White House hopeful Barack Obama suggests he would have left his Chicago church had his longtime pastor, whose fiery anti-American comments about U.S. foreign policy and race relations threatened Obama's campaign, not stepped down.
"Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn't have felt comfortable staying at the church," Obama said Thursday during a taping of the ABC talk show, "The View." The interview will be broadcast Friday.
In his sermons over the years, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has railed against the United States and accused it of bringing on the Sept. 11 attacks by spreading terrorism. He also has said the government invented AIDS to destroy "people of color" and has shouted "God damn America" for its treatment of minorities.