Juan Williams: Obama should apologize for using race

By David Edwards
Monday, June 9, 2008 12:42 EDT
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Juan Williams told Fox & Friends hosts that Barack Obama should give a new speech asking for “forgiveness” for using race to get ahead in politics.

Partial transcript

Steve Doocy: Why does barack obama need to give another speech about religion as he did when he was in all the trouble with Reverend Wright?

Juan Williams: About race and religion. Because, I think if you look at the dynamic of the contest as it’s drawing up right now for the general election, I think it’s really about Barack Obama and in large part about whether or not people can trust him. They want to know is he a guy that is beyond race, beyond partisanship, can he deliver on all these promises. And people have concerns when they get back to the likes of Reverend Wright and Father Pfleger saying those outrageous racist rants. They want to to know, are you the healer or the guy that sat in those pews for 20 years? Barack Obama has got to address that. Because part of the risk of electing Barack Obama is people will say, wait a second. Am I comfortable about this racial issue? He’s a black American, the first black President, and Barack Obama has got to make people comfortable. So to ignore race and not talk about it is a failed strategy.

Brian Kilmeade: Right 9 of 14 races he lost. He’s lost — the stats say — a lot of white voters and a lot of white women. Did he lose them to Senator Hillary clinton or has he lost them and will he lose them to John McCain?

Juan Williams: That’s exactly the point. You look at the numbers. His favorability ratings have been going down since March. What was the intervening event? The intervening event was Reverend Wright. And so, as his favorably numbers go down you see losses not only with white women but also with another critical group, white men. And so, you’ve got to understand he’s got to be the kind of person who steps forward and says, well, look. I know I’ve played racial politics in the past to get my political career going in Chicago by hanging around with some of the far left groups –

Gretchen Carlson: He’s not going to say that, Juan.

Juan Williams: Hey, you know what? If people admit their sins. I’ve got to tell you guys. If you say I’ve been a sinner, I’ve played racial politics, I’ve played these games and now I’m saying it’s time for us all to move on. I think —

Gretchen Carlson: If he says that, that would be unbelievable. I would eat my hat

This video is from Fox’s Fox & Friends, broadcast June 9, 2008.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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