Presidential candidate Barack Obama excoriated his former pastor Jeremiah Wright on Tuesday during a press conference in North Carolina.
Obama said the was "outraged by the comments" Wright made while at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C Monday.
"We have known since 1787 that it is the most segregated hour. Maybe now we can begin to understand why it is the most segregated hour," Wright said about American's time in church.
Obama said that he found Wright's comments "divisive and destructive."
â€śThe person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe they ended up giving comfort to those who prey on hate,â€? Obama said.
Obama said that he had spent his life "trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people," and said that Wright does not represent his views.
"[W]hen he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions such as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS. When he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century. When he equates the U.S. war time efforts with terrorism, then there are no excuses. They offend me, they rightly offend all Americans and they should be denounced, and thatâ€™s what I am doing very clearly and unequivocally here today," he said.
The Press Club appearance was the last in a set of weekend-long public appearances. Wright used his speeches to criticize the media as well as the government. He claimed that the controversy surrounding himself was merely an attack on the black church.
"[T]his most recent attack on the black church is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright; it is an attack on the black church," Wright said.
He also accused Obama of distancing himself from Wright for political reasons.
"Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoeverâ€™s doing the polls. Preachers say what they say because theyâ€™re pastors. They have a different person to whom theyâ€™re accountable," Wright said when the moderator asked him about his comments that Obama "said what a politician had to say" in distancing himself from Wright.
â€śIf Reverend Wright thinks that thatâ€™s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesnâ€™t know me very well â€” based on his remarks yesterday I may not know him as well as I thought either,â€? Obama responded.