Was Obama Hard Enough On Pastor?

March 18, 2008

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Chicagoans reacted today to Senator Barack Obama's speech on his relationship with his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Hear Obama's full speech.

In his speech, Obama distanced himself from Jeremiah Wright, but refused to denounce him. Chicagoan Lydia Bailey says Obama should have been tougher on his former pastor.

BAILEY: This man does not deserve to run for the United States presidency. If he can't see through his minister, how's he going to see through all the phony stuff going on when he's President.

But Tom Bowen defends Obama's decision.

BOWEN: It's his preacher and he's going to stick by him. He doesn't agree with him, but a lot of people are like that—'I don't agree with a lot of things my Catholic priest says. It should be the same boat with me, then. They're gettin' on him for nothin'.

Bowen says President Kennedy was scrutinized for being Catholic. He says it's like history's repeating itself.

I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.