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Obama's Farrakhan answer gives Clinton an opening

When you've debated as often as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have, it's hard to find fresh material to spar over. But -- who knew? -- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan provided such fodder Tuesday night. And the result may have been some crucial points scored by Clinton in their face-off in Ohio.

Obama said he denounced and rejected support from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan

At the least, Obama appeared to dance around how far he should distance himself from the unsolicited backing he received over the weekend from Farrakhan until Clinton cornered him. At that point, he both denounced AND rejected that support.

Obama had been asked a straightforward question by moderator Tim Russert: Did he accept Farrakhan's support.

The following exchange occurred:

Obama: "You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan's anti-Semitic comments. I think they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can't censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we're not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.

Russert: "Do you reject his support?"

Obama: "Well, Tim, I can't say to somebody that he can't say that he thinks I'm a good guy."

True enough, but probably ...

not the answer most Jewish Americans wanted to hear. As a result, Obama risked creating the perception for some that he might be somewhat reluctant to completely throw overboard a controversial leader who is not without some stroke within the black community (witness the 1995 Million Man March).

Clinton clearly saw it that way, and sought to put Obama on the spot. She interjected that, during her initial Senate run in 2000, she was endorsed by a splinter party in New York that "was under the control of people who were anti-Semitic, anti-Israel. And I made it very clear that I did not want their support. I rejected it. ... And there's a difference between denouncing and rejecting."

Obama responded: "I have to say I don't see a difference between denouncing and rejecting."

He needs to check a dictionary on that.

Then he decided to yield the point: "But if the word 'reject' Sen. Clinton feels is stronger than the word 'denounce,' then I'm happy to concede the point, and I would reject and denounce."

He could have saved himself some potential grief if he had been less circular arriving at that point.

-- Don Frederick

 
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suzanne

watch it again, it was not obvious. In fact you too are talking about the meaning of the two words.

In context, what Clinton was saying was that there is a difference between denoucing (one's "comments") and rejecting (one's support/endorsement). Obama stated he denounced Farrahkan's comments, but did not say he would reject his support/endorsement. The question was not about the comments. It was about the support.

He now has many people defining words(which comes off great for him because it makes Clinton look petty). But nevertheless, he never answered the question.

support = endorsement = Farrahkan's supporters vote for Obama. Doesn't seem like he was willing to give that up. If so, before going on and on...he just could have answered "No".

And Deapp, I guess the fuss is that for all the talk about princple, words, and change...it just sounds like more of the same. And on this point, we're not comparing him to McCain, we're comparing him to Clinton.

Instead of listening to what he says now (which is exactly what we want to hear), we should look to his past.

* Before he was a candidate Obama said “Nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people." He’s not repeated that remark since entering the race.

Jeremiah Wright is not a minister who avoids controversy. He has compared modern day Israel to South Africa during the period of apartheid, and likened the Zionist movement to racism. In reference to Sept. 11, Wright stated that the attacks were a result of the United States' "violent" policies toward African Americans - implying that America got what it deserved.


http://www.jewishledger.com/articles/2008/02/27/news/on_the_cover/news01.txt

Just out of curiosity, can anyone find the EXACT QUOTE, with CONTEXT, of Farrakhan's "gutter religion" comment? A 2-minute Google search yields very interesting results...

M. Delphia Block, What do you mean "excluding Jews". Jews have been here since before NYC was called NYC...back when it was New Amsterdam (hence BEFORE there was even a Constitution!) & have fought for this country through the years.

AND BTW, those that say LF is an anti-Semite are exercising THEIR 1ST AMEND RIGHTS!!! So since you are complaining about that exercise of the 1st Amend I could say to you to follow your own advice & leave the USA BUT I won't b/c you exercised your 1st Amend rights BUT you don't have a right NOT to get called on YOUR INCORRECT VERSION of facts.
====
Too bad HRC didn't push BHO to repudiate his so-called "minister" that has praised LF.
====
them 'sags, Talk about semantics! Unfortunately, there are still many African Americans that support LF & JUST THE FACT that LF verbally endorsed BHO IS SUPPORT. IMHO, BHO did NOT OUT-AND-OUT reject (UNTIL forced & EVEN then see next sect) LF's verbal endorsement b/c he WANTS the votes of those that support LF & his RACIST ideas.

I'll repeat:
It was a "Yes" or "No" question & BHO AVOIDED a STRAIGHT answer but HRC forced him into a corner & he capitulated.
Clarification of repeat: It was a "YES"/"NO" answer to the question of if he REJECTS LF'S Support & IMHO (& in any sane person's) that would include VERBAL support.
His answer should have either been: "Yes, I reject his support." or "No, I do not reject his support." Which BTW, even w/ the pushing of TR & HRC he STILL did use either one of those responses.
====
Merriam-Webster definition of support: "to promote the interests or cause of"; "to argue or vote for"
Synonyms of support: "advocate, back, champion"
END OF STORY!

No matter how strong Obama's statemet released in January was in decrying Farrakhan's views, his hesitation during the debate in Ohio in rejecting Farrakhan's recent endorsement said it all.

The basis of this commentary is really silly....and really baseless.

First and foremost, the media keeps stirring up the LIE that Min. Farrakhan stated that Judaism is a gutter religion. HE NEVER MADE SUCH A STATEMENT!! He stated that their practices were a gutter religion (their mistreatment of the Palestinians). Get the transcript from the Phil Donohue show, if you will or can. I've heard and read it. Again, he never made the statement that the media claims that he did. And no matter how many times this LIE has been proven to be just that -- a LIE -- it is still circulated to the sheeple (i.e. the masses who take the media's information as "the gospel truth") and, therefore, fail to do their own due diligent research to find out for themselves.

Also, to all of the other silly posts about Min. Farrakhan being "a hater".....what can I say? These such comments are, again, silly and baseless.

One cannot find comments of the Minister saying that he hates this group of people or that group of people.

As I've stated before, that is just a bunch of propaganda and "media hype"

As a famous performer once said, "Don't believe the hype!!" - Chuck D

Here are the words of Farrakhan "White people are potential humans…they haven’t evolved yet." From the Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/18/00. Its not propaganda, its the TRUTH-Farrakhan is a BIGOT and you Galen M, are stupid. Obama attends a church where not only is Farrakhan praised, but he was made man of the year. Obama is a liar and tells people only what they want to hear. To convince me he isn't, Obama needs to not only denounce his affiliations but to discontinue attending services-which he won't do because he believes in his church and its bigoted teachings.

I agree that it is inappropriate to falsely claim that Obama is a Muslim, although I don’t believe that being a Muslim in and of itself should be anything about which someone should be ashamed. I do think, however, it is important for America to better understand the kind of “Christianity” which has so fascinated Obama for the last 20 years. Obama claims to belong to a Christian Church called Trinity United Church. He considers the just-retired pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to be his “mentor and spiritual advisor.” According to the church’s website, their members are “unashamedly Black and unashamedly Christian,” and swear allegiance to the mother continent, Africa. Obama’s church gave the racist and Jew-hating Louis Farrakhan a “lifetime achievement award” last November. Rev. Wright teaches Black Theology, and thinks about everything pretty much in terms of black versus white. He called 9/11, for example, a “wake-up call to white people.” Commenting on the recent murder of Natalie Holloway, he decried the press coverage by stating that “one 18—year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and gives it up while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months.” Rev. Wright likes to throw around the name of James Cone a lot when it comes to his theology. James Cone is another proponent of Black Theology. Here are just a couple of James Cone's quotes: (1) "To be Christian is to be one of those whom God has chosen. God has chosen black people." [Black Theology and Black Power, pp. 139-140]. (2) "While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 15] (3) "All white men are responsible for white oppression." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 24] (4) "Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man "the devil." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 40] (5) "If there is any contemporary meaning of the Antichrist, the white church seems to be a manifestation of it." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 73] **** Need I go on? These are the kinds of concepts that Obama has been soaking up for 20 years. The focal concern or center of black theology is the white oppression of blacks. Therefore, the usual theological discussions about God, Christ, and salvation are much less relevant. Although I respect anyone’s right to belong to any religion they wish, this does not sound like a positive form of "Christianity" for any of those who are not members of the "chosen people." And, maybe Obama needs to be a little more candid about the brand of "Christianity" to which he adheres.

I agree that it is inappropriate to falsely claim that Obama is a Muslim, although I don’t believe that being a Muslim in and of itself should be anything about which someone should be ashamed. I do think, however, it is important for America to better understand the kind of “Christianity” which has so fascinated Obama for the last 20 years. Obama claims to belong to a Christian Church called Trinity United Church. He considers the just-retired pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to be his “mentor and spiritual advisor.” According to the church’s website, their members are “unashamedly Black and unashamedly Christian,” and swear allegiance to the mother continent, Africa. Obama’s church gave the racist and Jew-hating Louis Farrakhan a “lifetime achievement award” last November. Rev. Wright teaches Black Theology, and thinks about everything pretty much in terms of black versus white. He called 9/11, for example, a “wake-up call to white people.” Commenting on the recent murder of Natalie Holloway, he decried the press coverage by stating that “one 18—year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and gives it up while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months.” Rev. Wright likes to throw around the name of James Cone a lot when it comes to his theology. James Cone is another proponent of Black Theology. Here are just a couple of James Cone's quotes: (1) "To be Christian is to be one of those whom God has chosen. God has chosen black people." [Black Theology and Black Power, pp. 139-140]. (2) "While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 15] (3) "All white men are responsible for white oppression." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 24] (4) "Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man "the devil." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 40] (5) "If there is any contemporary meaning of the Antichrist, the white church seems to be a manifestation of it." [Black Theology and Black Power, p. 73] **** Need I go on? These are the kinds of concepts that Obama has been soaking up for 20 years. The focal concern or center of black theology is the white oppression of blacks. Therefore, the usual theological discussions about God, Christ, and salvation are much less relevant. Although I respect anyone’s right to belong to any religion they wish, this does not sound like a positive form of "Christianity" for any of those who are not members of the "chosen people." And, maybe Obama needs to be a little more candid about the brand of "Christianity" to which he adheres.

If Democrats and the media select Obama as the candidate, he will fail, and rightly so. Obama is AntiAmerican, AntiPatriotic, he won't wear the US flag on his body, he won't put his hand on his heart for
the national anthem(even though it's US Code to do so). If people choose Obama, God help us.

This video shows just one example of what the republicans are going to
do to Obama if he's selected as the primary Democratic candidate:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-714997129077869382&q=Rev+Wright+%22God+Damn%22&total=21&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1

Here's another example:
"Todd Harris, a veteran GOP political strategist, tells us, "There are
hundreds of churches in Chicago to choose from but Obama picked the
one with a racist preacher who is anti-American and anti-Israel. This
guy makes Louis Farrakhan look like Hello Kitty and we're going to
have a field day with this.""
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2008/03/obama_reacts_to_controversial.html

Late response, I know, but seriously, this was well-played by Obama. He made Clinton look like a petty fool, nitpicking over a tiny semantic issue and playing politics as usual. Essentially Obama said:

"Well okay, if you're stupid and petty, I'll appease your irrational attack."

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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