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April 25th, 2008
01:41 PM ET

Does Reverend Wright’s interview help or hurt Barack Obama?

 Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Just when it seemed like the controversy surrounding Barack Obama and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright was dying down it's back. Reverend Wright is now speaking out for the first time since the story broke.

Wright, who was Barack Obama's pastor, was thrust into the political debate a couple of months ago when clips from some fiery sermons he has given in the past suddenly appeared on YOUTUBE and immediately afterwards almost continuously on television. The controversy forced Barack Obama to give a speech on race relations which seemed to quiet things down.

Now, in an interview tonight on PBS, Wright says the repeated airing of these sound bites is "unfair" and "devious." He doesn't apologize for anything he said. Obama has called Wright's words wrong- and has said that they "express a profoundly distorted view of this country."

When asked how he feels about what Senator Obama has been saying about him- Wright said quote:

"It went down very simply. He's a politician, I'm a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. But they're two different worlds." unquote

This isn't all we can expect to hear from Jeremiah Wright. He is scheduled to speak at the National Press Club on Monday and is the keynote speaker at an NAACP dinner in Detroit this weekend.

This is all happening while North Carolina Republicans are airing an ad in their state focused on the Obama-Wright relationship.

Here’s my question to you: Does Rev. Wright speaking out now help or hurt Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lindy from California writes:
I think the interview could help, if it makes people slow down and be more curious about who this person really is. I was initially shocked by the Wright sound bites, but I knew that there was more to the story. Today, I took Roland Martin's suggestion and listened to the complete post 9/11 sermon–and I suggest that you and your media buddies do the same. The sermon is nothing like the sound bite. For most of the 35-minute sermon, I found it to be very moving and even healing.

J.T. from Atlanta writes:
Excuse me Rev. Right is off his rocker, huh?? Ask the Bell family. Sean Bell was killed in a hail of 50 gunshots and today a judge found the three New York cops involved innocent. Until you live 24 hours in someone else's shoes, mainstream America has no earthly clue. I hope Barack doesn't go to any black church in America this weekend because it will certainly be headline news on Monday. Most will be preaching from Rev. Wright's script.

Brad from West Lafayette, IN writes:
It certainly does not help him right now in his fight with Senator Clinton as it makes it headline news again. It could, however, help in the general election against Senator McCain because it may bring a sense of closure to the issue now.

Chuck from Alabama writes:
Every time he utters Obama's name, he hurts him. His comment about them speaking to "two audiences" is intriguing. Who does he see as the members of those two audiences? As I understand it, the word of God is for all of us and anyone trying to be the leader of "all of US ought to be speaking to all of us.

Francie from Greenville, South Carolina writes:
My guess is it's because he missed the excitement of the media attention which suddenly died down. Being in the "resurrection business," he wants to resurrect his fleeing celebrity. It's as though he used his pulpit for performances- peppering his sermons with controversial issues which attracted even more churchgoers. Hallelujah! – pass the basket.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Rev. Jeremiah Wright
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Marie Mtl, Can.

    Who cares... enough to glue Obama with Wright...

    April 25, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  2. Sam

    It does neither. Rev. Wright is representing and speaking for himself and no one else.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  3. Jeff

    It hurts. Regardless of what the Rev. says, it perpetuates the story itself and gives it new "political legs"; the media will replay excerpts of the Rev.'s sermons to set up the story background, and that in and of itself is detrimental to Obama.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  4. Billy G in Las Vegas

    obviously anything that keeps the Rev Wright in the news does great damage to Barack Obama because it morfs his image from "the new candidate of change", like a Bobby Kennedy, into "the radical black candidate" like a Jesse Jackson. I do not believe it's true BUT that is the public preception.

    the Rev Wright is the "gift that keeps on giving" for both the Clinton campaign and the Republicans.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  5. Chuck in Alabama

    Every time he utters Obama's name, he hurts him. His comment last night about them speaking to "two audiences" is intriguing. Who does he see as the members of those two audiences? As I understand it, the word of God is for all of us and anyone trying to be the leader of "all of US ought to be speaking to all of us.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  6. Tom from Greenville

    If Barack Obama's 6th grade English teacher had something derogatory or controversial to say about the U.S., would the media pound that into the ground too? Shouldn't we also go back and look at everything Clinton's and McCain's teacher's, pastor's, baby-sitter's have said over the past 20 years? What DIFFERENCE does it make on who OBAMA is?!?!?!?

    This sort of stuff in the media is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  7. Rosalynd Florida

    It helps. Now the media can ask Rev Wright directly what he believes instead of acting like Rev Wright and Obama are one in the same people.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  8. Ryan, Champaign IL

    Jack, I think this interview will have the effect of humanzing Rev. Wright, who has become more demonized than Hugo Chavez over the last few months. He deserves the right to speak and be heard in context, unless this too is reduced only to soundbytes with which to attack Obama.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  9. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    No. I think the Rev. Wright issue is dead and Obama properly addressed it. Let it die. The media continues to monitor Rev. Wright on everything he says and does and somehow attempts to link it to Obama. You can continue to beat the dead horse......but it is not going to make the horse "more dead."

    April 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  10. Kathy, Texas

    Most Americans are of the notion...guilty by association.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Francie - G'vl SC

    Why is Rev. Wright back in the news? To help Obama – or to help himself?

    My guess is, it's because he missed the excitement of the media attention which suddenly died down.

    Being in the "resurrection business," he wants to resurrect his fleeing celebrity. It's as though he used his pulpit for performances – peppering his sermons with controversial issues, which attracted even more churchgoers. Hallelujah! – pass the basket.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  12. Don Blue Springs, Missouri

    I think it will probably help him. The Reverne is talking in very calm tones, seems to be telling the truth and comes off as a decent guy. The fact that he states that Obama is a politician and says what he has to say is a obvious truth, as a matter of fact that any politican is not a politican is strange concept that no one with any sense at all going to believe anyway. Now that we know that no one here is "above the fray" we can make a more rational decision on who we feel can do the most for the country.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  13. Amy

    Jack, let me ask you this. Is Pastor John Hagee helping or hurting McCain?

    April 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  14. bill goverman

    Studio City,CA........... Jack , I think it does neither help nor hurt. You are either of 2 different thought processes and they seem to break down in generational gaps. If you are of the age of Michelle Obama ( early 40's or younger) You tend to agree with Reverend Wright...because it is very hard to come up with much that you are proud of america for...too young to remember a man walking on the moon and all you know of america is war bigotry discrimination and the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team... If you are over 55 you remember the great generation and progress. I believe you are in either of these camps prior to Reverend Wrights interview.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  15. Jenny

    Jack,

    It has to hurt. This guy is a loon, but he is still damaging. I wish that the Reverend, Bill Clinton and James carvel could all be deposited on a deserted Island until the election is over. They all just keep distracting from the issues.

    Jenny Rome GA

    April 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  16. Barbara in NC

    I agree with Sam.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  17. Brad, West Lafayette, IN

    Jack

    It certainly does not help him right now in his fight with Senator Clinton as it makes it headline news again. It could, however, help in the general election against Senator McCain because it may bring a sense of closure to the issue now.

    Brad
    West Lafayette IN

    April 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  18. Amy

    Why don't we all watch the entire 1 hour interview on PBS and revisit this on Monday?

    April 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  19. dorothy delong

    Jack I think it will hurt him I don't see how a man could take his family to church for 20 years and not expect some of the influence to rub off on his girls like Obama did. I know in my church when I miss a service I hear what went on. I don't believe for a moment Obama didnt know what was said. This is just another thing that will bite Obama if he gets the nomination. Unlike Hillary she is tough ,he could'nt stand the heat. Dorothy Lucasville Ohio

    April 25, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  20. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    It will help some, and hurt some. If you'll remember, when the whole thing hit the fan the first time, after Obama gave a speech about race, his approval rating went up to almost where it was before the controversy.

    Also, after the "bitter" comments he made, his approval rating went up slightly.

    I don't think it will make a big difference, even when the Republicans bring it up.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  21. Len in Clarkston, WA

    It's hard to say, Jack, but I'm sure the other campaigns will come up with something. It's easier to wrap themselves in a non-issue such as this than to talk about things that really matter to us out here.... say...plans to fix Social Security, for instance. Nobody's talking about that.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  22. Paul Joritz

    I believe that it will ultimately continue to hurt Senator Obama. Whether Rev. Jeremiah Wright is speaking for himself or not, it will continue to emphasize the racial divisions in this Country. I think Rev. Wright will somehow try to justify or take back his comments, but that won't work just as it hasn't worked when Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton have tried to take back or explain their own comments.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  23. Bob in Charlotte, NC

    Jack,

    As a middle aged, middle class white guy, I have to say that I have never understood the problem "from day one" so to speak. Did Obama say what Rev. Wright said? No. Did he condemn the statements that the media is so up in arms about? Yes. End of story for me, even though I guess I'm the only white person in America that thinks America has many problems that Rev. Wright discussed. Theanswer to your question sadly is it hurts Obama. Don't we all have a friend, family member, or someone else close to us who say things we disagree with but still keep them close? I'm so sick of this I can't even watch coverage of this election anymore. Please stop fanning the flames of Americas latent racism!

    April 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  24. Mike from Syracuse NY

    Any time Wright is in the news it's bad for Obama. There's no way Wright will get most Americans to change their minds about him. If he really wanted to help Obama he'd rent a cabin in Alaska, and stay there until November.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  25. Obama Mama in Boston

    It helps. Of course the MSM doesn't want it too. Anyone with half a brain could have gone on YouTube and watched the real sermons...not the snipppets that were being played continuously. To assume that one black person in different professions speaks for or shares the same views as another even though they are aquainted is ridiculous. It's just another prime example of sterotypingl

    April 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  26. marie

    Rev. Wright's reputation as a life-long pastor was basically ruined with the few sentences of a soundbite that were replayed continually in the media. They were taken out of context and major racial implications were attached to the video from the continual looping. Rev. Wright is not a close insider to Obama's team. He is trying to recover a life for his family and himself.

    Give the man a break! Before you go demonizing a man of the cloth, examine the rest of his life's work – at least the rest of his sermon.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  27. Rick Jeffrey

    Jack,
    Reverend Wright is not helpful to Obama. He said Obama was a typical politician who says what a politian has to say. Obama runs on being a different kind of politician. Evidently Wright didn't get the memo. The Obama campaign should pony up the money to send Rev. Wright on a long, long vacation.

    April 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  28. Jack, Houston, TX

    The media has spun it to hurt him. So, if I'm someone out there with less than half a brain trying to decide on who to vote for, I'm thinking Hillary looks better. Thankfully though, most voters, especially those in Indiana and North Carolina, have completely functional brains and will vote Obama despite what his pastor says and despite how the media spins what his pastor says.

    Why doesn't the media focus on the candidates' specific military, healthcare, economic and social policies? Now that would be news!!!!

    April 25, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  29. dot from Indianapolis IN

    I listened to both sermons of Rev Wright that are in question..What he referenced in his sermons were words from a white ambassador( whom of course was not mentioned). I appreciate CNN publishing one of his sermons in its entirety, but maybe it should be heard again. What he referred to in the 2001 sermon was painful but true, but a person would have to hear it all, not just a couple of excerpts. The media needs to do a better job of publishing facts, all the facts and not just parts that sensationalize..People who do not have cable are in much better shape than those of us who do...

    April 25, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  30. Mark - Asheville, NC

    The damage is done, and no soothing interviews will change perceptions now. The republican attack machine is already using Wright in ads here in NC to smear our Dem gubernatorial candidates who endorsed Obama. This is "Willie Horton" on steroids, and there is nothing Obama or Wright can do to make it go away; not only will it sink Obama, but it could drag down Dem candidates this Fall who endorse him.

    Do we get this, yet?

    April 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  31. Taj

    Rev Wright can certainly help Obama. He should say that he loves America, whites, blacks & all other ethnic background. He should say that he made those comments out of frustration that America is heading in the wrong direction. He should hilite the last 7 years of Republican administration by saying how badly they have mismanaged the resources & are trting to destroy this great nation. They are not helping ordinary people.
    CA

    April 25, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  32. Gail - Amherst, NY

    Rev. Wright's interview will only add more fuel to the fire. Barack Obama has already felt the effects of the fiesty Reverend's remarks. Obama's campaign has been blemished with quilt by association with Rev. Wright.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  33. Ann

    For a smart, likable guy, he sure is stupid. of course this interview hurts Obama. He probably goes to the same surrogate school as Bill Clinton.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  34. stephany

    This does not harm Obama in any way to me. Rev. Wright is a grown man who can answer for himself. And I don't no any perfect ministers. And I don't agree with every thing a minister say because they still humanly sin as we all do at times. But, this is one reason it doesn't harm Obama. Because for every idle word that man says out his or her mouth he will be accountable for when he stands before God. So, let God be the judge on matters such as these. It will all play out in the end according to God's perfect will.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  35. Brian, In Philly

    Unfortunately, Rev. Wright keeps the controversy alive.

    According to Wright "He (Obama) goes out as a politician and says what he has to say as a politician.”

    It suggests that while Obama, the person. does not feel Rev. Wright's sermons contained inappropriate language, Obama the politician finds it politically advantageous to say he disagrees with offensive parts of Wright's sermons.

    Rev. Wright is not helping the Obama cause.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  36. Rob Tulsa, OK

    Jacko, people have made the argument both ways. I'm curious though, why did he go public at this time? Is this a carefully planned response to the ads the GOP is running in North Carolina? If so, it is a risky move but we've seen Senator Obama take the bull by the horns before. If not, roll the dice and see what happens.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  37. Mike S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    Rev. Wright's interview can't really help Obama, can it? And if Obama is the nominee against John McCain, you know exactly which video loop the Republicans will run thousands of times.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  38. Erin in Kalamazoo

    It's about time. Keeping him under wraps like there is something to hide and allowing opponents to define Reverend Wright to the public has been a huge mistake on the part of the Obama campaign.

    I say "flood the air ways with the kindly old man, let mainstream America see WHY he's beloved by the 8,000 people of his church and the greater Chicago community as well."

    April 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  39. Ron K.

    Hello Jack:

    I think that Mr. Wright wants to ride on Barraks wave. I think he knew what he said would give him publicity. Would Larry King have interviewed him if he didn't create such a dust storm? I doubt it.

    He is using Mr. Obama to further his exposure to the public. To see where it maight take him. I think he is a big Fake.

    Ron K. San Diego

    April 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  40. RACO

    i believe that where there's smoke, there's fire. everytime his pastor appears on tv he is hurting obama's image. the more you hear from him, the more the republicans will delight in their pursuing hurtful tv ads. more and more obama 's character is becoming down graded and makes for a potential election for mc cain.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  41. DAD in Hollis, NH

    I believe it will help. Most folks who viewed the on-line video clip got an incomplete view of his years preaching and his intent. I can imagine that everyone has said or done something in public that we would not want out lives or family judged on if it showed up in an on-line video. More judging a book by a single sentence or word rather that reading it forming your own opinion.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  42. Jacqueline from IL

    Wright speaks for himself, He does not speak for Obama, but I think he is making Obama mad. Today it sounded like Obama wanted to run Wright down with a bus.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  43. Al

    As Sen Obama's Pastor, Rev Wright's past statements are a negative and not a positive to Sen Obama's Campaign. Rev Wright is keeping a negative isue alive and in the spotlight. It will probably have a negative effect for Sen Obama. It is interesting that 2 Nobel Laureates in Economics believe that Sen Obama is best suited to fix America's economic ills.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  44. brent , texas

    Supporters will think it helps and the nay sayers will yell foul. The neverending debate over this preacher is curious, furious and very, very stale. We will see this debate go until November and we still won't know Obama. Where are the questions that matter? Let's ask Obama what he thinks about every issue specifically that Rev. Wright has spoken in his soundbites.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  45. Fluffy in Lovelock, Nevada

    Any Reverend Wright appearance is going to kil Barack Obama's chances of being President. The RNC is looking for any snippet to destroy Senator Obama, and Reverend Wright seems willing and able to supply them. If I were Senator Obama, I would take a small portion of that 40 million he took in last month, call Travelocity, and book an all expenses paid 6 month vacation in the Azores for the good Reverend. Perhaps when he returns, he'll get a deserved invite to the White House.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  46. Terry in Virginia

    Without seeing the interview, it's hard to say. I look at Reverend Wright and Barack Obama as individuals just like I look at Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as individuals. One may influence the other but they are not one in the same person. My opinion of Mr. Obama is based on his character and actions, not on the words of Reverend Wright. As to the Reverend, I would rather hear his entire sermons as opposed to sound bites out of context before I form an opinion of him.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  47. Vincent Foxworth New Jersey

    Jack,
    I do not think that the Reverend Wright issue matters to anyone except a person who would not vote for Senator Obama anyway. People have already decided on their candidate. I believe that they are tired of hearing about this matter. Senator Obama has denounced Rev. Wright's views so many times that I believe that now he should move on to the issues. All this is about trying to take the nomination from Senator Obama. Jack, the polls show that more of Obama's supporters would vote for Clinton if she were nominated than vice versa. How many African-Americans, young and new voters do you think would vote for Senator Clinton if the superdelegates reverse the decision of the pledged delegates, elected by the people? Why would they be inclined to vote in future elections? I say no.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  48. stan

    No it wont jack, if we were to judge politicians by their associations solely, them mccain has a lot of explaining to do for pastor hagues remarks about catholics and jews!

    April 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  49. Alec - Barbados (Caribbean Paradise)

    Jack,
    Having listened to the whole interview on PBS, I fail to see why in the world it should hurt or for that matter help Senator Obama. To me it was simply an honest one-on-one conversation which merely humanized Rev. Wright whom Fox etc have been trying to crucify since the so-called "hate speech" aired. On another subject, as an outsider and non-American, I think African-Americans should pay attention to the vitriol which the GOP through its surrogates Hannity, Smith etc of Fox News and
    others like Carl Rove have been spewing at Sen. Obama. Should any self-respecting African-American be a member of such a party knowing full well that one of them could never be a Republican President of the U.S.A for the "next 100 years?"

    April 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  50. AndyZ; Fairfax, VA

    The beauty of a long, long campaign is that the media will look in every closet for skeletons. Those that appear ever so squeaky clean will be found to have dirt in their past. How the candidate handles to announcement that their dirt has been discovered will determine the reaction the voting pubic has. My issue is not that Senator Obama attended Reverend Wright's church and heard the vitriolic sermons but that it took the good senator twenty years to determine he did not agree with the sermons. Of course, the senators children heard this rhetoric for twenty years. This did not bother him until it became public knowedge. Hmmm. Color me suspicious.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  51. Jacqueline from IL

    But Amy is right, we need to wait to see the PBS interview, instead of how the media spinds the interview.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  52. Chicago Bob from Illinois

    Probably neither. The NC ad shows that the distortions of Wright will continue whether or not Wright speaks out. Obama has already distanced himself from the comments, but those who insist on not listening to that and using Wright as a reason to vote against Obama will do that regardless of what either Obama or Wright say now.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  53. Wayne, NH

    Jack, I think it will help to get things out now before the November election. The only people who seem to making this an issue ( other then the press, they need the ratings) are people looking for an excuse to vote against Obama. Obama winning will be a giant step forward in this country taking that long awaited step closer to ending race as an issue.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  54. Karen in Fairfax, CA

    It's too early to tell how much it will hurt him. First, it's premature to base the answer on the available sound bites, though the media will not likely play any others after the whole interview is seen.

    Second, it depends on how Wright's upcoming speeches from Sunday and Monday go and what excerpts are chosen by the media to focus on.

    Third, it depends on what sound bites are shown from Obama's comments about it over the next several days.

    That said, I don't think Wright's comments now could hurt him in the General Election any more than the existing sermon excerpts, as they're likely to be less incendiary and the Republicans will always choose those which most inflame their base.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  55. Cheryl Green-Sandle

    Although I wish that Rev Wright will stay out of the picture and let Obama win this race, the players at "Be" will never let that happen.

    At the end of the day, I hope and pray that Barack Obama will walk into the White House and change this country politics and way business is conducted. In fact, Obama, could not do any worse than the "Dunce" we have in office right now who was voted in by the Republicans. Now these same people want us to vote for another "Dunce". You gotta be kidding me!!!

    April 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  56. Lenore Z.

    I think people– that includes media people– should try and get it through their thick heads that Rev. Wright is not Senator Obama. I'm tired of this whole "guilt by association" fad. Everybody has people they've known who have done and said stuff they don't like. So this is nothing more than a political football being kicked around.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  57. Ray Wheeler

    Rev. Wright's comments will not hurt or help Barak Obama anymore; the damage has already been done. What is really hurting Obma are the network anchors and reporters (not you) as they stir the pot by attempting to make him responsible for comments made by them and others. At the same time Clinton is given a virtual "get home free pass" on lies coming out of her own mouth;" I was able to get healthcare for millions of children, I worked hard to bring peace in Northern Ireland, I helped end the Kosovo conflict and I was lucky to dodge sniper fire in Boznia". It is true that the media talked about her false statements, but also gave them a short shelf life. Apparently, everyone does not , like me believe what comes out of ones mouth is more serious then what others say.

    Jack, I just love your portion of the situation room because you appear to be much more fair then your peers. For the record, I am not an Obama or Clinton supporter. I am not shy when I state I am Pro-life independent. who will hold his nose when I cast a vote for McCain because I really care less for him then the other two.

    Ray
    Minnesota

    April 25, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  58. judith from Raleigh nc

    It seems to me no matter what gets said or how many explanations are offered, people who want to believe certain things will believe them. This issue is getting the play it's getting for various reasons and those who are honest with themselves know what they are. I say move on and get to what really matters for the American people. Could you, the Media, please stop feeding fuel to a fire that's not there?

    April 25, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  59. Soothsayer in Indiana

    And to Rick Jeffrey the word politician isn't a dirty word. It only becomes dirty if the tactics you employ are dirty. Obama's aren't.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  60. Pat Boice

    It will likely hurt Obama – but I still hope Obama wins the nomination.
    Jack, please listen here: I'm really angry that someone like Bill Bennett
    (whom I usually enjoy in spite of his views!) a well educated Catholic, can criticize Obama's character because he remained in Rev. Wright's church, and I'm wondering if Bennett dropped his membership in the Catholic church because of the widespread sex felonies that were committed by its priests? I know some Catholics dropped out, but I don't hear them criticizing this current situation. This is hypocrisy of considerable magnitude!! Let's get some perspective here!!

    April 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  61. Ron in Indiana

    When I was watching clips from his interview today my first thought was this is what he should have been doing months ago. He does seem like a nice man from the clips I saw and I think that could have helped extinguish the fire.

    Now, I feel it will hurt Obama because it will give Clinton another chance to bring up Wright and those clips and sound bytes again. Not what Obama needs this close to Indiana and NC

    April 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  62. Karen

    I ask you this Jack, Do you really believe that Obama didn't know Reverend Wright was this style of preacher? Did he not care about its impact on his kids? The comments from Rev. Wright about him and Obama speaking to different audiences is scary. He said that Obama says what he has to as a [politician. Does thta indicate he knows more about Obamas true feelings then we do? Hmmmm
    Sounds like his advisor who told a canadian official not to pay attention to what the Senator said, it was just politics. Hmmmm.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  63. Windy Vincent

    This great nation with great regard from the outside world before has turn stupid cause of politics,goodness jesus this's what I would expect from my country in africa cause of high rate of illiteracy.When has the sin of your parents become yours? stop blaming others for the sin of there pastor's.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  64. James Kipler

    Hello Jack!

    Barack Obama already gave an explanation of his relationship with Rev. Wright. Why does the media feel it's necessary to keep this minister in the news? I think any more attention given to this man is self-serving on his part, that being, he likes the notoriety and attention he is getting on a national scale. Enough is enough, who cares what he thinks.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  65. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I personally do not care what Rev. Jeremiah Wright has to say about anything. He's not my pastor. I also cannot imagine how anything he as to say will benefit either Sen. Obama or the Democratic Party.

    Let's be honest, here. If not for the 'press time' he received on YouTube and mainstream media ... again ... again ... ad nauseam ... who would want him on any stage?

    April 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  66. Carolyn Herman

    It helps Obama since the pastor distances himself from Obama (says they live in two different worlds) and actually shows a little contempt/anger towards Obama since he had denounced the reverend's remarks. It actually shows that they are very different people and trying to say they are at all alike is ridiculous.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  67. Ann Marie

    It helps Obama. We can feel the spirit of Rev. Wright and know that he is a sincere, kind hearted, well-respected man. When is CNN going to mention that Hillary and Bill went to Rev. Wright for marital counseling? I never really could understand this whole Rev. Wright episode from the beginning. It's much a do about nothing. He's a good man.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  68. Kevin

    Just make it stop....

    April 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  69. Patricia

    Of course that depends entirely on what he says. My first impression is "Oh, no!" but from the little I heard already, I get the sense that he makes some pretty good distinctions between himself and Obama. If the press communicates those differences and the average voter pays attention, we're OK. However, my gut reaction is still that this can do no good for Obama.

    Boise, ID

    April 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  70. Billy G in Las Vegas

    I should have said "UNFORTUNATELY the Rev Wright is the “gift that keeps on giving” for both the Clinton campaign and the Republicans" in my previos post because ALL this garbage is a TOTAL DISTRACTION from the very important REAL ISSUES for the American People in this campaign.

    we are back to "Willie Horton" and the "Swift Boat" baloney peddlers of past campaigns which is a the political version of "Oh Look!!! A Kitty!!!"

    April 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  71. Sue of Minnesota

    For Obama's supporters, No. It will help Clinton supporter's to have a reason not to vote for Obama. Could hurt is support for the unsure.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  72. Jason

    Jack,
    The simple fact that this issue is being discussed again hurts Sen. Obama. Rev Wright's is justified in defending what is\was a demonization of his character and his church. There was nothing damaging for Sen. Obama in what Rev Wriaght said in his defense (Unless you are a memeber of the Clinton\McCain spin machines).

    The comment that they work in two different arenas is both a justification of Barack Obama distancing himself from his FORMER pastor as well as the pastor choosing this time to defend himself. No foul here.

    I hope Rev Wright succeeds in defending his church and his freedom to speak in a style and with a message that motivates his parishioners towards positive contributions to their community and country.

    Jason
    Waterloo, Ont

    April 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  73. Peg

    It seems clear that his association with the Reverend is going to continue to cause problems. I find this "relationship" disturbing..

    Peg from saratoga Springs, NY

    April 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  74. JoAnn in Iowa

    It is not helpful, but only because the media keeps harping on Wright and showing little clips of his statements. How about a little education for your viewing public about black prophetic preachers? How about showing us clips of him preaching about the importance of family and of community and of walking with our Lord. To reduce Rev Wright's 30 years of ministry to the sound clips the media keeps running is not fair and balanced. Rev. Wright is not the boogie man!!

    April 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  75. Jerry Wilson

    Rev. Wrights previous remarks weren't bad enough, Now, Wright accused Barack of being a pandering politician...Amen

    Jerry Wilson

    April 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  76. Charles in Florida

    Jack, can you say "turn up like a bad penny "? This will no doubt spin negatively toward Obama. The three amigos, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Pat Buchanan can't wait to get a whiff of what the Reverend's cooking.

    April 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  77. Grammie Oklahoma

    Both Rev. Wright and Senator Obama are radicals in their fields. We know what Rev. Wright said and we know that he was Senator Obama's mentor for 20 years. One can not change that history. Both have given the Black community and America a bad name.
    And with Obama, that is only part of the problem. He will do and say anything to get elected; he simply wants the power-like BLACK POWER. Sad but true.
    It has not been the media that hurt Senator Obama but his own actions and he has failed time and time again to tell the truth about those actions.

    April 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  78. Judie

    Jack,
    It will neither hurt nor help Obama. Obama supporters will vote for Obama no matter what Rev. Wright does or does not say. This is old news. Each and every voter in this country should ask themselves if they have ever assocciated with anyone of questionable character. We are voting for a president not for a saint. The Rev. Wright was portrayed as a vile person and he has every right to voice his opinion of how he feels he was treated. . This whole primary has turned into a garbage heap and it stinks. I will be so glad when this election is over.

    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    April 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  79. Johnnie

    Reverend Wright is right. Obama will say what ever it takes to improve his chances of election. What does that say about his religious convictions? How do we know that his disassociation with Reverend Wright's comments is sincere? How do we know that the picture of himself that he is trying to sell really is an accurate portrayal of his beliefs? The media needs to stop giving him a free ride and shed some light on these issues. So far, the media only makes negative comments about Obama when they can attribute them to the Clinton campaign.

    April 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  80. Dave

    It does neither! We got past hurting Obama when he made that great speech in Philadelphia. All the man said is that he doesn't concome that statement made by Reverend Wright. If we believe him and I do, then his character stands for what he said and that is that he doesn't condone such a disposition. We therfore should get past the efforts made by the Clinton camp to always coming back to this issue because it isn't an issue anymore. But because we are always coming back to this issue because there is very little that Hillary can hurl at Senator Obama, the Wright issue will always be the right issue for Hillary until Hillary becomes a moot point and has succumbed to the eventual drubbing she will incure because of a lack of delegates. Until that moment expect the Reverend Wright reruns until the Hillary Channel has been found defunct by the eventual mathematics which is the delgate count despite what Hillary and her minions may desire!

    April 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  81. MacD-Florida

    Geez, aren't you people done with this Wright thing yet???

    April 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  82. Mike, Iowa

    I am really fed up with this issue it is simply a thorn that has been forced into Obamas side becuase the narrow minded people of this country can not let it go and move on. He explained himself he made a brilliant speech over it and it should have been done there but no people need more and more... what else does he need to do? Burn Rev. wright at the stake in front of the world? People need to come out of the self righteous clouds and move on already.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  83. Walter

    Jack. I think that Reverend Wright speaking out will only serve to fan the flames once again to no worthwhile purpose. The media will have their field day with it and yes the Clinton (negative) machine will spin it for all it's worth, appealing to all the fears of Americans. Senator MCCain will pretend to stay above it all but there is a lot worse to come. Reverend Wright should stick to Pastoring or perhaps to pasturing.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  84. Ivy, Bixby, OK

    Jack,
    Wright's comments don't influence me one way or the other; Obama is my choice because I feel he can reach across the aisle and bring the stalemate in Washington to an end. Only than will we be able to address the issues facing this country today.
    If our politics has come down to "guilt by association," it seems to me that there is a helluva lot more distance separating Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright than Hillary Clinton and Bubba. Bill can't manage to keep his foot OUT of his mouth. The more he speaks, the more I think he needs a padded room.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  85. Catherine

    I think the Rev. Wright's appearances would help Sen. Obama if it weren't for the media, once again, splashing "snippets" of an interview over the air. Why don't you air the part of the Reverand's speech immediately following the "chickens coming home to roost" sentence, where he is telling his congregation that this is what the former Ambassador to Iraq under Reagan said in a Fox News interview. Why don't you talk about the Reverend's long and patriotic service to this country–you could probably do an hour long special report on it. Do you not believe the commendations he has received from the White House? And lest we forget, he had been a guest of the Clintons' at the White House as well. The demonification of this man without full and fair media coverage is appalling. If Americans listen to him, they would hear something far different than how the media is portraying him.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  86. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Rev. Wright is not running for president. I don't think it's fair to give non-stop coverage of the man while AGAIN mis-characterizing what he said. Why doesn't the media give constant coverage to everything McCain's preacher says? Is it because HE'S not seen as a "crazy Black preacher" even though HE blamed 9/11 on gay people and "abortionists" rather than on our foreign policies?

    April 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  87. Alicia

    Of course it will hurt Obama and when Bill Clinton responds it will hurt Hillary!

    April 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  88. Damany

    Does it matter whether or not Wright hurts Obama? If it's not Rev. Wright, the Clinton's would surely bring up that Obama is left-handed even though he holds a microphone in his right hand. There are issues in this campaign to speak on. Wright is not one of those issues.

    In the last few months (and few days) Bill Clinton has said more about race and race relations than Wright could have ever said. We live in a country where young men are being killed by Police officers and no justice is being served. We live in a country where candidates allude to race and Barack Obama loses points in the polls. The issue isn't Wright. The issue is politics as usual.

    So, no matter what Wright says something will be an issue for Barack Obama. He’d be lucky to be as teflon as the Clintons who lie about being under gun fire and accept nearly a million dollars from countries whose policies they disagree with.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  89. Elaine from Michigan

    I have seen the snippets from Rev. Wright and I don't see what all the hype is about. What was Rev. Wright supposed to say, I'm a pastor and Sen Obama is a doctor. By the way, I'm a 65 year old white female and I will be voting for Obama and if he doesn't get the nomination I will be saving gas by not driving to the voting place.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  90. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    Jack, what we used to say is with friends like that he don't need any enemies. Reverend Wright may have put the last nail in Obama's political coffin or will continue until he does. He needs a bigger hammer is all I can say.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  91. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    He hurts Obama with anyone who wasn't going to vote for him anyway. The rest of us are smarter than to play guilt by association.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  92. Kirk Paulson

    I wonder how many people out there agree with all of the assorted opinions of their preachers. If their preacher is Rush Limbah, that may be the case.
    Kirk
    Park City, Utah

    April 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  93. L.M.,Arizona

    Reverend Wright is a Vietnam vet,a father,colege graduate, a pastor,a patriot,and a great American man the news media will not let anything die down so the best thing he can hope is let americans know the real Reverend Wright. Anyone that was supporting Obama is not going to let the sound bite of a pastor change their minds.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  94. Steve Jacksonville, Florida

    The continuing saga of Reverend Wright will continue to haunt Obama primarily because there is not one major political figure or representative of the media who will call it what it is: A blatant attempt at character assassination. Politics in America is in a sad state. The electorate gets blindsided every four years by side issues, negative attacks, and fear mongering until we eventually settle for the candidate who is least likely to disturb the status quo. We then spend the next four years complaining until the next election when the cycle begins anew. Americans bitter? Numb is more like it.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  95. Ronen Johnson

    This shallow and predictable behavior is the result of a country showing it's true nature... What do I mean? Well here it is. In the beginning of this Primary it was a novelty having a black man in the race. Now that it looks like he's going to win( and he will win) White Culture is beside itself. What Rev. Right said was acurate, it's a simple matter of the truth hurts. White culture hates to hear about the injustices of the past.They are baffled when they hear someone speaking ill of
    "The greatest nation in the world" Ask yourself one question........ How do you think that "greatness" happened???

    Obama 08!!!

    April 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  96. VJ - Oswego

    It appears that no matter what or who it is that's even remotely associated with Senator Obama, the media and those who are looking for something negative will find it. If it is not Rev. Wright, it is bitter comments, or his wife's comments, or his hair cut or his, you get the picture. If the truth were told, we all have a "Rev. Wright" or a "bitter comment" or a "not so proud" moment somewhere in our lives. Everybody should just get over it, get a life and get on with the business of electing a leader.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  97. kriss g

    Is it better to be associated with someone who says "bad" things or to be a bad person, like some of the other candidates?

    April 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  98. Pat, Louisville, KY

    Tonight's interview, despite the content, will negatively effect Obama's campaign. Obama did his best earlier to distance himself from Wright. Now the association between the two will be magnified.
    I welcome it.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  99. allan

    lack it only hurt to the people who are looking for a silly reason to paint obama as anti american .it also clear that some smart americans are tring thier best to elevate from the grid lock of racism but there are others who would preffer die a rasist.grow up america.the whole world is watching.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  100. John

    It depends! If you're a Clinton supporter, you'll say it's a big deal. If you're an Obama supporter, you'll say it's not. Any humanizing of Rev. Wright will help. It matters to the undecideds, or does it? If him speaking out and defending his views sways a voter, that voter isn't informed and is voting with their heart, not their head as do most Clinton supporters.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  101. maureen

    I am glad that The Reverent, Mr. Wright is speaking up and explaining himself. If any one reads the whole text of what Mr. Wright said, they would have a different understanding of this whole affair. Mr. Wright is a respected religious leader and a former U.S. Marine, so he's paid his dues and has a right to speak his mind. Why does Sen. McCaine not draw some heat for his supporter's extreme views: Pastor Hargee's views are inflammatory as were Rev. Falwell's, Rev. Robinson's et al. McCaine sort out their endorsements and has not repudiated their views.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  102. Paul Molle

    Not only does it help Hillary Clinton (and John McCain) it helps improve the visability of the Reverend (I use that word legally but not respectfully) so he can now appear on tv shows, NAACP meetings, probably that "fair and balanced" station and maybe make a few extra bucks (maybe a lot of extra bucks). My only thought is what faith is he because he's certainly not part of my Christian belief where we help and love one another not try to make money or fame at the expense of another person.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  103. Bodo from Ann Arbor

    The Obama campaign ads should use the photo of Bill Clinton welcoming the Rev. Wright when he invited him to the White House.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  104. Terry in TN

    It should not matter but the media will make sure it does. Hillary's throwing stones in a glass house...but the media doesn't see that...SPIN!!!!

    Take a look at what your viewers and readers are saying on this forum. People are tired of all of this tearing down and bad mouthing.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  105. Jan, Naperville, IL

    When negativity continually appears in this most important campaign, it does nothing but turn people off. It is unfortunate that Senator Obama has to continually defend himself. Most people can figure it out – this is a man who can really begin to bring our country together. I believe he "wears" his patriotism in his heart. And if we can unite as a country, he can be that force who will be the springboard to help bring the world together. Let's give him a chance to prove that hopeful idea.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  106. Perry Sims

    What possible relevance can it have? NO ONE is getting elected President of the United States without first hitching their wagon to the Christian myth. We DO have a national religion, in violatioin of the First Amendment, and nothing in my life time is going to change that to a reverence for rationality and reason. Nothing.

    It make not two cents worth of difference what any of these people say to, or about, each other until they first take immediate action to restore the Constitution and remove their god from my money and the pledge of allegiance to the flag under which I served in the United State Marine Corps. Until then, it is all just power games and hypocracy.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  107. Bobe Jua, Nashville

    Great minds discuss and debate ideas. Ignorant people preach guilt by association. My prayers are that Rev. Wright in his own little way whenever he comes out should help redeemed some of you especially in the media from the self-righteous indulgence that has consumed you all whenever his name comes up.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  108. Lloyd

    If I could talk to Rev Wright I'd say: Dear Reverend Wright...You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say CAN and Will be used against you! For the love of God, please just shut-up and stop providing sound- bites. Do you really believe that any of Barack's opponents are actually listening to you in a manner that makes them want to support you? Is your ego really that big?

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  109. sam

    No. It certainly doesn't. The American people are more intelligent than certain media commentators think. If Fox news media would stop airing their repititious and hammering opinions regarding Wright's statements and accept the fact that Wright is not running for President of the USA it would be a lot better for our country. Obama says he renounces Wright's statements. Period.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  110. Linda S From South Carolina

    Mr. Cafferty

    Rev Wright speaking out now helps Barack Obama. The Clinton campaign, the news media nor the Republicans (including McCain) want this to go away so let's get it all out now. Then perhaps Barack Obama can again start focusing on his message of HOPE and CHANGE so we can begin healing our country and helping to repair the world.

    In otherwords, let's being to focus on the large number of problems in the world, i.e., like the shortage of rice!!!

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  111. Trevor - Merritt Island, Florida

    Wright's comments won't have too much affect on Senator Obama. As long as he doesn't make the kind of remarks that started this whole controversy, Obama is clear until the general election. The reverend is still good friends with him and it's unlikely that he will say anything from here on that could be used by the Republicans to damage his candidacy.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  112. walter collins

    Both hurts and helps. Hopefully it will not only stimulate a dialogue, but also generate thoughtful listening among those torn between the mixed messages. While in the end views we still won't agree, we may at least understand better our less communicative past. Acknowledging we are still in the shadow of the Tower of Babel.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  113. K

    No Jack it shouldn't hurt because Rev. Wright simply spoke the truth about our corrupt government. No one says anything about the Clinton's 20 year plus association with James William Fulbright an avid klansman. What about John McCain being endorsed by republicans Trent Lott and Haley Barbour of the Council of Conservative Citizens who stated "Blacks should not even be labeled as being in the same nation as whites, much less should they be given any voting rights", it's ashamed that Obama had to denounce the truth but our white candidates can do what they want. If I was Obama I would've stepped out of the race before I turned my back on the truth. That's the cost of being black in America still to this day Jack.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  114. Kevin

    It helps Obama. Now we can let Rev. Wright take the heat for his own comments. Some have parents who say stupid things; should their child be accountable? I think not.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  115. Nick, District of Columbia

    How long do you beat a dead horse before realizing that it's not getting up! This Wright controversy is past redundant and frankly I can't wait until the media moves on to something of substance. The one good thing that may come out of all this is that many have already turned a deaf ear to it so once the republicans try to use it against Obama this fall it truly will be like beating a “dead horse.” It’ll have no legs and will go absolutely no where.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  116. Howard M, Bolingbrook IL

    First of all Jack I love yah, you are one of the few straight shooters in TV news.

    No, Wright's interview and comments should not hurt Obama, or anyone in a similar situation.

    Why should the comments of someone else hurt Obama? If Obama had made those statements, then you would have a story, Guilt by association smacks of McCarthyism.

    I know my comments won't make the board cast because of the following.

    Has anyone asked Catholics to leave their church because of the horrible acts (not words) perpetrated against children by priest all over the world, for years, then covered up by the hierarchy. No! Even the Pope has called it, " the Great Shame".
    Lets try being fair to people, rather than trying to make superfluous news.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  117. Kathy Sine

    Hurts! Reverend Wright is an old man, maybe senile that is enjoying his 15 min of fame(wish that were all it was) The press needs to ignore him no matter how the Clintons use their underhanded tactics to kill Obama.
    Notice how I just said Clintons, and how often it is said on the air by commentators ? Makes one wonder who is really running for President.
    Kathy Sine Arvada, CO 80003

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  118. Chegon James, Washington, D.C.

    As a continuous observer of all things political I can see how this may hurt Obama particularly in the short term. The fact of the matter is that this will generate another round of sound bytes and NOT complete thoughts for the pundits to dissect and conclude what they had already concluded.
    The sound byte rotation has already begun and will continue. For all the claims that this is in fact a legit political issue I wonder how many networks will seek to replay the interview in its entirety after tonight.
    My guess, NONE!

    Chegon James

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  119. Dallas for Obama

    I'm starting to feel like Obama will take this to his grave. I think we're getting confused, or maybe the media is getting confused, with which man is running for president. I don't discount that Obama should answer the questions; my issue is that he has to answer "the same question". Obama has never wavered on his objection to the statements what Rev. Wright, and I believe it shouldn't continue to affect Obama but since obviously our real issues are not the economy or healthcare but the statements a retired pastor.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  120. ron

    The only criticism so far that has happened to Obama that had any merit was the bitter thing, although I agree with what he said about people being bitter and clinging to the things they most identify with when things are going wrong, I can understand some folks taking issue with it and those were Obama’s words but with Rev. Wright – Obama is being crucified for the views of someone else. So it (the Wright interview) probably will be a set back for Obama no matter how ridiculous because the media makes it an issue.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  121. Connie Abbey

    Rev. Wright was a well respected Christian pastor before the small snip-its were run over and over again. Definitely over kill. Several christian leaders, namely Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell, Hagee said the same thing after 9-11...just used other words. God's "judgement" were the chosen words, but say the same thing. Rev. Wright has a right to express his comments after his reputation has been damaged by all the networks. People should search the internet for his other 99.9% of enlightning and encouraging sermons. They are beautiful and very Christian. Shame on reporters who know these facts!

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  122. Jerry from Louisville,KY

    I can't believe that this is an issue. Rev. Wright's comments should not determine how people feel about Barack Obama. Just think about all the people who we associate ourselves with. It's not right to judge Obama over comments that his former pastor made. They are two different people with their own thoughts and opinions. I am a democrat and I have some republican friends. If I was judged over their comments than people would think I was just as ignorant as them and that is not true at all. Give Obama and Rev. Wright a break. We still have freedom of speech in this country...right?

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  123. J L Powell

    Reverend Wright. I am sure feels that he has to vindicate himself in the Media and maybe at the expense of Barack Obama. I am sure that he doesn’t see it that way! When men of integrity and ambition feel they are maligned by the media they feel compelled clarify the facts by trying to differentiate the subtle differences between a political and religious viewpoint.

    Usually all they end up doing is to exacerbate the situation by pouring gas and adding wood to a smoldering issue, when if they could just control the urge wax eloquently on a dieing issue, it would wither on the vine . Sometimes it is best to just leave well enough alone.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  124. Sandra

    It's a sad day in america when a mans pastor's views are more important then him having the ability to run a country and give americans hope. For me it want stop me, because I'm not voting for his pastor I'm voting for Mr. Obama

    April 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  125. Bonnee from Nebraska

    It was extremely astute of Barak Obama to make the reverand Wright controversity a speech about race!!!! What a bunch of "stuff". I would not care what color that controversity came from. I have sat here for weeks absolutely seething about the fact that the real issue of this situation is not as simple as a speech about the race issue but a much much bigger issue revolving around the belief system of the black liberation theology of Obamas church. Maybe if the issue of the minister is re-introduced someone out there will actually discover the anti-american and anti-white theology that Obama has participated in for 20 years. Just the 10-point vision of his church is enough to seriously question his judgement as a candidate. I personally do not want these values in my politics or my White House. It is not necessarily that I want Reverand Wright to hurt the electability of Obama but I do want Obamas value system scrutinised in an intellegent manor. This is not a small issue or picking on Obama.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  126. Greg S

    Personally, I feel that the reverend's comments should have no bearing on Obama's campaign. We all associate ourselves with someone that has their own voice and opinions. Obama has no physical control over what anyone says except for himself. If we were all judged by what others say that we have some association with, we will all be found guilty in some form or factor. Btw, no one seems to hold anything over McCain's head when he (personally) wanted to vote against the King holiday, when this holiday would serve as a day of recollecting the how we as a people (all races) began to move towards addressing racial inequalities and becoming more of a civil nation. McCain didn't have a Reverend Wright speaking uncontrollably. "He said that himself". How do we address something like that? Is this a racial issue, or are we selecting to profile Obama because the nation is not use to having a prospering candidate of his caliber? Let's start considering what the candidate stands for, and not what their associates stand for. Remember, the reverend is not running for office, Obama, Clinton, and McCain are.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  127. Kwesi

    Rev. Wright was a marine and served on the Presidential Medical Team, sometime passion gets the best part of the individual and we should move ahead and stay informed and we should also read or listen to the whole preaching and not just the sound bites. We plead with the media to do a better job and not divide our nation

    April 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  128. Dottie

    The media is out of control with Reverend Wright ..Who cares . Not I for one. Senator Obama is not the only candidate so why don't you all give Senator Clinton some air time..after all her campaign is whining about how the media is so unfair to her..she has more negatives than Senator Obama so it shouldn't be hard to dredge them up.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  129. P. Marseille

    Those pastors do not when to shut up. Some of them are very jealous to see there is a new leader in the block. They would do any thing to assure that Obama does not get the nomination. I never believe that Rev. wright is acting in Obama's best interest. If Obama becomes president, it would be hard for black folks to blame it on racism for their failure.
    May be I think as such because I was not born in this country and take every advantage the country has to offer.
    Jeff I black by the way

    April 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  130. Richard Pennington

    I feel it helps Barrack Obama! He's entitled to his opinion like any other American. Give him the opportunity to express it and then leave it alone. The media along with Hillary our the one's that have been blowing this whole issue out of proportion. Rev. Wright is the one that made these comments, not Barrack Obama. Why blame Barrack? More importantly is the fact that hysterical Hillary and her daughter both lied about Bosnia and sniper fire. That to me is far more serious than this issue about Barrack Obama & his Pastor. Who wants a candidate that lies., is synical, hypocritical & extremely arrogant. It's time the American people woke up. Barrack Obama is a man of honor, sincerity & principle.

    RC

    April 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  131. Jeni G.

    Based on the bias I have seen, I believe the media will try to use it against both of them. However, I think there is a more significant issue that I have yet to hear. Rev. Wright and Sen. Obama are from the Christian faith. The Bible teachings say we are to hate the sin and not the sinner. It also says let those of us without sin cast the first stone (keep in mind it also says we all have sinned and fall short). So I cannot understand why any God fearing person listening to the media bickerers would support any of this spin unless, they really are not Christians. I say to both of them even if they lose the world…they should not lose their souls.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  132. Robert

    Personally, I do not think Rev Wright means any harm by what he says, but I do not think he is doing Senator Obama any favors.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  133. Johanna

    Thank you Howard M. Very, very smart man! Jack make sure you put Howard's comment on the air!

    April 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  134. Katherine

    This sir is a premature question. At this point it is hard to say, since we have not heard all that Rev. Wright has to say.

    What say you?

    April 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  135. Yolanda

    It want hurt or help. Everyone for Sen Obama is going to vote no matter what they throw out there.
    I disagree with you on getting ugly, its pass that, it just shows that we as a country still need to listen to our ministers, Love you neighbor.... oops I forget we got up and walked out because we didn't agree with the pastor.
    Decatur, Georgia

    April 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  136. Rodney Rhodan

    The statement made by ,Rev. Wright should not be the reason why white voters,do not vote for barrack. The problem is 300 year old tactic use by all races in America"division", between the race. This holds to
    be more true today than then, case and point. Clintons race bateing
    tactic, and the North Carolina republican party,race division tactic.
    1983 USMC,Beruit Lebanon Veteran,
    Rodney E.Rhodan.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  137. Ilene

    I am so sick of this. If people would listen to the whole sermon of Rev Wright they might even agree with it. I am white, woman, and over 50. I am for Obama. I also think if the media would let this go, it would be forgotten. Why doesn't the media start working on the McCain connection with Hagee?? That is what sickens me.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  138. mark from florida

    It is up to the American people to make the right judgement. Now the picture is more clear than ever before. Barak Obama is not Rev, Right and Rev. Right is not Barak Obama. American people need to look at the man himself and not at those who are considered his associations even though he is different from all of them

    April 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  139. Sonya

    Hello Jack

    I really think that if the press don't aire this mess, then there wouldn't be a Rev. Wright issue. Obama has constantly denounced these statements by Rev. Wright, but yet this issue is contantly brought up. Obama is a good man and he is the type of individual we wanted in a polititians and he's being portayed as a racist by association. I'd like to challenge the press not to aire this and just stick to the facts, but of course that would be too much like being fair.

    Sonya
    Wichita Falls, Texas

    April 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  140. Sean

    I am so tired of these people outside the campaign getting so much attention from the media. I think that all three campaigns need to set up a desert island to put all of these pesky surrogates and aquaintances so they can not do anymore damage. Rev Wright, Bill Clinton, and John Hagee could probably use the sun.

    April 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm |