obama keeps, the kind of men he holds close, the kind of attitudes and beliefs he finds acceptable, if not congenial.
That Wright is a revered preacher in black America also tells us that, far from coming together, we Americans are further apart than we were in the 1950s.
Truly, the Democratic Party is now headed for a train wreck. Though Obama seems likely to win more pledged delegates than Hillary Clinton, the super-delegates will have to decide whether they want to offer America a nominee whose pastor and mentor embodies the anti-white racism and anti-Americanism that has ever brought the patriotic blood of Middle America to a boil. Wright is not the sort of fellow you want to bring with you into “Deer Hunter” Country.
The issue is not African-Americans nor their beliefs. This issue is not White Americans nor their beliefs.
The issue is Barack Obama’s lack of judgment.
Barack Obama’s race is against time.
Will Barack Obama be vetted in time to avert disaster in Denver? Will Barack Obama be vetted only after the Denver convention?