BILLINGS – Former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Wednesday that Barack Obama’s former pastor needs the Illinois senator to lose his bid for the White House to justify the pastor’s own radical views on race.
Obama, a Democrat, has struggled in recent weeks to distance himself from repeated incendiary comments made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Some have questioned why Wright is continuing to speak out and possibly hurt Obama’s chance at becoming the first black president of the United States.
“Jeremiah Wright needs for Obama to lose so he can justify his anger, his hostile bitterness against the United States of America,” Huckabee told reporters following a fundraiser for Montana gubernatorial candidate Roy Brown.
“If it’s not true that a man, because of his color, is held back and can’t be president, then so much of what Jeremiah Wright has said is invalid,” Huckabee said.
Wright has claimed AIDS was created by the government to kill “people of color” and that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were spurred by the United States’ “terrorism” against minorities at home and abroad.
Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor, dropped out of the presidential race in March. He called Wright’s comments “absurd” and said the pastor “represents a form of demagoguery that I find just utterly indefensible.”
“His (Obama’s) campaign is not being derailed by his race, it’s being derailed by a person who doesn’t want him to prove that we have made great advances in this country,” Huckabee said.
On Tuesday, Obama denounced Wright’s comments as “giving comfort to those who prey on hate” and said his relationship with the former pastor, who officiated Obama’s wedding and baptized his two daughters, had been damaged to the point that it would never be the same.
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