Today, after being continually hounded on the campaign trail, Barack Obama made a statement and spent time taking questions from the press concerning Jeremiah Wright’s most recent statements and appearances.
Here is the full 27 minutes of his statement and the following press conference:
A report on the presser from Breitbart:
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday he was outraged and appalled by the latest comments from his former pastor, who asserted that criticism of his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church and the U.S. government was responsible for the creation of the AIDS virus.
The presidential candidate is seeking to tamp down the growing fury over Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his incendiary remarks that threaten to undermine his campaign.
“I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday,” Obama told reporters at a news conference.
After weeks of staying out of the public eye while critics lambasted his sermons, Wright made three public appearances in four days to defend himself. The former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago has been combative, providing colorful commentary and feeding the story Obama had hoped was dying down.
“This is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright,” Wright told the Washington media Monday. “It has nothing to do with Senator Obama. It is an attack on the black church launched by people who know nothing about the African-American religious tradition.”
Obama told reporters Tuesday that Wright’s comments do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church.
“The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago,” Obama said of the man who married him.
Wright criticized the U.S. government as imperialist and stood by his suggestion that the United States invented the HIV virus as a means of genocide against minorities. “Based on this Tuskegee experiment and based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything,” he said.
A strong denouncement, but still this is taking away from Obama’s campaign and his original message. He’s having to do way too much damage control on this Reverend Wright issue. He had to address the latest outbursts but I’m wondering if this is going to keep occurring.
It seems to me that Reverend Wright is using his newfound popularity to have his piece on a national stage, Obama’s candidacy be damned. He’s got to know he’s hurting Obama, does he care or is he just using Obama to gain a wider audience?
Update by Michael
Here is the clip from the Daily Show interview with Newt Gingrich on Obama’s denouncement of Jeremiah Wright: