Did Obama Say Rev. Wright Acknowledged Offending People?

By Ed O'Keefe

Mar 28, 2008 4:14pm

On "The View" this morning, Barbara Walters asked Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., what he would have done had he learned about the incendiary remarks made by his since-retired pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, if Wright had not been on his way out the door?

"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 think is the great character of this country – for all its flaws – then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying there at the church," Obama said.

This seemed to imply that Wright had acknowledged that he’d deeply offended people with inappropriate remarks. Right?

Wrong, says the Obama campaign.

"Sen. Obama was clearly saying that were Rev. Wright not retiring, he would need to be assured that the reverend understood why what he had said had deeply offended people and mischaracterized the greatness of this country," says spox Bill Burton.

Okay, except Obama wasn’t "clearly" saying that at all.

Here’s a clear way to say that: ‘Had the reverend not retired I would have confronted him about his remarks. If after that Wright still refused to acknowledge that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I think is the great character of this country — for all its flaws — then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying there at the church.’

For an eloquent man, not his most eloquent moment.

- jpt

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