Reacting to the escalating firestorm over President Barack Obama's comment that a much-decorated Massachusetts cop “acted stupidly” in arresting his friend Henry Louis Gates Jr., Rush Limbaugh blasted the president for mimicking the black supremacist thought of his longtime mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Instead of dodging the question and staying above the fray, Obama provoked a firestorm when he criticized the police. In doing so, Limbaugh said, Obama fell back on the leftist teachers of Wright and early mentors during his years as a community organizer in Chicago.
“I think what we learned last night, ladies and gentlemen, is that President Obama did, after all, listen to Reverend Wright all those 20 years,” Limbaugh said on his show Thursday. “He says, ‘Yeah, I was a member of the church 20 years. I sat there and I didn't hear any of that.’ I think he heard it all. That question he got from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, that's when he came alive. The rest of the press conference, he didn't even want to be there. He knew that they were in trouble, so he goes out there and tries to dazzle everybody with his professorial insight and capabilities and elegance and all that.
”But when that question about Henry Louis Gates and the arrest in his home came up, why, it was passion, excitement, animation, fire! He came alive. That question was, ‘Mr. President, recently professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested at his home in Cambridge. What does that incident say to you, and what does it say about race relations in America?’"
“A loaded question if I have heard one. This is a liberal idyllic panacea, Cambridge, Harvard. It's liberal everything. So now we've got racist cops profiling a distinguished Harvard professor — who to my eye, every time I see this guy on TV I see somebody enraged. I see somebody angry. He's a liberal, they all are.”
Limbaugh said the more likely scenario is that Gates had a "chip on his shoulder" and provoked the police officer.
“In the first place, what we now know is that Gates was not arrested sipping tea sitting on his sofa legally in his house. He followed the police out of the house screaming at them. How else would neighbors know he was belligerent? That's when he was arrested. He wasn't sitting in a couch sipping tea daintily. He was screaming at the cop there to help protect his property. I've also learned that Gates' house had a history of having been broken into. This is why the neighbor called. There are a lot of break-ins in this neighborhood recently. In fact, there was damage done to Gates' door.”
“So I've long thought that there's a chip on the shoulder here, and that there's a little anger out there at the country based on who his mentors, associates, all that were. Gates was not 'stopped.' This was not a profiling case. Let's review what happened. To the best of my knowledge, a neighbor sees Gates . . . A friend and driver of the car, in addition to Gates, tried to get in the house. Gates and one other person. And some neighbor said, ‘Whoa, what was that? That doesn't look right.’ They called the police. My first reaction would be to thank the neighbor for looking out for me. But I guarantee you the neighbor is also going to be, before this is all over, a racist. In Cambridge now. We're talking Harvard, Cambridge!”
Limbaugh found it implausible that police in the liberal community of Cambridge would treat a black elderly man with disrespect. He likened the escalating media uproar over the case to the one-sided coverage of the discredited rape of a stripper by members of the Duke lacrosse team.
“It may as well be Duke,” Limbaugh said. “May as well be the lacrosse team here. May as well be that dancer. Gates and a friend break in, and the cops show up, and apparently all hell breaks loose inside the house, handcuffs and so forth. Obama doesn't know what all happened — and we don't, either. There are five or six different versions of what went on in there. We still really don't know. Bill Cosby has come out today in Boston, and he can't believe the president would say what he said about this admitting he doesn't know all the facts. So Obama wasn't quite through. After taking this incident, where Gates was not stopped. He was not pulled over. The cops were called there by somebody in the neighborhood. This was not a profiling incident. “
Finally, Limbaugh pointed out that Obama, much like Gates, is hardly a victim. Both men are at the pinnacle of an elite establishment in the United States.
“He doesn't know the facts, he wasn't there, he pops off, just exactly as he would back in Chicago in the community organizing days. He goes off about racial profiling, all the rest,” Limbaugh said. “Based on what? A limited amount of information about a single incident where he's quick to condemn the cop, the whole police department, and white America. Mr. President, you are not a victim. You are, in fact, the president of the United States. You went to private school. You went to Ivy League schools. You are a millionaire. You have a charmed life. Congratulations. You're living the American dream. Stop pretending otherwise. If anybody behaved stupidly yesterday it was the president, in even taking the question.”
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