[Guest post by DRJ]
Appearing on CNN with John King, President Obama refused to rule out racism as a reason why some Americans oppose his policies:
“In the health care debate, heated rhetoric has been flung in the president’s direction. Obama rejected suggestions by some — including former President Jimmy Carter — that much of it is fueled by racism.
In the interview with CNN, Obama acknowledged that racism plays a role in some of the criticism against him but added that race is “not the overriding issue.”
“I think there are people who are anti-government,” the president said. “I think there’s been a long-standing debate in this country that is usually that much more fierce during times of transition, or when presidents are trying to bring about big changes.
“I mean, things that were said about FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] were pretty similar to things that were said about me. ‘He’s a communist, he’s a socialist.’ Things that were said about Ronald Reagan when he was trying to reverse some of the New Deal programs, you know, were pretty vicious as well.”
We’ve seen this before. When things aren’t going well, Obama portrays himself as above the fray but also as the victim of smears that unfairly make people afraid of him and his policies.