Tags: limbaugh | obama | racism | nbc

Limbaugh: Obama Creating Racial Strife

By Rick Pedraza   |   Monday, 12 Oct 2009 04:31 PM

The presidency of Barack Obama is aggravating racial tensions in America rather than easing them, says conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

"I predicted it was going to exacerbate racial problems, and it has," Limbaugh said during an interview on NBC’s “Today" show. “If you don't like his healthcare bill, it is racism."

Limbaugh noted that he also opposed healthcare reform legislation under the Clinton administration in 1993-94, which disproves claims that his objections to Obama’s plans for healthcare reform stem from racism.

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“When Clinton and Hillary were trying to do it, they [weren’t] black,” Limbaugh said. “It's all about ideas. [Obama] is shepherding the decline, he's not observing it.”

Limbaugh said that, despite his earlier prediction, he was moved to see Obama elected president in 2008. But he added that he "got over it very quickly. His skin color doesn't matter to me. His policies matter."

Other topics addressed during the wide-ranging interview with Jamie Gangel:

  • Limbaugh's 15-hour-a-week radio show, which reaches 20 million viewers, is all about huge ratings and advertising dollars. “I want the largest audience I can get because that's how I can charge the highest advertising rates."

  • He rejected the suggestions of some that he is the de facto leader of the Republican Party. "I'm going to dispute that I have that much power. I believe in the free market, and if the free market creates that with my participation in it — then it is what it is."

  • Ideology and business are "inseparable," Limbaugh said, adding that he is a serious critic of Obama’s policies and not just an entertainer. "I'm not an actor, but let's face it: Radio and showbiz, and this rap that I'm just an entertainer, is a way that critics of mine try to discredit me.”

  • Limbaugh defended his biting political commentary as merely a form of satire. “Would you ask someone who writes for 'Saturday Night Live' these questions?"

  • Nobody will debate him on his ideas. “Nobody argues. They always say, ‘Did you hear what he said? He's this, he's that, he's outrageous, he's bombastic.’ Those are attempts to discredit me among people who don't listen to me. But the media didn't make me and they can't break me. They've been trying the same plays from their playbook for 21 years."

  • Limbaugh, infamous for once having said he wants Obama to fail, said that, if given the chance he would tell the president he wants this country to succeed. He said he feels he owes that sentiment to the president.

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