Politico's Allen misrepresented Obama's April 16 debate response on "disown[ing]" Wright comments

››› ››› KATHLEEN HENEHAN

Reporting on a speech by Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, Politico's Mike Allen misrepresented Obama's April 16 debate response on "disown[ing]" Wright's controversial remarks by writing, "Obama referred to Wright as 'somebody who is associated with me that I have disowned,' then clarified that to say he had disowned the comments." Allen left out the first part of Obama's sentence: "[T]he notion that somehow that the American people are going to be distracted once again by comments not made by me but somebody who is associated with me that I have disowned, I think doesn't give the American people enough credit."

In an April 28 article about Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.'s -- Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor -- appearance at the National Press Club on the same day, Politico chief political writer Mike Allen reported: "In the Democratic debate on April 16, Obama referred to Wright as 'somebody who is associated with me that I have disowned,' then clarified that to say he had disowned [Wright's controversial] comments." But Allen misrepresented Obama's response by leaving out the first half of his sentence, in which Obama referred to "comments not made by me." During the April 16 debate Obama actually said, "And, you know, the notion that somehow that the American people are going to be distracted once again by comments not made by me but somebody who is associated with me that I have disowned, I think doesn't give the American people enough credit" [emphasis added]. After moderator George Stephanopoulos asked, "You've disowned him?" Obama answered, "The comments, the comments that I've disowned."

From Allen's April 28 Politico article:

Obama, seeking to distance himself from remarks by Wright that some have taken as anti-American, has emphasized that Wright has retired.

But Wright talks of their relationship in the present tense. "I'm a pastor; he's a member," he said. "I'm not a 'spiritual mentor.' "

In the Democratic debate on April 16, Obama referred to Wright as "somebody who is associated with me that I have disowned," then clarified that to say he had disowned the comments.

But Wright objected to a question saying Obama had denounced him.

"Whoever wrote that question doesn't read or watch the news," Wright said. "He did not denounce me. He distanced himself from some of my remarks, like most of you, never having heard the sermon, all right? ...

"He didn't distance himself. He had to distance himself, because he's a politician, from what the media was saying I had said, which was [portrayed as] anti-American. ... He did, as I said, what politicians do."

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
The Politico
Person
Mike Allen
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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