Obama Recalls Sparring With Preacher

Candidate says he had to 'agree to disagree' with Wright
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2008 10:41 AM CDT
Parishioners attend Easter Mass at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.   (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
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(Newser) – “This is not a crackpot church,” Barack Obama told a conservative Philadelphia radio host in an interview defending Trinity Church, Politico reports. The Democratic hopeful says that despite Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “very offensive views,” he built “one of the finest churches in Chicago. Witness the fact that Bill Clinton invited him to the White House when he was having his personal crises.”

In the interview, taped in advance to air today, Obama tells Michael Smerconish his campaign schedule prevented him from hearing Wright’s sermons over the last year. He says a call to the firebrand pastor a year ago “created some tensions.” He adds, "I wasn’t familiar with some of the most offensive remarks that had come up—otherwise we probably would have a more intense conversation."