Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the controversial former pastor of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama says criticism of his sermons is an attack on the black church.

Wright told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington Monday the attacks are unfair accusations taken from comments that are taken out of context.

Clips of Wright's fiery sermons over the years show the pastor harshly criticizing the U.S. government for its policies and racial past.

After a controversy on Wright's racially-charged remarks erupted in March, Obama condemned them and called the pastor's view of the United States profoundly distorted.

Sunday on Fox News, Obama said he did not believe race is a central issue in November's election.

Obama and his Democratic rival, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, are campaigning Monday in the eastern state of North Carolina, which holds its primary May 6, along with the state of Indiana.

The Republican nominee-in-waiting, Arizona Senator John McCain, is holding a health care tour and roundtable at Miami's Children's Hospital.