Barack Obama responded to Reverend Wright's weekend long media blitz today and called a press conference in NC to respond to some of the comments Wright has made. He came out clearly and forcefully repudiated Wright's National Press Club appearance by saying that this is not the person I met twenty years ago...
Seeing Wright go on Moyers Friday night---at first, I didn't understand why he's doing this. Why did he need to come out now and use such loaded rhetoric that the media would pounce on? In the middle of a ugly primary race, he makes himself the story for another three news cycles. Then after I watched his National Press Club appearance, I wondered if he was actually trying to hurt Obama's chances of winning even the primary because his ego wouldn't allow him to hang back until December to have his say. It seems Obama has the same feelings.
BO: I want to use this press conference to make people absolutely clear that obviously whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed, as a consequence of this. I don't think that he showed much concern for me. I don't -- more importantly -- I don't think he showed much concern for what we're trying to do in this campaign and what we're trying to do for the American people and with the American people. And obviously, he's free to speak out on issues that are of concern to him and he can do it in any ways that he wants. But I feel very strongly that -- well, I want to make absolutely clear that I do not subscribe to the views that he expressed. I believe they are wrong. I think they are destructive. And to the extent that he continues to speak out, I do not expect those views to be attributed to me.
I know many liberals might not think that Rev. Wright was much of a problem earlier, because they could argue the snippets used were out of context, and McCain had his own pastor problems as well, but we've already seen how the GOP has generated nasty ads that they are using against him. Think how bad it will be by October.
By coming out so visibly now and without restraint, didn't Rev.Wright understand that this can only hurt Barack Obama because of the sick right wing noise machine and a media that is not interested in covering the policies that will actually affect our lives? It's the "gotcha" game and he's only feeding the beast.
The NC ads are only the beginning and all McCain has to do is say that he's against them. The media is McCain's ally and will say he's so wonderful that he spoke out against them while they continue to run them over and over again.
Obama: Yesterday we saw a very different vision of America. I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday. You know, I have been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1992. I have known Reverend Wright for almost 20 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church. They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought either.