Obama Pastor Faulted for Farrakhan Rave

Incensed scribe cries racism; candidate deplores same
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2008 4:38 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful and Illinois Senator Barack Obama responded to his church's past praise of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, saying: %u201CI decry racism and anti-Semitism in every...   (Getty Images (by Event) Individuals)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s controversial pastor is back in the press—and the blogosphere—this time for praising Louis Farrakhan in an issue of the church's magazine, calling him "an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose." The Washington Post's Richard Cohen has a beef with heralding the "integrity and honesty" of the man he deems an archetypal anti-Semite, and says Obama must distance himself.

Election Central’s MJ Rosenberg immediately accused Cohen of "swiftboating” Obama to scare Jews away from voting for him. For his part, Obama responded aggressively—“I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan”—but conspicuously didn't mention the pastor, Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.