RUSH: Juan Williams weighed in on the Obama saga. This was Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace during the panel discussion. Wallace said, ‘Hey, does it say anything about him that he’s a member of this church and he’s a member of Reverend Wright’s flock?’
WILLIAMS: Of course, it says something about him. He joined this church, really, to solidify his credentials as authentically black and authentically a part of that South Side Chicago community, because it’s the largest church there and Reverend Wright is well known not only in Chicago, but nationally, and he’s known for making these outlandish comments. It’s very key here that, unlike the notion that Barack Obama wants to advance that he didn’t — or wasn’t aware of it, I find that unbelievable, or that this is a crazy uncle speaking out, he — he — this is a man who he chose to be associated with. It’s not a family member. He chose to be associated with Reverend Wright and saw advantage in it. It speaks to his character and it speaks to the judgment, which is the basis on which Barack Obama has been running this campaign.
RUSH: There was more, too, because Wallace said, ‘Juan, what do you think it says about Obama’s character and his judgment?’
WILLIAMS: Obama, who says he wants to be transracial, that he wants to be the crossover. I mean, he is the fruit of a generation. This is the closest black people have ever been to having a president of the United States of America. And suddenly you see, wait a second, he’s playing games and corners here on the race question. He’s not being straight ahead and saying, ‘You know what, I stand astride racial polarization.’ He’s saying, ‘I play racial polarization at one moment to my advantage — Reverend Wright — next moment I will distance myself and disavow Reverend Wright when that’s convenient, too.’ That’s why I say, for me it just strikes, wait a second, I want to know you, I want to know what you think and who you are, and in this case I realize, I don’t.
RUSH: That is exactly right. What everybody is asking, is does Obama believe this stuff himself? The reason they’re asking the question is because he hasn’t, up until he was forced, renounced parts of it. He hasn’t left the church. He hasn’t said one thing against Reverend J. Wright — well, other than telling Reverend J. Wright he was too over the top in his sermons so he couldn’t do the prayer at Obama’s presidential announcement. Look at it this way. Why would Obama join a church like that? He joins the church 20 years ago. Now, 20 years ago, do we know what Obama’s political ambitions were? The Clintons say, yes, that in kindergarten he wrote essays on being president and they tried to club his ambition with that. But 20 years ago do we really know — I mean, I haven’t read his book. I’m sure he talks about it in his book, but 20 years ago, I don’t want to guess here because it’s obviously in his book, what he thought about his political future 20 years ago. Then why else write the book? But if he didn’t, 20 years ago, if he wasn’t thinking about a political career, if he was just thinking good-time community organization and so forth, he joins this church — no, he has to have had a political future in mind.
Now, did that include being president? You know, he’s half white and half black. So if he’s going to do politics in Chicago, he’s gotta get a base. What better way to get a base than go to this church, it’s a mega church. He goes there, and as it was suggested in some written piece last week, I forget who wrote it, but this was a way to establish his civil rights credentials, his street cred with that group that he’s going to need support from in the political race. But did he know 20 years ago, ten years ago, that he would be running for president or did he just think he would run for the state senate, maybe the United States Senate, but did he know that he was going to run for president? If he knew ten years ago he was going to run for president, one might assume that he would get out of this church because he would have to anticipate that this stuff that’s come now would come out. So we might want to safely guess that he never saw himself running for president, and that’s why he didn’t quit the church. But despite all that, it still comes down to this: Does he believe this stuff? That’s what Juan Williams is saying. We don’t know. No, we don’t. You can assume he doesn’t because he sounds reasonable in his speeches when they’re written, all fancy-dancy, but Bill Sammon in his book entitled Meet the Next President, talks about the beyond socialist philosophy of Reverend J. Wright.
‘Wright advocated a redistribution of wealth that went beyond socialism. The congregation was required to embrace economic parity and disavow the pursuit of middleclassness.’ Now, have we heard this from the Obama campaign? Yes, we have. ‘When, Rush, when?’ Let me call your attention to Michelle (My Belle) Obama, who was in Ohio. They went to a town where the employment and the per capita income are well below the national average and so forth, and she told women in that audience, don’t go to corporate law firms, don’t go into big business, don’t go to work for corporations, and at the time, I said, okay, this is a nice little attack on Hillary, because Hillary had been a corporate lawyer and a board member at Wal-Mart. But at the same time she’s telling these people, don’t seek high-paying jobs, go into the helping industry, go in and change bedpans, become nurses and nurses aides, all these other things. She was advocating that people get themselves out of the so-called rat race, don’t even get in a competition for income dollars, don’t try to get on the middle-class track — that wasn’t her words, but she’s urging people to do exactly what the philosophy of Reverend Wright’s church is, folks. So Juan Williams question, ‘Who is this guy? We don’t know,’ is a good one.
RUSH: Last year, April 30th, 2007, New York Times article: Reserved ‘Wright, who has long prided himself on criticizing the establishment, said he knew that he may not play well in Mr. Obama’s audition for the ultimate establishment job. ‘If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,’ Mr. Wright said… ‘I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.” Well, now, this is April 30th, 2007, not quite a year ago. This is the second time now Reverend Wright has been found or discovered to have said things, that indicate Obama knew full well what Wright was saying. So where does that take us? That takes us to, is Obama lying? Which takes us to character. Is he lying when he says he didn’t know what was going on in the church when he wasn’t there? Is he lying when asked, ‘Didn’t some of the congregation members call you up and say, ‘Well, you should have heard what you missed on Sunday,’?’ and he said it never happened? You know, one thing, Barack. I’m going to help you out here. If you’re going to try the lying routine, you’re going to have to get better at it, because the standard for great liars has already been established; Bill Clinton owns it, and you’re not in his league. You’re going to have to really work on this and practice if you’re going to try to go that route to get in the White House, and to stay there. Listen to this. Donna Brazile, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He said, ‘Donna, why did this bubble up now, I guess, and why didn’t he get ahead of it before?’
BRAZILE: Because, look, we’re at a moment in the campaign where the kitchen sink strategy is in full force, the vetting is in full force. I’ve known Jeremiah Wright — and actually Jeremiah Wright is one of the more moderate black preachers. Just go to a church down the street from my house, and I see people, women, coming with their hats on the other side of their heads because they have been lifted up.
RUSH: What? Hats on the other side of their head because they have been lifted up? This guy is one of the more moderate black preachers? Mark Halperin, TIME.com, in the roundtable discussion, responded to this.
HALPERIN: Here’s why I think it matters a lot. The only chance Hillary Clinton has of being the nominee — the only chance I believe John McCain has of beating Barack Obama if they face each other — is if he is defined as an unacceptable either general election candidate for the Democrats, or president in a general election. And this goes… is the biggest challenge, I think, he’s faced on that front. He’s still introducing himself to the American people. The right-wing attack machine — cable news, talk radio, the Internet — went crazy on this, and they will not stop.
RUSH: And so Brazile added this.
BRAZILE: His narrative is someone who’s trying to bring reconciliation, and that generation, uh, wanted to basically talk about recrimination, and I think that’s the strong thing that Barack has to navigate. I’m sure he sat in church when the preacher says something that would make white people uncomfortable. I’ve sat in church when I’ve been uncomfortable.
HALPERIN: Well, there’s a difference between uncomfortable and rhetoric that is absolutely disqualifying. Again, I’m thinking in the short term, do the Democrats want to send him into the general election as their nominee?
BRAZILE: He has repudiated and denounced those comments. What else can he do? He’s not going to renounce the Good Lord Jesus Christ.
RUSH: So apparently we have a strategy here, folks, that’s played out really well. Obama embraces the guy, and they planned — they knew a year ago — that if Barack Obama got this far, he’s going to have to distance himself from Wright; Wright knew it, and Wright was cool with it. So they’ve been waiting for this moment to happen. They were prepared for it. I don’t think well. I think Barack has not handled this well at all, but, regardless, it is what it is.
RUSH: Julie in Crooked River Ranch, Oregon. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Thanks, it’s great to be here. I love your show today.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Yeah, I mean, the preacher man really handed you some juicy stuff to work with.
RUSH: Well, the whole Democrat Party has been handing me stuff here. It’s more fun, it’s a blast.
CALLER: I nearly fell over when I saw those videos. I mean, it was perfect, just perfect.
RUSH: Reverend J. Wright?
CALLER: He’s something else, isn’t he?
RUSH: And then some.
CALLER: Yeah. And I believe that Obama is either a liar or he is stupid. And he must think we’re all stupid.
RUSH: He’s lying.
CALLER: Yes, he’s lying. He has to be.
RUSH: There’s no question about he’s lying.
CALLER: Yeah, with his ears the size as they are, he had to have heard that.
RUSH: He had to have heard about it.
RUSH: Wait a second. Don’t go the ear route.
CALLER: Yeah, I know, I take it back. That wasn’t very nice.
RUSH: Don’t tell me what your 12-year-old thinks of him. We don’t want to even do that.
CALLER: No, no, no, I guess that wasn’t very nice. It just annoys me to no end.
RUSH: What, his ears?
CALLER: No. The video thing with the preacher.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah.
CALLER: You know, and all that rhetoric. And then he had to go and take a jab at Bill and saying he was riding dirty and all that, and I can’t believe that went on in church in front of the children. I mean, my parents would have ushered us out of there so quick and we would have told everybody in town and never went back.
RUSH: Yeah, well, that’s what Obama’s going to make a speech about tomorrow, because he wants to explain to people the black church culture and what they think in there. I’m going to be keeping a sharp eye on this speech, because he is lying about not knowing what goes in there, because we know it from Reverend Wright himself. Wright, in two interviews in the New York Times, has let it be known perfectly clear that Obama was well aware of Wright’s sermons and that’s why there was a planned moment in the campaign where they’re going to have to distance themselves from one another, and that has happened, was all planned because Obama knew what was being said there.