Obama minister under scrutiny
Posted: 03:01 PM ET – CNN Political Tracker
CNN’s Susan Roesgen reports on the controversy surrounding Obama’s minister.
(CNN) — Barack Obama’s Chicago minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is under fresh scrutiny, after an ABC News report Thursday shed light on some of his controversial sermons.
In one delivered last December, Wright argues Hillary Clinton’s road to the White House is considerably easier than Barack Obama’s because of his skin color.
“Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single parent home. Barack was,” Wright says in a video of the sermon posted on YouTube.
“Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary! Hillary ain’t never been called a ‘nigger!’ Hillary has never had her people defined as a non-person,” a fiery Wright also says.
Wright, who retired from his post earlier this year, also is seen saying in the video, “Who cares about what a poor black man has to face every day in a country and in a culture controlled by rich white people?”
Wright’s sermon shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks is also under scrutiny, during which he said America had brought on the attacks with its own practice of terrorism.
“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” he says. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant. Because the stuff we have done overseas has now brought right back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
Obama and Wright have long been close. Obama has been a member of Wright’s church since his days in law school, and Obama’s bestselling book, The Audacity of Hope, takes its title from one of Wright’s sermons. Wright also married the Obamas and baptized their two children.
But Obama has long maintained he is at odds with some of Wright’s sermons, and has likened him to an “old uncle” who sometimes will say things he doesn’t agree with. He has also specifically denounced Wright’s 9/11 comments.
An Obama campaign spokesman also said Thursday the Illinois senator “deplores divisive statements whether they come from his supporters, the supporters of his opponent, talk radio, or anywhere else.”
UPDATE: Speaking with the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Obama said, “I profoundly disagree with some of these statements.”
“Here is what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor. There are times when people say things that are just wrong. But I think it’s important to judge me on what I’ve said in the past and what I believe,” he also said.
Detroit Mayor, and vocal Barack Obama supporter, Kwame Kilpatrick is being investigated for perjury: to deflect the serious charges against him, Kilpatrick has claimed the investigation is all about racism.
Among the pork-barrel spending requests Barack Obama has made since arriving in the U.S. Senate is $1 million for the hospital where his wife worked at the time and $8 million for weapons technology made by a big defense contractor with close ties to a major fundraiser.
In a sermon delivered at Howard University, Barack Obama’s longtime minister, friend and adviser blamed America for starting the AIDS virus, training professional killers, importing drugs and creating a racist society that would never elect a black candidate president.
Considering this view of America, it’s not surprising that in December Mr. Wright’s church gave an award to Louis Farrakhan for lifetime achievement. In the church magazine, Trumpet, Mr. Wright spoke glowingly of the Nation of Islam leader. “His depth on analysis [sic] when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye-opening,” Mr. Wright said of Mr. Farrakhan. “He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest.”
You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.” –interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006
HillBuzz loves when Bush says things this obvious. Sort of like, “murder is bad”.
March 13, 2008, 2:20 pm
A Sermon’s Echoes Threaten Obama
By Chris Suellentrop
News stories by ABC News and Fox News on the sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s pastor at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, are creating a stir in blogland. ABC News leads with Wright saying, in 2003, “God damn America” (“for killing innocent people,” “for treating our citizens as less than human,” and “for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme”). Fox leads with a more recent sermon, from January, in support of Obama’s candidacy, and a Christmas sermon in which, Fox’s Jeff Goldblatt writes, “Wright tried to compare Obama’s upbringing to Jesus at the hands of the Romans.”
Roger L. Simon, the screenwriter and mystery novelist, thinks the sermons are a big deal. “As we all know, we don’t choose our family, but Obama chose this racist demagogue as his pastor for decades. It’s not funny,” Simon writes on his personal blog. “It could do for Obama what Willie Horton did for Dukakis,” Simon later adds. “But unlike the Willie Horton ad, Obama will deserve this. Horton was a mistake by Dukakis that any of us could have made. Jeremiah Wright was Obama’s personal choice for years.”
National Review’s Jim Geraghty points to one reason why Wright’s sermons might stay in the news longer than remarks by Geraldine Ferraro or Samantha Power: “Rev. Jeremiah Wright has no official position with the Obama campaign, and it’s almost a shame, because that means he can’t resign to distance himself from the candidate.”
But Taylor Marsh, a radio talk-show host who is a strong Hillary Clinton supporter, points to a reason why Wright’s sermons shouldn’t be used against Obama. “For perspective, I certainly do not agree with everything my pastors have said on Sunday,” Marsh writes on her blog. “I also know too many ‘cafeteria’ Catholics, some in my own family, who pick and choose from the doctrines of their faith.”
These people are creepy
Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pitttsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, two major Western Pennsylvania politicos who had yet to endorse, will come out for Hillary Clinton tomorrow, a campaign source confirms.
* If Obama does not win Pittsburgh, he will lose Pennsylvania by a large margin. His only chance of winning the state is to win the Pittsburgh area. He will be strong in Philadelphia, but if he does not win Pittsburgh in the west of the state, he will lose the blue collar voters by a large margin.
A Military Earmark’s Ties to Obama Money Man
By Matthew MoskSen.
Barack Obama requested $8 million for a military defense contractor that has close ties to one of his most prodigious fundraisers.
Obama disclosed the 2006 request on a long list of earmark requests his campaign made public today. The $8 million was for something called a “High Explosive Air Burst Technology Program.” The request led to $1.3 million in funding for the program. According to the campaign’s earmark disclosure, the defense project was overseen by General Dynamics, one of the nation’s largest military contractors. Obama’s Illinois finance chairman, James S. Crown, serves on the company’s board of directors and his family holds a sizable stake in the company.
Crown and his wife Paula Crown are members of Obama’s National Finance Committee and have raised more than $200,000 for the Obama campaign, according to a list of fundraisiers posted on Obama’s campaign web site.
The Obama campaign had already made public his 2007 funding requests, but had for months resisted requests to share letters written earlier in his tenure to budget committees.
Obama’s release of his earmark requests today came with a challenge for Sen. Hillary Clinton to do the same.
“Bringing real change requires changing the way we do business in Washington,” said Obama for America communications director Robert Gibbs.
Talk about change you can believe in!