Patterico's Pontifications


Jeremiah Wright, April 2007: Barack Says He Might Have to Distance Himself From Me

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 5:00 pm

From an April 2007 New York Times article:

“If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”

Somehow that quote seems relevant today, with the news that Barack Obama has distanced himself from Jeremiah Wright.

Obama’s untimely distancing was made in a qualified, lawyerly fashion. He repudiated “the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue,” and dismissed him from the African American Religious Leadership Committee.

One wonders about the timing, since it wasn’t news to Obama that his pastor of 20+ years says outrageous things in his sermons. As the New York Times article I linked this morning says:

According to the pastor, Mr. Obama then told him, “You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”

This is all reminiscent of the whole Goolsbee/NAFTA flap, isn’t it? The message: there are certain things we have to say in campaigns. Between you and me, don’t take it seriously.

Boy, Obama sure is different from other politicians, huh?

UPDATE: Now that Obama is claiming that he didn’t know about Wright’s outrageousness until the campaign began, the game is to find the evidence that Wright was always like this, and Obama must have known. Tom Maguire starts the ball rolling.

UPDATE x2: Thanks to Instapundit for the link. I have more on Obama on the main page.

UPDATE x3: Here is a post with Barack Obama’s response, and a highlight reel of outrageous statements by Wright.

37 Responses to “Jeremiah Wright, April 2007: Barack Says He Might Have to Distance Himself From Me”

  1. “Yes, I was there for twenty years, but I promise–cross-my-heart–that I wasn’t listening.”

    Al (b624ac)

  2. For months, we have been saying that Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, was going to hurt Obama’s campaign. Now that ABC’s Brian Ross has released videotapes of Wright’s sermons, Wright is front and center in the Democratic Primary election campaign. Is this stage one of the so-called Kitchen Sink that might derail Obama’s path to the nomination?

    I hope that every American gets the opportunity to see and hear Jeremiah Wright for themselves- the “God Damn America” rants, the justifications for 9-11, the references to Hillary Clinton as “white” this and “white that”, as well as references to “Uncle Toms”. According to Wright, American is an evil country, and he doesn’t seem to have much use for white folks either. This man is a vile racist who hates his country. This is a man who claims that we invented the AIDS virus to infect non-whites. Christian minister? This sounds more like some radical Muslim cleric preaching Jihad in some London mosque.

    Remember also that this is the same man who traveled with Louis Farrakhan to Libya in 1984 to meet with Moamar Khadafi. This is the same man who recently gave an award to Farrakhan. This is the church that emphasizes the so-called “black value system” and other “black principles” that can only tell other ethnic groups that they are not welcome.

    Now that the tapes are out there for all to see and hear, Obama has reacted (as he had to) and released a statement today that he repudiates the offensive statements made by Wright. He claims not to have been present in church when these vile things were said.

    It is not enough, and it is not convincing.

    First of all, Barack Obama has been affilated with this church and this pastor (Wright recently retired) for almost 20 years. He has identified Wright as his mentor and inspiration. The title of his first book, The Audacity of Hope, came from one of Wright’s sermons. Wright married Barack and Michelle Obama and baptized their children.

    Obama’s statements about Wright are not only insufficient, but lame. He says that the worst sermons were made when he was not present. C’mon! In his nearly 20 years attending the Trinity Church, he has not heard these rants, as he is claiming? That strains credulity. He implies that only in the past year has he learned of Wright’s controversial pronouncements. He has stated that he only stayed in the church because Wright was retiring. No, Mr Obama, he was your mentor and inspiration-in your own words. You also put him on an advisory committee for your campaign. You and your wife have been listening to Wright’s sermons for nearly two decades. Your explanations do not wash.

    When one views the sermons, one not only hears the vicious words, but one sees and hears the wild applause and affirmations of the congregation. What were Barack and Michelle Obama doing during these sermons? Were they sitting there like potted plants?

    Recently, Obama explained his relationship to Wright by referring to all the families who have a crazy uncle that they don’t agree with. We can’t choose our uncles, but we can choose our churches, Mr and Mrs Obama.

    That leads me to Mrs Obama. In light of her recent speeches and questionable references to her country, I also want to hear the woman who would be our First Lady speak out about Dr Wright and answer the same questions as her husband.

    But it is not enough to state that they don’t agree with those statements. Will they remain in this church-and why have they been a part of it for almost 20 years?

    In the interest of full disclosure, I had been hoping that Obama would get the nomination out of my intense revulsion toward Hillary Clinton. I even voted for him in the California Primary since, as an independent, I was precluded from voting for a Republican. Of course, I never entertained the thought that I might vote for him in November. I have written that Hillary would have to steal the nomination from Obama since he has the delegate lead and will hold it when the convention begins in Denver.

    Yet, at this point, the Democrats may have to bite the bullet and choose between handing the nomination to Hillary-which she could not win from the voters-or allowing Obama, with this odious association, to become their standard-bearer.

    So on goes the increasingly ugly Democratic Primary. Just this week, Hillary offered an apology to black voters for remarks made by Geraldine Ferraro about Obama. Who, if anyone, will Obama apologize to for Wright’s dispicable rants?

    Now that Obama has denied previous knowledge of Wright’s words, if that proves not to be true, then he is finished. More importantly, is there a hidden side to Barack and Michelle Obama, two people who represent themselves as bridging the racial divide? I don’t know, but I don’t think this man has any business being a US senator, let alone President of the United States.

    gary fouse

    fouse, gary c (7b7c7c)

  3. “Yes, I was there for twenty years, but I promise–cross-my-heart–that I wasn’t listening.”

    Obama’s best hope is jokes like that: “After all, who listens to the sermons on Sunday?” Look for something like that on Leno.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  4. “Yes, I was there for twenty years, but I promise–cross-my-heart–that I wasn’t listening.”

    Can we listen to sports on a walkman during the sermon? Yes we can!

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  5. I don’t think the joke bit is gonna fly.

    As a conservative, this stuff is just gold. Either it sinks Obabma’s nomination and forces Hillary to try winning without the black vote (not in this lifetime), or a mortally wounded Obama faces McCain. The way I see it the general election is McCain’s to lose at this point.

    Eric (09e4ab)

  6. Whether he was in the pew at the time that his pastor made those outrages anti American, anti-white rants. It is IMPOSSIBLE as a parishioner not to have had discussions with fellow parishioners as to what was said, not if he was active enough in the church to tithe.

    Mike Roth (c0804f)

  7. As a conservative, this stuff is just gold. Either it sinks Obabma’s nomination and forces Hillary to try winning without the black vote (not in this lifetime), or a mortally wounded Obama faces McCain. The way I see it the general election is McCain’s to lose at this point.

    I wish you were right, but just because Obama has had a couple of bad days doesn’t mean McCain is home free.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  8. What arrogance, or naivete, to think “distancing” himself would be sufficient!

    Patricia (f56a97)

  9. You know, repudiate is kind of a funny word. Renounce, not so funny. At least in meaning.

    Bet the etymologists here can figure it out.

    Repudiate is likely not the word choice I would have gone with here.

    Uncle Pinky (5ba4c8)

  10. As Ed Morrisey says:

    I attended the sermons but I did not inhale.

    Looks like Rev. Wright has better political judgment than Obama, at least back in April 2007 according to the NYTimes article quoted above.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  11. It’s not that my wife hasn’t had to wake me up during the sermon once in a while but 20 years? Nah.

    Peter (d671ab)

  12. (wags finger) I did not have sermons with that preacher!

    Sen. Obama was interviewed on Fox, trying to do some damage control. Alan Colmes made a desperate effort at moral relativism, mixed with a touch of nyah, nyah, your guy does it too, puerile whining. Not a good hair day for Alan.

    The response doesn’t pass the smell test. You can’t live in Hyde Park and not know Rev. Wright’s views on whites in general, Jews in particular, Israel, the “rich”, Uncle Toms, racism, 9-11, President Bush, or any other political issue, especially any issue even remotely related to race.

    To suggest that Rev. Wright’s ultra-leftist, militant, Angry Socialist…act was a surprise to Sen. Obama and his wife…would make them the two most uninformed and unaware citizens from North Avenue to 103rd Street. For those of you who have never lived in Chicago, not only is it not plausible…it’s not possible.

    Sen. Obama was a community organizer, he and his wife were active in the community. They were active in the church. Rev. Wright and the TUCC is not a secret in Chicago.

    So, let’s discard the charade and get on to the next phase of this issue. Let’s not be coy and disingenuous. Sen. Obama knew, just like everyone else in that church, community, neighborhood, …knew…that Rev. Wright is a disciple of the Louis Farrakhan school of thought on virtually every social/political/racial issue.

    The Nation of Islam meets Black Christianity.

    They are a hard left group, preaching black self-sufficiency and with a blame white America, Jews, Israel…for all the ills of the world orbit.

    For Sen. Obama not to know this, would require a lack of comprehension so deep and abiding…as to render him (and his wife apparently) the equivalence of Chauncey Gardner. He has been elevated as the oracle and yet he is oblivious to the world around him.

    Apparently, Sen. Obama doesn’t listen, but he “likes to watch”.

    Dorhn and Ayers, Rezco, Brzezinski, Rev. Wright, Samantha Power…pretty soon people might think that Sen. Obama likes to hang around people who don’t like America, Jews, Israel…ya think?

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  13. What drives me crazy is how this could have been avoided so easily if Wright was the slightest bit media-savvy. Had he merely controlled his tongue and limited himself to advocating an attack on Iran to encourage massive worldwide Muslim attacks leading to a fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of end-times and bringing about Armageddon and the summary slaughter of every Jew, Muslim, Catholic, and non-believer on the planet while rapturing him and his flock up to heaven, then followed it up by denouncing Catholics as cult members and blaming Hurricane Katrina on gay people, this story wouldn’t be metastasizing like this. One five minute milquetoast repudiation by Obama and it would all be behind him.

    But what does Wright do instead? He spews this vile “God damn America” bile. What a psycho.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  14. Obama: “I swear I didn’t listen to anything Reverend Wright said over the past 20 years. Whenever he started his sermons, I always stuck my fingers in my ears and loudly screamed LA-LA-LA-LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

    MarkJ (7fa185)

  15. Russell:

    Really? I guess McCain should not have belonged to Falwell or Hagee’s congregations, or credited them with his embracing Christianity, or called them mentors, or titled his book after their sermons, or appointed them to campaign positions….he should have just given a speech instead…..

    Oh wait….

    gahrie (56a0a8)

  16. Not everyone can say they support any (political) thing their Pastor says so why would ANYONE hold Obama to a different standard WRIGHT or wrong?

    KYJurisDoctor (017f38)

  17. Not everyone can say they support any (political) thing their Pastor says so why would ANYONE hold Obama to a different standard WRIGHT or wrong?

    Because Obama himself cited Wright as an inspiration?

    Rob Crawford (8578d9)

  18. Approximately three years ago, I started watching a program on Sunday mornings called, “America at Worship” on the Hallmark Channel. It consisted of numerous ministers addressing whatever was the subject for that week, ending with an hour of Catholic Mass. One Sunday, they had Jeremiah Wright ranting. That’s all I can call it. He sounded so angry. I listened for about two minutes and then muted the tv. After that he was on about once a month. If I had only known he was going to be so famous, I could have taped it.

    Yes, that’s sarcasm.

    PatAZ (56a0a8)

  19. Messiah Obama could claim he slept through all of Reverend (sic) Wright’s sermons.

    Hankmeister (4a4b8e)

  20. Anyone who actually watches the videotaped speeches would know that it would be impossible to fall asleep during one of Wright’s sermons. He is a loud, angry man, and his parishioners struck me as just as loud and angry on their own.

    You can worship whoever you want, and go to whatever church you wish, and still be a viable candidate. But what strikes me is that Obama’s supposed uniter philosophy is 180 degrees from what Wright preaches, and yet Wright was (and most likely still is, behind the curtain) his spiritual advisor. That makes no sense whatsoever.

    I do wonder if we have any indication of what percentage of his sermons were spewing hate. Right now, it looks like all of them, but it would be nice to randomly sample a few more and find out what other topics were addressed.

    There is obviously big money in that kind of preaching, but it seems like a message that at root says that you’re not responsible, the white man is. That attitude is, alas, unlikely to lead to any kind of long-term success.

    It’s very difficult for me to swallow the Huffington Post article Obama wrote, where he says he was unaware of what this church was preaching. It seems self-evident to me.


    David H Dennis (6d3430)

  21. Details, Rob, Details.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  22. On The Factor, one woman was trying to claim that Wright’s stuff was being taken out of context…

    What the HELL kind of CONTEXT explains things like “God Damn America” and ‘The US govt created HIV in order to commit genocide on blacks’????

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  23. Many other people have said this, but you can hear the support from the congregation when Wright speaks his version of the “good news”. What sad, poor-in-spirit bigots.

    tyree (62d882)

  24. It is inconceivable to me that how Barrack could have possible not listed to the hate and other garbage spewed out of Pastor Wright
    s (more appropriately – WRONG) filthy mouth.

    But denying this, Barrack has lost all of his creditability. He is no different than Mr. Spitzer, a big hypocrite and liar.

    I am only glad that he is exposed prior being a president, imagine if this was discovered later.

    Thank God for the technology.

    La In (6c0719)

  25. What the rev said was true. Obviously Sen Obama
    cannot be seen to agree with such statements, true
    though they may be. Anyone who has not been black
    in America should shut up, listen, think and learn.

    wjjones (81082b)

  26. “Anyone who has not been black
    in America should shut up, listen, think and learn.”

    Wow ! So inclusive ! So all us whites, Asians and Latinos should be seen and not heard eh ? Proof indeed that racism knows no color boundaries.

    So Cal Dem (05ac54)

  27. What the rev said was true. Obviously Sen Obama
    cannot be seen to agree with such statements, true
    though they may be. Anyone who has not been black
    in America should shut up, listen, think and learn.

    Curses! Our manufactured HIV missed one! Quickly, deploy the CIA to addict them to crack!

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  28. Urban black communities have been utterly poisoned by people like Wright. Not just because of the hatred, but because of the litany of conspiracy theories that teach despair, futility, and the powerlessness of the individual. That’s what their community service amounts to.

    The fact that Obama doesn’t realize this makes him unfit to call himself a black leader, let alone president. But at this point he’s weaseled so much that I’m assuming he agrees with much of what Wright says, and just disdains its open expression.

    Glen Wishard (02562c)

  29. Well at least now we can put all that ridiculous “Obama is a secret muslim” nonsense behind us…

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  30. Well said, Glen. I thought, as I watched those horrific videos, how all the parishioners would have been better off that Sunday studying or working or taking their families out for breakfast than listening to that kook.

    Wright’s whole message is directed at life’s losers– it’s whitey’s fault!–and is designed to keep you a loser so that you rely on him and not yourself.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  31. Yesterday, on local Detroit radio (WJR), even their most liberal talk host was criticizing Obama’s association with Wright. But he kept facing callers, and his on-air partner, who argued that “the pastor is not the church” and people, especially black church people, will be fiercely loyal to their church community even if they disagree with the pastor.

    I thought it would only have taken one example to defeat that argument… “Yes, I disagree with Pastor Fred Phelps sometimes. And I completely disavow his occasional statements about God hating fags. But he’s a really nice man if you get to know him, and I stay with the congregation because they have a great youth program.”

    Don (c9e244)

  32. ECELLENT parallel, Don…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  33. on local Detroit radio (WJR), even their most liberal talk host was criticizing Obama’s association with Wright.

    Listen, that’s a start.^

    Sometimes the fantastic realm takes over and it seems like a bizarre plot hatched by and for the Clintons, one designed to float the most ridiculous opponent possible. Just to keep the nomination safe for HRC.

    Vermont Neighbor (c6313b)

  34. Well, if Clinton did send this stuff out, so what? It’s entirely relevant to someone’s character. Obama is free to ask for her tax returns or whatever. This is a contest for the leader of the free world.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  35. Hey, I went to church for 4 Sundays a month for 20 years, and fell asleep in the quietude of my church. I heard nothing…yeah, like our Billy Clinton didn’t inhale!

    Madelyn Taylor (33b85a)

  36. Some things just don’t add up with the Rev and Obama. For example…

    Since Obama apparently agreed with the Rev that he and the Rev must sooner or later part ways, it seems to me Obama knew of the inflammatory rhetoric all along.

    Obama calls the Rev a “biblical scholar” and “well regarded” and then says he is a crazy uncle in the attic? I don’t buy it.

    Now, while some are saying the Rev is luny. it seems to me that he is a useful idiot. As I recall, it was the former KGB that started the rumor in the 80s, as part of their misinformation campaign, that the US created AIDS to kill Africans. So this guy is just repeating that viscious lie.

    So Obama is man for hope and change? I don’t think so. Between this and Rezko, he is just another slick-talking politician with a few skeletons in his closet now being revealed. I suspect there are more, too.

    Michael Cadrecha (3fed30)

  37. I think everyone who’s irritated by Jeremiah Wright hates the truth. Get over yourselves man, he speaks the TRUTH.

    affie david (4bc00e)

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