Just tuned in to Obama.
“Keep in mind, he’s preaching three times every Sunday for thirty years. I’m not vetting my party. I didn’t have my research team pull every sermon he’s given for the past thirty times.”
“The statements that he made were rightly offensive. They were less offensive in terms of race than in terms of their view of the country.”
Obama calls Wright a “brilliant man caught in a time warp.” Says it “doesn’t excuse but explains” Wright’s comments.
“If you guys went there on a Sunday, you would feel right at home.”
Barbara Walters: “Had the reverend not retired would you have left the church?”
Obama: “Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church.”
It looks like he was ready to say more, but *sigh* Hasselbeck interrupts. She mentions some of the quotes — US of KKK A, “chickens coming home to roost” after 9/11.
Obama stares at her as if he is trying to understand something very foreign to him.
“The particular ones you mentioned, I hadn’t. What you’ve been seeing is a snippet of a man…What if somebody compiled the five stupidest things you ever said, and put them on a thirty second loop, and ran them for two weeks straight? … I didn’t purchase all the DVDs, and I didn’t read all the church bulletins.”
Obama says that when he said in his DNC speech, “there is no white America or black America”, it was aspirational, not that there weren’t serious problems in terms of race in America.
“I talked to [Wright] after this episode. I think he’s saddened by what’s happened. I feel badly that he has been characterized in just this one way. But he was my pastor. I think people overstate this idea of mentor or spiritual adviser. He was my pastor.”
Obama tells a tale of Wright advising an black woman who was having doubts about marrying a white man to go through with the wedding, to not let racial differences to get in the way of love.