One of the first presidential candidates - on either side of the aisle - to publicly speak out against the economic distress of the subprime mortgage crisis, Obama put out a statement in September laying out his plans to aid those in distress due to the sub-prime loan crisis. He wanted to implement a government relief fund, change bankruptcy law and offer a new tax credit on mortgage interest for those that don't itemize or simply aren't able to deduct their interest payments from their tax returns. On Sept. 17, 2007, Obama appeared at the NASDAQ MarketSite to make a speech about the rising foreclosures amongst subprime mortgages. Obama likened the crisis to Enron and asked that Wall Street make "shared sacrifices" to avoid the same type of "crisis in confidence" that Enron produced. He urged the government, who had not yet agreed upon a solution, to investigate lender-client relationships and help borrowers come out from under their mortgages. His plan to aid subprime borrowers is hinged on his overall economical plan to simplify America's tax code and close the loopholes that corporations enjoy under the current tax code; shifting the burden from the middle class.
Barack Obama has never shied away from talking about his race. He's quick to mention that he's the son of an black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. If elected president, Obama would be the first African American president of the U.S.
In March, the senator from Illinois received harsh criticism for his connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The Trinity United Church of Christ reverend was accused of promoting black separatism and saying that government invented HIV as a means of genocide against blacks. Obama defended the reverend - who baptized the presidential candidate's children and officiated at his wedding - telling media that the sound clips being circulated by the press showed only a small portion of Wright's message. He said he'd never personally heard Wright speak in a racist manner against whites and could not disown the man, likening it to disowning his white grandmother-who had before made racist comments and expressed biases against blacks.
The controversy surrounding Obama's race came on the heels of another heated debate - that surrounding comments made to the Daily Breeze by Hillary Clinton fund-raiser Geraldine Ferraro. The former congresswoman said: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept." Some commentators suggested the Clinton campaign force Ferraro to resign. However, Clinton refused to, opting instead to issue a statement saying she does not agree with Ferraro's comments.
Reuters — Obama calls for housing summit on foreclosures (March 22, 2007)
Obama's campaign Web site — Read Obama's plan to combat mortgage fraud and subprime loans and create a fund to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
Transcript: Full transcript of Obama's speech on race, given in Philadelphia, Pa.
YouTube video: CNN's Wolf Blitzer discusses with guests Geraldine Ferraro's comments
YouTube video: Ferarro defends her statements about Obama
YouTube video: Obama responds to Ferraro's comments
— Las Vegas Sun new media interns Jenna Kohler and April Corbin and new media managing editor Dave Toplikar compiled this report.