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Obama: McConnell and Fox ‘Mobilized a Backlash’ To Vision of Unified, Tolerant America for Power and Money

During an interview on Monday’s “Axe Files” podcast, President Obama “in part, very cynically, somebody like a [Sen.] Mitch McConnell (R-KY), or Roger Ailes at Fox News, I think, specifically mobilized a backlash” to the vision of a unified tolerant America “in order to accomplish pretty routine, commercial or power agendas.”

While discussing his 2004 DNC speech, Obama said the point of the speech was to say “[T]here is this trajectory, the arc of the moral universe is long. It bends towards justice. It is a struggle, but there’s this thing in us, there’s this thing in this country, that is good, and unifies us.”

The president continued, “Now, I would argue, that, during the entire eight years that I’ve been president, that spirit of America has still been there, in all sorts of ways. It manifests itself in communities all across the country. We see it in this younger generation, that is smarter, more tolerant, more innovative, more creative, more entrepreneurial, would not even think about, you know, discriminating somebody against — for example, because of their sexual orientation.”

He added, “But, what I think we also saw is that, the resistance to that vision of America, which has always been there, was always powerful, mobilized and asserted itself powerfully. Now, I would argue that in part, very cynically, somebody like a Mitch McConnell, or Roger Ailes at Fox News, I think, specifically mobilized a backlash to this vision in order to accomplish pretty routine, commercial or power agendas.”

Obama futher said of McConnell, “His insight was that, we just have to say no to that, and if we can just throw sand in the gears, then, at a time of deep economic crisis, when people are really stressed, really worried, were already stressed and worried before the crisis, now are thinking  the bottom’s falling out of their lives and their home prices are going down, their 401(k)s are evaporating, they’re losing their jobs, that if we just say no, then that will puncture the balloon, that all this talk about hope and change and no red state and blue state is proven to be a mirage, a fantasy.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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