On Eve of MLK Day, Obama Pays Tribute
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
ATLANTA -- At a service at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Barack Obama commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and used the civil rights leader's words to convey his own message.
"King inspired with words not of anger, but of an urgency that still speaks to us today," Obama said at the church where MLK and his father were co-pastors in the 1960s.
"Unity is the great need of the hour" is what King said. Unity is how we shall overcome."
Obama went on to discuss the need for unity and the "moral deficit" that exists in the United States. Empathy is a theme that Obama has just recently begun to reference on the stump.
"I'm talking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother's keeper; we are our sister's keeper; that, in the words of Dr. King, we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny."
Although Obama's message largely focused on bringing people together, the political undertones were evident. He blamed politics for fueling divisions in society and made a veiled jab at Hillary Clinton.
"And last week, it even crept into the campaign for president, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation none of our hands are clean," Obama said referring to the Nevada caucuses.
Obama's prepared remarks were released to the media before they were delivered. However, Obama added several paragraphs from his stump speech while he spoke to the congregation, speaking about hope and change two weeks before Georgia's primary on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5.
"I couldn't have gotten here without some hope. My daddy left me when I was two years old; I needed some hope to get here. I was raised by a single mother; I needed some hope to get here. I got in trouble when I was a teenager, did some things, folks now like to talk about it, I needed some hope to get here," he said.
After the church service, Obama laid a wreath at the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. He was accompanied by King's sister, Christine King Farris and her family.
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