April 29, 2008 — -- It's crunch time on the campaign trail, and candidates can't afford any mistakes or for any controversial friends to suddenly reappear.
Some speculate the re-emergence of Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is turning off white voters. Democratic sources tell ABC News that Wright is unquestionably worrying superdelegates about Obama's electability.
On Monday at the National Press Club, Wright was defiant, embracing some of the most controversial items he has said.
"Jesus said, You cannot do terrorism on other people and not expect it to come back on you," Wright said, defending his controversial sermon in which he said Sept. 11, 2001, was an example of chickens coming home to roost, in Malcolm X's memorable phrase. "Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright 'bombastic' principles."
On "Good Morning America" today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested the controversial former pastor may be deliberately trying to hurt the Illinois senator.
Saying that Wright "went out of his way to weaken Obama" during Monday's address at the National Press Club, Gingrich told Barbara Walters, "I think Rev. Wright has a greater interest in his self-importance."
Gingrich described Wright as "hard-line anti-American," and said "if Rev. Wright continues to talk that the burden that Sen. Obama carries becomes bigger and bigger. "
Republicans in Mississippi and North Carolina have cut TV ads using Wright against Democrats who have endorsed Obama, guilty by association with a different association.
In an interview with WTVD-TV in North Carolina, Monday, Obama said, "I think the average North Carolinian's gonna say that doesn't make much sense. And, you know, I think it's the old kind of politics."
What's still unclear is whether that argument will rule the day for the roughly 300 superdelegates who still remain uncommitted and who will decide who the nominee will ultimately be.