Hillary Clinton: Wright Remarks 'Offensive and Outrageous'

ABC News' Eloise Harper Reports: In an "O'Reilly Factor" exclusive, Hillary Clinton rebuked Rev. Jeremiah Wright in her strongest language to-date.Sen. Clinton, D-N.Y., speaking exclusively to FOX News, called Wright's comments "offensive and outrageous," telling conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly that she going to leave the controversy "up to voters to decide."Here's the full exchange between O'Reilly and Clinton, as released by FOX News:O'Reilly: "Can you believe this Rev. Wright guy? Can you believe this guy?"Clinton: "Well, I'm going to leave it up to voters to decide."O'Reilly: "Well, what do you think as an American?"Clinton: "Well, what I said when I was asked directly is that I would not have stayed in the church.O'Reilly: "You're an American citizen, I'm an American citizen, He's an American citizen, Rev. Wright. What do you think when you hear a fellow American citizen say that kind of stuff about America."Clinton: "Well, I take offense. I think it's offensive and outrageous. I'm going to express my opinion, others can express theirs. It is part of just, you know, an atmosphere we're in today."


In an ABC News debate earlier this month, Clinton repeated the assertion she had made on the campaign trail that, if in Obama's position, Rev. Wright would not have been her choice in pastor."One's choice of church and pastor is rooted in what one believes is what you're seeking in church and what kind of, you know, fellowship you find in church," Clinton told moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos."But I have to say," she continued, "for Pastor Wright to have given his first sermon after 9/11 and to have blamed the United States for the attack, which happened in my city of New York, would have been just intolerable for me. And, therefore, I would have not been able to stay in the church."You get to choose your pastor. You don't choose your family, but you get to choose your pastor. And when asked a direct question, I said I would not have stayed in the church," Clinton concluded, later adding she considered the issue "legitimate" in the minds of voters.Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., strongly condemned recent comments made by his former pastor at a press conference on Tuesday.Reacting to what he called the "spectacle" of his former pastor at the National Press Club, Obama, D-Ill., denounced Wright saying, "What Rev. Wright said (on Monday) directly contradicts everything I have ever done or said in my life.""Whatever relationship I had with Rev Wright has changed as a result of this," Obama said.Speaking the National Press Club in Washington on Monday, Rev. Wright called the recent criticism surrounding his sermons "an attack on the black church"."This is not about Obama, McCain, Hillary, Bill or Chelsea, this is about the black church," Wright said, speaking before an enthusiastic audience of black church leaders at the onset of a two-day symposium. Throughout his speech and a subsequent question and answer session, Wright defiantly argued that many of his critics had not heard his whole sermons and that the media had twisted his words. Wright vigorously defended himself against accusations he is unpatriotic but in Washington, he went on to compare U.S. troops to the Roman legions that killed Christ, to praise Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farakhan, and to suggest that the AIDS epidemic was a racist plot.The Reverend also said he was quoting a previous U.S. Ambassador to Iraq when he said African Americans should sing "God damn America" not "God Bless America" in his first sermon following the 9/11 attacks."You cannot do terrorism on other people and not expect it to come back on you," Wright said on Monday. "Those are Biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright 'bombastic' principles."Obama came out forcefully on Tuesday, insisting he was "disappointed" by Wright, and rejecting his one-time pastor's assertion that the controversy was an attack on the black church.The candidate went considerably further than he has in the past in distancing himself from Wright, accusing him of "insensitivity and outrageousness" in his Monday appearance at the National Press Club in Washington."The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago," Obama said. Wright has been Obama's pastor since the Illinois Democrat joined the church. He performed Obama's marriage ceremony and baptized the candidate's two daughters.

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