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Barack Obama said he gave his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the benefit of the doubt when Obama earlier repudiated comments excerpted from some of Wright’s old sermons. But after Wright’s incendiary comments Monday, Obama tried to leave no doubt today that he was repudiating both Wright and his views. “His comments were not only divisive and destructive but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church,” Obama said. “They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs.” Obama specifically denounced Wright’s “ridiculous proposition” that the U.S. government was involved in creating AIDS, Wright’s support of National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and Wright equating U.S. wartime efforts to terrorism. If Wright thinks Obama’s previous denunciation was “political posturing,” then “he doesn’t know me very well,” Obama said, adding later that Wright’s comments are “completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country.”
Obama said he wanted to be very clear that “Rev. Wright does not speak for me.” But Obama’s political opponents won’t be so willing to cut those ties.