|Full transcript of Obama's speech|
GLENN: So here we are sitting on the edge and what are we talking about today? Race. Barack Obama is giving a speech. I'm going to give you some of the highlights. I got an advance copy of it and he's giving the speech. So I'm going to go over, and you tell me. I would like to hear your point of view if you think this is going to play. I don't have time to play all of the comments from his reverend -- just play, just give me one of them, Dan. Just give me one of them so people have some reference point in case they haven't heard Reverend Wright.
VOICE: Drugs, build bigger prisons, passes a three strike law and then walks up to sing "God Bless America." No, no, no. Not God Bless America. God damn America. That's in the Bible. You're killing innocent people. God damn America for killing the citizens that's less than human.
GLENN: God damn America. That's his preacher and his spiritual advisor and like one of the family. With Barack Obama, how does he explain it? In a very large speech today about race in America. This is going to probably take us two shows to do. So we're going to start and then we'll probably finish it tomorrow because I know the mainstream media's not going to give you everything in it. But let me go ahead and start, "And I've already condemned the reverend." Start there, Dan.
SENATOR OBAMA: I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.
GLENN: Stop. Have you ever disagreed with your pastor to the point to where you had to leave? If you heard your pastor say what Reverend Wright just said, would you walk out? I know I would. And until that pastor was gone, I would never be there again. I haven't played for you the clips of what he said right after 9/11. You don't sit there and sit through it and be indoctrinated by a guy who says that Louis Farrakhan is one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the 20th century. You don't sit through it unless you believe it, unless a part of you says that's true. How good is the other part? Let's say this is 5% of what he does. How good does the other 95% have to be for you to sit through this? Go ahead.
SENATOR OBAMA: But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country –
GLENN: Excuse me. Stop. That's important. A profoundly distorted view of this country. This is a man who is his spiritual advisor. This is a man who has been working with him. A spiritual advisor, as a profoundly distorted view of this country. Again I just ask you the simple question. How good, how good is the advice all the way around? It must be manna from heaven. It must be right from the lips of Jesus Christ himself to be able to listen to a man, you're running for President of the United States, who has a profoundly distorted view of this country and yet continue to take the advice elsewhere.
SENATOR OBAMA: A view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America.
GLENN: Stop. I don't buy this bullcrap from him. Have you listened to your wife's speech or did you not attend that one, either, Barack Obama, did you not attend that one where your wife has the same kind of view from America. For the first time in her life she's proud of her country. She's explained that away but now you are explaining him away. You are now saying that he sees white racism as endemic and elevates what's wrong with America with all that we know what's right with America. Your wife has done the same thing. So maybe she's just been indoctrinated because you two have sat in this pew and listened to this man for 20 years. Or maybe you both believe it and the reverend believes it and your wife believes it but we're supposed to believe that you're completely different. Let it roll.
SENATOR OBAMA: A view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.
GLENN: Stop. Hang on just a second. Stu, your reverend who is your spiritual advisor says that one of the spiritual giants of the 20th century is Louis Farrakhan who -- and I'm not paraphrase -- I'm paraphrasing here. I can get the exact quotes, but I don't think you need them. Louis Farrakhan basically calls Jews dogs and pigs and that all the problems in the Middle East are because of the white man and the Jew, but your minister has called him one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the 20th century and he's your spiritual advisor and yet you think that it's profoundly distorted to say that the conflicts in the Middle East are rooted primarily in the actions of allies like Israel instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.
Barack Obama, let me make a prediction here. Unless I've slipped through a wormhole, which is entirely possible, man, because I don't understand America at all, but unless I've slipped through a wormhole, any thinking American is going to reject you beginning today. Because you are -- you know, I said this on TV two days ago -- or two weeks ago when he was going through that Rezco thing. If any of this stuff is true that he was in bed with Rezco, this guy has set himself up as the straight talk express. Forget about it. I mean, that train broke down on the tracks with John McCain years ago. Barack Obama is like, "I'm different, I tell you the truth, I'll shoot straight with you, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera." Really? Really? The minute you start telling lies, you're done. Because we already know. Hillary Clinton, we know she lies to us. We know her husband lies to us, she lies to us. We know what we're getting. We're getting a liar. We apparently are okay with that. We just don't want a liar that's coupled with a hypocrite. That apparently is our line now.
So now you go on and say that it's distorted and yet your wife has said it and then it's distorted to say that the problem is with our stalwart enemy -- our stalwart ally Israel, that's misguided as well. And yet your spiritual advisor says those things, believes those things and yet you keep him advising you. I can't wait to hear what you're going to say next.
As such, Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change;
GLENN: Geez, for the love of God.
OBAMA: Problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.
Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough.
GLENN: Count me in.
SENATOR OBAMA: Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television sets and YouTube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators
GLENN: Who is that
OBAMA: There is no doubt that I would react in much the same way.
GLENN: Stop just a second. So in other words, you know more than I know. You know something that balances this hate and this pro -- I'm quoting you -- this profoundly distorted view of America. You know something that balances that -- no, no, no, that tips the scale into favor of, "Hey, I've got to be this guy's friend, I've got to have this guy as my advisor." That's what you're saying, that you know more about him, that there's more to the person than just those snippets. I wonder, Barack Obama, where you stood on Trent Lott. Where were you on that? Where were you on the firing of Don Imus the day he was at a fundraiser raising $6 million for a children's charity? Where were you there? Were you for Don Imus? Did you say, hey, there's a lot more to Don Imus than just the stupid things that he said in a comedic role? Were you there, Barack Obama, or were you on the sidelines? You know there's a lot of people that I bet -- you know what? I'm going to do some research. I want to find the kinder, gentler side of David Duke because I bet there are some good things that David Duke -- I can't think of any, I don't know any, I've never looked. I've made up my mind on David Duke. I think the guy's a racist! But maybe we should get to know David Duke. Maybe there's more to David Duke than just the hate. I can't wait to hear what balances out a profoundly distorted view of America and a profoundly distorted view where he sees the racism of whites as endemic. What balances that out for Barack Obama?
SENATOR OBAMA: But the truth is, that isn't all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor.
GLENN: I'm poor, too.
SENATOR OBAMA: He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
GLENN: Okay, hang on just a second. You mean the same HIV/AIDS that the white man invented and intentionally gave to the black man? Is that -- I mean, is that the AIDS clinic that he's got? "By the way, I'm going to help you. I'm going to minister here to you but I want you to know the white man gave you the AIDS virus." Is that the -- I mean, because that's a great program. No, I'm serious. We'll have more in a second.
I mean, at this point does anybody think -- well, there's two questions. Is anybody in America going to pay attention to this? Are we so lost in our way? I don't think so. I think the average man is pissed off and fed up and it has nothing to do with race, Barack. It has everything to do with playing fair, playing the game, doing exactly what you're supposed to do, working hard, raising your kids, doing homework with them, paying your bills on time, not spending more than you take in, living the way you're supposed to live, going to church, trying to keep the commandments and then getting screwed in the end. Getting screwed by big fat politicians. Getting screwed by every single special interest group. That's who's had enough. And you can count me in on that. Now, I think those people are about to say enough, but are there enough of those people anymore? Is anybody going to listen to this speech? And if they do, will they buy it? I'll try to squeeze your phone calls in. We may have to wait until tomorrow to get your answer.