Asked by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough if criticism of Reverend Jeremiah Wright's relationship with presidential hopeful Barack Obama was something of a double standard in light of the history of clergy who have said divisive things about September 11 and got a pass, commentator Pat Buchanan offered a jarring equivocation, excusing away the behavior of other Christian speakers on the grounds Wright's "Afro-racism" was somehow more toxic.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me bring in Pat Buchanan here for a second to follow up on a comment that Nancy made before and a comment that I'm sure a lot of Obama supporters would repeat. And that is that there may be a double standard here. Jerry Falwell said some very inflammatory things after September 11th, as did Pat Robertson, Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham said some things after 9/11 that offended a great number of Americans, yet these gentleman have all endorsed Republican candidates and we haven't had this type of discussion. John McCain, certainly, has not had to come out and explain away his support from Jerry Falwell or Reverend Hagee.
BUCHANAN: Well, the Reverend Falwell and the others made individual statements after 911 for which they were roundly condemned and which both of them came forward and said, let me explain myself. This was not consistent in character. What we have with Reverend Wright, this is his message. It is a hate America, it is an Afrocentric, I think it is an Afro-racist message. And Senator Obama's been sitting there imbibing this for twenty years. And why did he not walk out of that church and find another after two or three of these sermons? He said he did not know the reverend held these views. That is simply not credible. You have a tremendous disconnect between the Obama we see on the stump and Reverend Wright at that pulpit in that church.