Obama issues statement repudiating Wright, may appear on Hannity & Colmes; Update: Wright leaves Obama’s campaign; Update: “You can get kind of rough in the sermons”

posted at 5:34 pm on March 14, 2008 by Allahpundit

Not sure about the H&C rumor but DU looks to have picked it up from Hannity’s radio show. Gateway Pundit says Major Garrett’s going to do the interview, which makes me wonder when it’ll be on. I’ll update once I know.

Here’s his statement, posted appropriately enough at HuffPo. A three-pronged defense: (a) he didn’t know, (b) he condemns what Wright said without reservation, and (c) the guy’s retiring anyway.

Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue

Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he’s been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.

That’s a nice, lawyerly dodge. Is he suggesting that in 20 years’ time he never heard Wright say anything along these lines? Or is he merely suggesting that he was never personally in attendance when Wright said it, as if that would matter remotely to his decision to stay with the church once he heard about it secondhand? Note how he limits the scope of the matter, too, to only the statements Fox and ABC discovered in going through tapes of Wright’s sermons. That’s not the issue; the issue is whether Wright has a habit of spitting poison like this and whether Obama was happy enough to let him do it so long as there weren’t political consequences. If the media starts going through old sermons week by week, with new and ever more nuanced conspiracy theories emerging periodically, is he going to roll out weekly statements to the effect of, “Nope, never personally heard him say that, or that, or that either”?

Oh, and is he saying that he would have quit the church over this rhetoric if not for the fact that Wright was retiring? The media’s task is simple, then: Go through his old sermons systematically, pick out the ones that were especially, ahem, “fiery,” and check them against Obama’s old schedules to see if he was there. Or, failing that, interview some parishioners and find the earliest sermon you can where Wright said something nutty so that we have some gauge of just how recent this purportedly recent habit of crackpot remarks is. Who wants to hold their breath with me?

Update: Johnny Dollar says in the comments that the Major Garrett interview will be on H&C and Greta, in separate parts. We’ll have video later, I’m sure.

Update: Like Geraghty, I question the timing.

Update (Ed): I think this is about as good as Obama can do with this, but there is at least another glaring problem apart from AP’s excellent analysis above. Here’s a portion of the statement from HuffPo today:

In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he’s been my pastor.

And here’s Obama in the Chicago Tribune in January 2007:

Obama says that rather than advising him on strategy, Wright helps keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated. …

Though Wright and Obama do not often talk one-on-one often, the senator does check with his pastor before making any bold political moves.

Last fall, Obama approached Wright to broach the possibility of running for president. Wright cautioned Obama not to let politics change him, but he also encouraged Obama, win or lose.

Those two statements clearly conflict, so the question becomes this: is he lying now, or was he lying then?

Update: Now that we’re into “what did the Messiah know and when did he know it” territory, watch for the left to move the goalposts by wondering what it is, precisely, that’s so terrible about what the old man said. So he thinks America’s responsible for HIV. A lot of people think a lot of things, y’know? Can’t “an old black man have his anger in the privacy of his church”?

Update: Hiroshima, Sharpsville, and “white folks’ greed”: Rich Lowry reads from Obama’s memoir.

Update: It’s a media barnstorm as Johnny Dollar e-mails to say he’ll be on Olbermann’s show tonight too, where he can expect the sort of tough questions that only a man who donates to his interview subjects’ charities on camera can provide. Or can he? J$ notes that Alison Stewart’s scheduled to sit in for Olby tonight. Will Kayo stay home, raising hopes for a substantive segment? Or will he show up and give Obama a warm bath before he faces Major Garrett?

Update: Did he jump or was he pushed? Either way, formal ties between Obama and Wright are at an end.

Update: Sweetness & Light digs up an old chestnut from the Times about what Obama knew:

Mr. Wright said that in the phone conversation in which Mr. Obama disinvited him from a role in [his presidential] announcement, Mr. Obama cited an article in Rolling Stone, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.”

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.”


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Interested in truly living out Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream?

I remind you that his dream was for us to judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:05 PM

He was a backstabbing, no principles politician in arkansas.

peacenprosperity on March 15, 2008 at 1:09 AM

It would appear to me that the person doing the backstabbing is you.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:07 PM

A new kind of leader is sorely needed.

Halley on March 15, 2008 at 3:02 AM

Agreed.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Huckabee is just as liberal as McCain and his foreign policy would be as disastrious as if a democrat was President. Huckabee wants to turn the other cheek first. The problem with that policy when dealing with the terrorists is that they will behead you in the process.

evenkeel on March 15, 2008 at 10:18 AM

And your proof of that is…nothing.

Have you read what Huckabee has said about this? No? I thought not. Here’s just the first paragraph of Huckabee’s stand on National Security/Foreign Policy: War On Terror:

I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. Radical Islamic fascists have declared war on our country and our way of life. They have sworn to annihilate each of us who believe in a free society, all in the name of a perversion of religion and an impersonal god. We go to great extremes to save lives, they go to great extremes to take them. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy. I will fight the war on terror with the intensity and single-mindedness that it deserves.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:22 PM

Concerned about obesity?

Read this book.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:04 PM

I’m concerned about the government acting as the food police.

I do know one thing about the Huckster’s diet though: He peels the skin off his chicken, something he ridiculed Mitt for when Mitt had lunch at a KFC.

That sort of smarmy hypocrisy is why I loathe Huckabee.

goodnight.

Buy Danish on March 15, 2008 at 10:27 PM

[Hillary] assumes the black vote will follow along in the general as good slaves to the dem party as they always have. Sweating and toiling to give the dems the power, in order to earn their token salaries in the form of gov’t handouts. She may be right.

She only gets the “black” vote if Obama is the VP. If he revolts, they revolt. They will follow him and what he does.

The republican party assumes the same of conservatives dragging ourselves across broken glass to vote for a broken candidate a Republican-in-Name-Only.

True, but don’t overlook Hillary’s influence on making McCain the Republican Nominee.

Third party Mitt, Third party!

dhunter on March 15, 2008 at 11:02 AM

If anybody runs third party, it needs to be Huck (even though he’s too much of a Republican loyalist to do so)

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Ok so the Hildebeast wins the nomination and puts Hussein O on the ticket….then we have 8 months left to completely destroy Hussein and take her down in the process.

She may very well not put the weak link on the ticket in the first place.

She will pick the traitor Wes Clark (the architect of the serbian war).

SaintOlaf on March 15, 2008 at 5:43 PM

I disagree. Many Obmama followers will follow him blindly and won’t listen to reason. Anyone trying to “completely destroy Hussein” will be labelled a racist and an Islamophobe. Hillary can’t win the general election without Obama as her VP…the Democrat party relies on getting 90% of the “black” vote. Even with that, John Kerry couldn’t beat W in 2004. If she loses even half of that support, she can’t win in Nov.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:47 PM

[McCain] picks a totally unacceptable vp and get ready for a third and even fourth party candidate.

peacenprosperity on March 15, 2008 at 5:53 PM

While a third party candidate has no historical precident of winning, we have a distinct possibility of a four or even five-way race this November:

1)Hillary gets the Dem nomination and Obama runs independent.
2)McCain picks an unacceptable VP and either Huckabee or Romney (or both) run independent.

What the heck would that look like? Who would win the electoral college vote?

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:52 PM

Maybe it would be smarter to find someone that evangelical voters respect, and that the rest of the conservatives don’t hate.

Religious bigots are so … divisive.

Jaibones on March 15, 2008 at 7:47 PM

Your own words show who are the haters.
Your own words show who are the bigots.
Your own words show who is divisive.

…it’s not the evangelicals.

You are beginning to sound just like this guy:

But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:58 PM

I was originally for Huck and I got flogged and ridiculed here for it – here – then I was talked over into Fred.

AprilOrit on March 15, 2008 at 8:04 PM

Commenters and readers of Hot Air:
As many of you know, I started out as a FredHead. I know that many, many of you were/are FredHeads. But it was always clear to us that he didn’t have “fire in his belly”. I’m beginning to think that maybe the reason was because he really, really, didn’t have the desire to become President. Maybe his real desire was to keep Huckabee from having a shot at the nomination. I know that’s a radical idea, but think about it…people like me in other states (probably most notably SC) were drawn away from Huckabee and to Fred. For what? Fred didn’t stick around long after SC. Was his whole pupose to split the “true conservative” vote so that Huck didn’t have a chance of winning?

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 11:07 PM

Buy Danish on March 15, 2008 at 10:27 PM

Please back up your statements with a link.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 11:18 PM

Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. was the “blank slate” on which people projected their own hopes and dreams.

People who truly live Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream judge Obama by the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

Now that the content of his character is being revealed, a lot of people are realizing that he is not at all what they thought he was.

He is intent on bringing the United States (”an Empire”) to its knees:

But my journey is part of a larger journey – one shared by all who’ve ever sought to apply the values of their faith to our society. It’s a journey that takes us back to our nation’s founding, when none other than a UCC church inspired the Boston Tea Party and helped bring an Empire to its knees.

A Politics of Conscience
Hartford, CT | June 23, 2007

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Isn’t it interesting that all these guys (on both sides) who (they and their sycophants) have loudly proclaimed to be the “only one who can unite the Party/America” have actually caused the greatest divisiveness that I have seen in the nation in at least the last 70 years??? (I’m only 56, but I have paid a little attention to history.)

And yes, I’m including the radical 60′s- 70s hippy dippy weathermen, black panthers etc…. Now even the same kind of people who once formed the great silent majority of basically decent, patriotic America loving people are at each other’s throats because of these ‘great uniters’.

Pretty sad when Hillary’s naked lust for power without pretending to be anything but an autocratic socialist is a refreshing change from the other ‘hypocridiots’
(Hypocrite+Idiot=hypocridiot)

LegendHasIt on March 16, 2008 at 12:05 AM

Your own words show who are the haters.
Your own words show who are the bigots.
Your own words show who is divisive.

…it’s not the evangelicals.

Red Pill on March 15, 2008 at 10:58 PM

Wow. I guess I’m a self-hating, self-bigoting, self-dividing evangelical Christian conservative. Who knew?

Jaibones on March 16, 2008 at 12:07 AM

the radical 60’s- 70s hippy dippy weathermen, black panthers etc…

LegendHasIt on March 16, 2008 at 12:05 AM

Barack Obama and the Weathermen

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 12:37 AM

John Edwards in an opportunist who has been waiting to see which one (Hillary or Obama) would win the nomination, and hope that whoever won picked him as VP. He has a small amount of delegates that could be a deciding factor in the outcome. He has held “secret” meetings with both Hillary and Obama (both of which were revealed by tipsters, so they didn’t remain secret).

If Obama tanks completely, Hillary is going to have to fill the VP slot with someone else….could Edwards fill the role? Where would Obama’s supporters go?

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 12:42 AM

Jaibones on March 16, 2008 at 12:07 AM

Then why do you hate Huckabee?

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 12:44 AM

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 12:37 AM

Yeah, I know.

I wasn’t talking about the radicals; (and I considered Obama to be one, long before this Wright business hit the mainstream); I only mentioned the weathermen as a component of what people like to call the the most divisive time in the last several decades.

I’m talking about people like us HotAirheads; Conservatives, Moderates and libertarians, who, two years ago got along pretty well, even when there were big differences of opinion in some specific areas. Now we all as divided within as we are with the leftists; as divided as THEY are between the Obamanation and the Clintonoids.

And yes, I recognize that I personally am as guilty of this attitude as anyone else.

LegendHasIt on March 16, 2008 at 1:08 AM

Truly. We need to pull together. The Left will unite behind their candidate. They learned their lesson from 2000 with Nader (though Nader himself hasn’t quite yet).

Up until recently here, we had a civilian contractor and former USAF captain working with us who was literally salivating over a route by the Dems in November. In between calling for Bush’s impeachment and slandering the War on Terror, he would point out to a young Democrat soldier the different scenereos for a divided Right losing. I do wonder if he got a kick out of saying inflammatory things around me, knowing I was limited in how I could reply (somehow I suspect my captain would have taken exception to me calling this fellow the traitor he was.)

They are counting on division. They need “us” divided. And if we stay divided, based on whatever grievances or differences, we will lose, and that fellow and many like him will probably reach, uh, let’s just say, “ecstatic transport” on election night. And regardless of our particulars, they will hurt us.

Just a thought.

Tommygun on March 16, 2008 at 11:48 AM

And yes, I recognize that I personally am as guilty of this attitude as anyone else.

LegendHasIt on March 16, 2008 at 1:08 AM

I respect you for being able and willing to say that.

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 1:40 PM

The Left will unite behind their candidate.
Tommygun on March 16, 2008 at 11:48 AM

If Obama tanks just enough for Hillary to legitimately win the Dem nomination, he will probably accept the VP slot. His followers wouldn’t be happy, but they would vote for the “united” Clinton/Obama ticket. That would be our worst nightmare. As I’ve said before, Hillary probably has dirt on McCain, and in the game of identity politics, “old white man” loses to “first woman president and first black vice-president”.

If Obama tanks completely, to the point where he loses all but his most left-wing supporters, Hillary would have to find a replacement VP. Could “silky” John Edwards fill that role? Probably. Even though he is “white” not “black”, he probably would be able to win over the “black” vote with his “two Americas” garbage. He is also popular with the ultra-far-left, including the anti-war code pinkos and other socialists.

Speaking of socialists, I made another mental connection this morning that may be too “out there” for some, but is still the truth nevertheless…

Do you realize that abortion in the USA helps send money to socialist governments? It’s true. Abortion in the USA results in not enough children available to meet the needs of those parents looking to adopt. So, those parents go to other countries to adopt children. Where do they go? Places like China, Vietnam, Russia. They pay fees in the tens of thousands of dollars to those governments in order to adopt those children.

Socialists are in favor of a smaller population in the USA. It’s no wonder the socialists are pro-abortion. They call it “pro-choice”, not “pro-abortion”, but the human being being killed has no “choice” in the matter.

Up until recently here, we had a civilian contractor and former USAF captain working with us who was literally salivating over a route by the Dems in November. In between calling for Bush’s impeachment and slandering the War on Terror, he would point out to a young Democrat soldier the different scenereos for a divided Right losing.I do wonder if he got a kick out of saying inflammatory things around me, knowing I was limited in how I could reply (somehow I suspect my captain would have taken exception to me calling this fellow the traitor he was.)

They are counting on division. They need “us” divided. And if we stay divided, based on whatever grievances or differences, we will lose

Dividing the right by making McCain the Republican nominee was part of Hillary’s 2008 Presidential game plan.

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a socialist tinge.

That applies to Barack Obama. It applies to Hillary Clinton.

But who said it?

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels 160 years ago…
1848 Manifesto of the Communist Party

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Up until recently here, we had a civilian contractor and former USAF captain working with us who was literally salivating over a route by the Dems in November. In between calling for Bush’s impeachment and slandering the War on Terror, he would point out to a young Democrat soldier the different scenereos for a divided Right losing.I do wonder if he got a kick out of saying inflammatory things around me, knowing I was limited in how I could reply (somehow I suspect my captain would have taken exception to me calling this fellow the traitor he was.)

They are counting on division. They need “us” divided. And if we stay divided, based on whatever grievances or differences, we will lose

Tommygun on March 16, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Dividing the right by making McCain the Republican nominee was part of Hillary’s 2008 Presidential game plan.

Red Pill on March 16, 2008 at 2:11 PM

All there is to say is that “we” let that happen, and so we must play this hand. Either that, or it’s total defeat. Let’s keep that in mind over the next eight months.

Tommygun on March 16, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Therein lies the enigma. I can’t vote for McCain, the divider. Not just because my antipathy for him is personal and goes back 34 years; Because I think he will be worse for this country in the long run than either of the other two.

Electing him will definitely drive the final nail into the conservative movement; The Republican party will be driven even further left; it will never recover.

Even with that, I could maybe cast a vote for him except for two things: His belief in ‘GoreBull Warming’ and the economy destroying policies he wants to institute because of it. Even if by some miracle we could get a Common Sense Congress majority in 2009, Many of those policies can be done by Executive order, and as ‘the Maverick’, he has the ‘courage’ to do it that way.

And the Border. I know McCain well enough to know he is lying when he says he has heard the will of the people on that issue and will give us ‘security first’. As “the Maverick” once he decides to do something NOTHING will change his mind.

I honestly believe that electing McCain will FOREVER change America for the worse. Yeah, Obama or Hillary might (expletive) it up worse in the short term, but from the ashes of their administration I believe we as a nation, The GOP as a party and the Conservative Movement would be born anew as we were after the Carter debacle.

You folks that want me to betray the conservative values that I have held since I was a little kid and vote for McCain because of your fears for what the next four years can bring, aren’t going to get your wish. You might as well ask the Pope to declare Anton LaVey a Saint and have him use the Satanic Bible as the source for all church Doctrines in the future.

No matter which bozo gets elected in November, the country is going to be hurting worse that it has at any time since the 1941. I’d prefer that liberal/leftists get the blame for it.

LegendHasIt on March 16, 2008 at 6:20 PM

All there is to say is that “we” let that happen, and so we must play this hand. Either that, or it’s total defeat. Let’s keep that in mind over the next eight months.

Tommygun on March 16, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Therein lies the enigma. I can’t vote for McCain, the divider.

LegendHasIt on March 16, 2008 at 6:20 PM

Call me crazy, but we don’t have to accept McCain as the presumptive nominee just yet. Democrats will hold do-overs in FL and MI. A single party do-over allows certain people to vote twice. That’s illegal. The only way to have fair do-overs is to have do-overs for both parties. Otherwise you allow people who voted in the Republican primary the first time to now vote a second time in the Democrat primary do-over. If we insist on the rule of law, and “one person, one vote”, then either the Democrats don’t have do-overs or we force them to pay for do-overs on both sides.

If anyone other than McCain wins the Florida do-over, say Romney or Huckabee, it could change everything. Huckabee could very well win a Florida do-over. He is the only candidate to take a stand on Cuba (the right stand) long before Fidel Castro stepped down. All we have to do is prevent McCain from getting to the “clinch” threshold, and it goes to a brokered convention. If he loses a FL do-over, he loses those delegates. If FL delegates are seated at full strength (114 instead of the 50% reduced 57), that raises the threshold required to “clinch”.

Keep hope alive for a brokered convention. If Democrats push for do-overs in FL & MI, and we insist on the rule of law and “one person, one vote”, then hope is very much alive.

Red Pill on March 17, 2008 at 3:40 AM

Unless we get a brokered convention on the Republican side, and pick a conservative as our nominee, then the prospect of President Hillary and Vice-President Edwards (or Obama) is a very real possibility. What if the Democrats control the Senate, and the five Supreme Court justices who are 68 or older all retire? Lord help us!

Red Pill on March 17, 2008 at 4:33 AM

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