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Superdelegates watch Obama-Wright matter

April 30, 2008 at 7:06 AM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., April 30 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's break with his controversial former pastor comes at a critical juncture in the U.S. presidential campaign, observers said.

During a news conference in Winston-Salem, N.C., Obama, D-Ill., forcefully broke ties with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., whose controversial remarks forced Obama to address his relationship with the ex-pastor, The New York Times said.

Calling Wright's comments "divisive and destructive," Obama said they "certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs". While Obama previously condemned the incendiary responses, he didn't severe ties with Wright until Tuesday.

"Whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this," Obama said, adding Wright's comments showed little regard for the candidate, the campaign and "what we're trying to do for the American people."

Obama's responses to Wright's three days of blistering remarks ranging from the U.S. government infecting people with AIDS to casting Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in a positive light has drawn the attention of superdelegates and analysts wondering if he is the stronger candidate over Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

Bob Mulholland, a superdelegate from California, told the Times the trials Obama experienced put a premium on results in the remaining contests, including North Carolina and Indiana, which have primaries Tuesday.

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