Chris Matthews: Rev. Wright Bad, But Obama 'Very Much a Unifier'

On Friday morning's Today, MSNBC host Chris Matthews lamented Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, "blaming 9/11 on us," and compared that to conservative ministers like Jerry Falwell blaming it on "sodomy and everything else." But Matthews stressed that it really shouldn't reflect badly on Obama, who is still a unifier, and not a "black separatist" like his pastor. MRC's Justin McCarthy did the transcript on the Democratic contest:

MEREDITH VIEIRA: At the end of the week, Chris, who do you think came out ahead of the two?

MATTHEWS: Well, I think it was kind of intermission. I think it hurt Barack to have his minister out with all these mouthings blaming 9/11 on us. It will never sell to the American people.

VIEIRA: How damaging do you think that will be, Chris?

MATTHEWS: Well, that will never sell. You don't blame the crime, at least not the worst crime in modern history since the Holocaust on the victims. Obviously, it's terrible, it's like when those right wing ministers were blaming it on sodomy and everything else, their crazy comments. It hurts victims even worse and the survivors to be told somehow the victims caused this. You can't talk like that. And to Barack's credit he has separated himself from this guy's commentary. In fact, Barack is very much a unifier. Let's face it, politically, he's not a black separatist. He doesn't talk like that minister. We all know that.

Historians will also scratch their heads at 9/11 being "the worst crime in modern history since the Holocaust." Compared to China's Cultural Revolution? The Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia? Rwanda?

NBC Today Jeremiah Wright
Tim Graham's picture