early and often

Obama Finally Distances Himself From Reverend Wright

Could Revered Wright’s controversial recent public appearances have actually been a boon for Barack Obama? After all, they gave the presidential candidate the opportunity to say this at a press conference in North Carolina:

I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday. I had been a member of Trinity United Church since 1992. I’ve known Reverend Wright for almost twenty years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met twenty 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 might not know him as well as I thought, either.

If you listen to the above video, it sounds like he said “I had been a member of Trinity United,” but it’s possible he meant to say “I have been.” It seems like an important distinction. Either way, though, it’s a long way away from Obama’s inspiring (and Wright-supporting) speech on race in Philadelphia back in March. The aggression with which Obama denounces Wright suggests that he’s been ready to take care of this issue for some time. Will it be enough to separate him from the incendiary pastor in a general election? Probably not. But he’s at least marshaling his talking points in advance.

Obama Says He’s Outraged By Former Pastor’s Comments [AP/Breitbart]
Obama on Wright [Talking Points Memo]
Earlier: Reverend Wright Is Back
Barack Obama’s Speech on Race Is Honest, Brutal

Obama Finally Distances Himself From Reverend Wright