Conservatives release 2007 video linking Obama to former pastor Jeremiah Wright

Conservative media are circulating a 2007 video in which then-presidential candidate Barack Obama praises his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah … Continued

Conservative media are circulating a 2007 video in which then-presidential candidate Barack Obama praises his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and suggests that racism played a role in the federal government’s slow response to Hurricane Katrina.

The resurfacing of Wright as campaign fodder came as Obama and his GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, were preparing for their first debate in Denver on Wednesday (Oct. 3).

Fox News host Sean Hannity, conservative blogger Matt Drudge and Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller website hyped the video on Tuesday, saying it had never been seen in full.

Hannity said the video offers a “glimpse into the mind of the real Barack Obama.”

Media critics, however, noted that Obama’s speech to black pastors at Hampton University in Virginia was widely covered by the media in June 2007.

In the video, Obama gives a “special shout-out to my pastor, the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me. He’s a friend and a great leader. Not just in Chicago, but all across the country,” as the audience cheers. “Please everybody, give an extraordinary welcome to my pastor, Dr. Jeremiah Wright Jr.”

Adopting the cadences of a preacher, Obama also says in the video that the government’s response to Katrina “tells me that somehow the people down in New Orleans — they don’t care about as much.”

Obama also recalls meeting Wright at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where Wright was the longtime pastor. “He helped me on another journey and introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ,” Obama says in the 2007 speech. “And I learned that my sins could be redeemed.”

Wright married Obama and his wife Michelle, and baptized their two children, Sasha and Malia.

Obama distanced himself from Wright, however, after videos surfaced of the fiery pastor preaching that the U.S. had “nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon” who died in the 9/11 attacks, “and we never batted an eye. … America’s chickens are coming home to roost!”

In April 2008, after Wright continued to make contentious remarks in public speeches, Obama denounced his former pastor’s rhetoric as “divisive and destructive.”

Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, called the video released on Tuesday “a transparent attempt to change the subject” from another recently unveiled video, in which Romney dismisses “47 percent of Americans” as “dependent upon government.”

The Romney campaign has denied any link to the Obama video. Earlier this year, prominent GOP donors scuttled a plan to feature Wright in anti-Obama attack ads.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • Mathieas

    Why is this story labeled “conservative media”? I do not recall the Romney video released by the liberal website Mother Jones and carried on the very liberal MSNBC and others as a video released by the ‘liberal media’.

    When people talk about bias in the media this is a perfect example. It is a simple subtle way of marginalizing or downplaying the ‘newsworthyness’ of the story by dismissing it as some partisan effort when in reality is it merely what it is, a video of the President saying ‘controversial’ things.

  • Inis Magrath

    You all obviously don’t understand the real impact of this ’07 video. You see, it turns out that Obama is really really really Black! He’s a Black man! Be very afraid, America, be very afraid.

    There. Now you know why The Romney-Fox campaign “released” this “bombshell” video.

  • dbj1

    Looks like someone is trying to deflect any criticism of Obama by playing the ol’ race card, uh huh.

Read More Articles

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

shutterstock_186566975
Hey Bart Ehrman, I’m Obsessed with Jesus, Too — But You’ve Got Him All Wrong

Why the debate over Jesus’ divinity matters.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.

shutterstock_186090179
How Passover Makes the Impossible Possible

When we place ourselves within the story, we can imagine new realities.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

This Passover, We’re Standing at an Unparted Red Sea

We need to ask ourselves: What will be the future of the State of Israel — and what will it require of us?

pews
Just As I Am

My childhood conversion to Christianity was only the first of many.

shutterstock_127731035 (1)
Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church?

In an age of rising singlehood, many churches are still focused on being family ministry centers.

2337221655_c1671d2e5e_b
Mysterious Tremors

People like me who have mystical experiences may be encountering some unknown Other. What can we learn about what that Other is?

bible
Five Bible Verses You Need to Stop Misusing

That verse you keep quoting? It may not mean what you think it means.

csl_wall_paper
What C.S. Lewis’ Marriage Can Tell Us About the Gay Marriage Controversy

Why “welcome and wanted” is a biblical response to gay and lesbian couples in evangelical churches.