In March 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama was engulfed in political controversy. Video recordings of his pastor and spiritual advisor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr., were broadcast on every news channel and widely circulated on the internet. The recordings featured snippets from Wright's most provocative sermons. One of those sermons, originally titled "Confusing God and the Government" delivered on April 13, 2003, was re-titled "God Damn America" on YouTube. Wright preached that the United States government enacted genocide against Native Americans and African Americans, helped imprison Nelson Mandela, and manipulated God's word and will to sanction slavery and segregation. Wright implied that a racist U.S. government supported the infusion of drugs into black communities, frequently planted evidence against people of color, and preferred to imprison African Americans rather than provide them with the best education. Wright (2003) was also quoted repeatedly exclaiming, "God damn America." On March 14, 2008, Obama issued a statement denouncing his long-time pastor's proclamations: "I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies." In that statement, Obama (2008a) also described a personal relationship with Wright and explained that Wright "has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor." These clarifications, however, failed to satiate the news media and skeptical American voters. Obama hoped to finally put the issue to rest by directly addressing the controversy in a speech delivered in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008, titled "A More Perfect Union."