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

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

Why I Want to Be Culturally Evangelical

I’ve lost my faith. Do I have to lose my heritage, too?

What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

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

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.