Hillary Clinton has largely stayed out of the fray over the inflammatory remarks made by Barack Obama's longtime pastor.
But in an interview today with reporters and editors at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Clinton weighed in, telling them she would have left her church if her pastor had said the kinds of things about the US government and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright did.
"He would not have been my pastor," Clinton said. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."
UPDATE: The Obama campaign just responded to Clinton's comments.
"After originally refusing to play politics with this issue, it's disappointing to see Hillary Clinton’s campaign sink to this low in a transparent effort to distract attention away from the story she made up about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia. The truth is, Barack Obama has already spoken out against his pastor’s offensive comments and addressed the issue of race in America with a deeply personal and uncommonly honest speech. The American people deserve better than tired political games that do nothing to solve the larger challenges facing this country," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.
In his speech on race relations last week, Obama said while he was in the pews at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for some controversial statements by Wright over two decades, he wasn't in attendance for the specific comments that caused the uproar. Obama also declared that while he rejected those remarks, he could no more disown Wright than he could the black community or his white grandmother and sought to explain the life history behind Wright's anger at the government.
In the interview today, Clinton compared Wright's remarks to those of talk show host Don Imus, who was fired last year for racially insensitive comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team.
"You know, I spoke out against Don Imus, saying that hate speech was unacceptable in any setting, and I believe that," she told the Pittsburgh newspaper. "I just think you have to speak out against that. You certainly have to do that, if not explicitly, then implicitly by getting up and moving."