CNN gave commentator Lou Dobbs an $8 million severance package to exit the network, according to the New York Post.
"They wanted him out," a source told the paper.
Dobbs announced his decision to leave CNN Wednesday, with what a Post source said was 1½ years left on his $12 million contract.
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The commentator took heat at CNN for his strong views against illegal immigration and stories on his show about the anti-Obama "birther" movement, which argues the president wasn’t born in Hawaii and thus isn’t an American citizen.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Dobbs said he didn’t feel pushed out of his job.
“Not at all. I don't know if people will believe it, but we had a very amicable parting on the best of terms. I spent 29 years there building that company, and I wish everyone there nothing but the best, and they have reciprocated with me."
Dobbs told AP he will take some time to decide what he wants to do next in addition to his daily radio show. And he promised to reach out to groups who criticized him.
The 64-year-old says it was he who approached CNN about leaving.
"What they do is their business and I tried to accommodate them as best I could, but I've said for many years now that neutrality is not part of my being," he told AP.
"I have strong views about a lot of issues that are important to the country and I think are important to my audience."
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