President Barack Obama is hinting racism played a role in Republican opposition to his liberal political agenda.
“I think there is a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in northern states are very different from whites in southern states,” Obama told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview aired Wednesday. “So are there folks who whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign, the other? Are those who champion the birther movement, feeding off of bias, absolutely.”
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Obama admitted that most of the mainstream opposition him was a result of his liberal policies, according to Zakaria, although the interviewer cut that portion of Obama’s remarks out.
“There are people who dislike me because they think I’m a liberal,” Obama began, before his remarks were cut.
Zakaria continued, “The president doesn’t see racism in mainstream opposition to him but he does see it on the fringes.”
Former Obama aides joined the discussion, asserting that race absolutely had something to do with Republican opposition to his agenda.
“It’s indisputable that there was a ferocity to the opposition and a lack of respect to him that was a function of race,” former senior adviser David Axelrod agreed.
Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said so as well.
“Their desire to stop him was also going to have devastating consequences for the American people, and why? Was some of it race, or was it the politics, or the power?” she asked.
Former White House adviser Van Jones also floated racism as a reason for Republican opposition to the president.
“I can’t name one thing that this Congress supported this president on in eight years,” he said. “You have to have an extraordinary explanation for this level of obstruction.”