When Pastor Rick Warren asked Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., about his biggest moral failure, Obama recalled his teenage years which led him to use drugs and alcohol.
“I had a difficult youth. My father wasn’t in the house,” the presumptive Democratic nominee answered. “There were times where I experimented with drugs. I drank, you know, in my teenage years.”
Senator Obama has written about his past drug use and drinking as a teenager, but rarely mentions it on the campaign trail without being asked.
“What I traced this to is a certain selfish necessary on my part. I was so obsessed with me…It’s not about me," Obama said, coincidentally paraphrasing the first line of Warren’s best-selling "The Purpose-Driven Life."
"I like that," Warren joked, "I like that."
Obama told Pastor Warren at the famed Saddleback Church that growing meant recognizing it was not all about him, and something more.
“When I find myself taking the wrong step, I think a lot of the times it’s because I’m trying to protect myself instead of trying to do God’s work.”
When asked what America’s greatest moral failure is, Obama said not helping the disadvantaged.
“Whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me,” Obama said quoting the principle from the Book of Matthew — that "whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me" — that he believes America has not always abided by.
“That basic principle applies to poverty. It applies to racism and sexism. It applied to, you know, not having – not thinking – about providing ladders of opportunity for people to get into the middle class.”
– Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller