Rev. Jeremiah Wright issued an apology Thursday night, saying he "misspoke" when he told the Tribune newspapers that he hasn’t spoken to President Obama because a bunch of Jews are blocking him.
At the 95th annual Hampton University Minister’s Conference Wednesday, Wright told the paper, "Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me ... I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck or in eight years when he's out of office."
In his apology Wright said, "I apologize to the Jewish community and all others who were offended by the way in which I framed my comments," Wright's statement read. "I meant no harm or ill-will to the American Jewish community or the Obama Administration. My great respect for the Jewish faith and the foundational (and central) part of my Judeo Christian tradition are unquestionable, and I pray that all whom I have hurt accept my sincerest apology."
Wright's comments drew rebuke from the Jewish community.
"It goes back to age-old, anti-Semitic theories and notions that Jews are all-powerful and have the ability to, kind of, influence and control, and that has led to all forms of anti-Semitism and bigotry over the years," said Lonnie Nasatir with the Anti-Defamation League in Chicago.
Wright, who uttered statements like “God damn America” and implied that United States deserved the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, nearly derailed Obama’s ascent to the White House, forcing Obama to disown his pastor.
Wright said he would do it all over again if he had the chance.
"Regret for what ... that the media went back five, seven, 10 years and spent $4,000 buying 20 years worth of sermons to hear what I've been preaching for 20 years?
"Regret for preaching like I've been preaching for 50 years? Absolutely none."
Wright said that despite Obama's rebuke, he held no grudge against the politician when election day came around.
"Of course I voted for him -- he's my son. I'm proud of him," Wright said. "I've got five biological kids. They all make mistakes and bad choices. I haven't stopped loving any of them.
"He made mistakes. He made bad choices. I've got kids who listen to their friends. He listened to those around him. I did not disown him."