Senator Barack Obama sought on Wednesday to set aside the controversy over his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., and steer the conversation in the Democratic presidential campaign back to the economy.
One day after forcefully breaking with Mr. Wright, Mr. Obama returned to Indiana for a series of events intended to highlight his proposals for tax cuts for the middle class. With six days to go before crucial primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, Mr. Obama is trying to retake control of his message, which had been overshadowed by incendiary remarks made by Mr. Wright and by Mr. Obama’s response.
Still, campaign aides conceded that the subject of Mr. Wright’s views and his relationship with Mr. Obama were hardly going away. Mr. Obama sat on a picnic table Wednesday afternoon in Garfield Park in Indianapolis, surrounded by a few dozen voters, with the idea of answering questions about the economy. The first question was about high gas prices, but the second was from a voter who wanted to know “how much of a toll” the Wright controversy had taken on Mr. Obama.