Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she would have parted company with a minister who talked about America the way Barack Obama's pastor has.
Clinton's comments marked a clear shift in her handling of the Obama church controversy, which she had generally avoided until now. Some Democrats see Obama's refusal to dissociate himself from the Chicago church and its recently retired minister, Jeremiah Wright, as his stickiest campaign challenge so far.
"I think that given all we have heard and seen, he would not have been my pastor," Clinton said at a news conference after being asked if Obama should have left the church. She declined to say what Obama should have done, or whether the subject is now a legitimate topic for her appeals to Democratic superdelegates, the party leaders who will decide whether she or Obama will be the presidential nominee.