Leading Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama continued his defense of his controversial longtime pastor and friend Reverend Jeremiah Wright in a chat-fest with the ladies of The View Friday.
Obama said he rejects anti-American and racist comments Wright has said in sermons, but believes Wright is misunderstood. Obama described Wright as “a brilliant man who was still stuck in a time warp” and that he was “one of the best pastors” in Chicago on ABC’s daytime talk show.
Obama has said he was unaware Wright had said “goddamn America,” blamed the government for infecting the black population with AIDS or made other controversial statements in his sermons in a highly billed speech on race and religion and in other appearances.
Obama said Friday it was important to take Wright’s remarks “in context” and that those remarks only reflected “a snippet of a man.”
“I'm not vetting my pastor,” Obama explained. “I didn't have a research team during the course of 20 years to go pull every sermon he's given and see if there's something offensive that he's said.”
He also said he has spoken with Wright recently and feels “he’s [Wright] saddened by what happened.”
“I told him I feel badly he has been characterized in this one way and people haven’t seen the other aspects of him,” Obama said.
Earlier this week in Greensboro, North Carolina Obama blamed media for promoting the story. Obama said: “This is somebody who was preaching three sermons at least a week for 30 years. And got boiled down in the -- they found five or six of his most offensive statements, boiled that down into a half an hour sound clip -- or half minute sound clip and just played it over and over and over again.”