Wright Walks Back Comment Blaming 'Them Jews' for Keeping Obama from Him
By Garance Franke-Ruta
President Obama's former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright on Thursday again sought to tamp down controversy in the wake comments blaming "them Jews" for keeping him away from the president.
He had meant to refer to "Zionists" and not all Jews, he said in an interview on SIRIUS Satellite Radio's "Make it Plain" with Mark Thompson.
"Let me say like Hillary, I misspoke," Wright said. "Let me just say: Zionists."
"I was walking from a worship service to my car, trying to talk rapidly, trying to explain, answer this guy and trying to get him off the Barack Obama kick," Wright said.
"Them Jews won't let him talk to me," Wight had earlier told columnist David Squires of the Daily Press in Newport News, Va. "I told my baby daughter, he'll talk to me five years from now when he's a lame duck or in eight years when he's out of office."
The radio walk-back came on the heels of a news release Wednesday in which Wright pronounced himself, in all capital letters, "EXTREMELY DISTURBED AND DEEPLY SADDENED THAT ONCE AGAIN MY COMMENTS HAVE RESURFACED THIS DIVISIVE DEBATE ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MYSELF AND PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, WHOM I LOVE AS MY SON AND SUPPORT AND HONOR AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATED OF AMERICA."
"I APOLOGIZE FOR THE WAY I FRAMED MY COMMENTS. I MIS-SPOKE AND I SINCERELY MEANT NO HARM OR ILL-WILL TO THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY OR THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION," he said in the statement.
Wright, who was attending a minister's conference in Hampton Roads this week, had also warned in the Daily Press interview that Obama risked becoming a "a puppet" of a "political machine" and the people around him, if he did not take care.
"The Jewish vote, the A-I-P-A-C vote that's controlling him, that will not let him send representation to the Darfur Review Conference, that's talking this craziness on this trip because they're Zionists, they will not let him talk to someone who calls a spade what it is," Wright had said.
Posted at 7:00 PM ET on Jun 11, 2009
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