Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently told C-SPAN that President Barack Obama was the first black president because he was "approved by the elites and the media."
The justice added that if Obama was not what "they expect from a black person," he would have been "picked apart."
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In the April 9 interview on C-SPAN, commentators asked the conservative if he thought he would ever see an African-American president in his lifetime.
"Oh yeah, I guess I’ve always thought there would be black coaches, heads of universities," Thomas said. "Maybe again as I said I’m naïve but the thing I always knew is that it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media because anybody that they didn’t agree with, they would take apart."
Thomas has long been a target
of the liberal media for his conservative views as an African-American. Joy Behar, a commentator on CNN'S Headline News Network, called him "demonic." Likewise, MSNBC's Chris Matthews asked the audience if Thomas, "would have voted to knock down separate but equal back in 1950s."
"Any black person who says something that is not the prescribed things that they expect from a black person will be picked apart," Thomas added. "You can pick anybody, don’t pick me, pick anyone who has decided not to go along with it; there’s a price to pay. So, I always assumed it would be somebody the media had to agree with."
On C-SPAN, Thomas was asked if he had ever met the president.
"I don’t do a lot of Washington and I’m not into politics, so I mean there’s not that many occasions," Thomas said. "I shook hands with him at the inauguration to be polite but I’ve had no in depth conversation."
Obama was a critic of Thomas in his 2008 presidential campaign.
When asked which Supreme Court justices he would not have nominated, Obama mentioned Thomas.
"I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas," Obama said. "I don't think that he . . . was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution."
Others he would have not nominated include: Antonin Scalia, and perhaps John Roberts.
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A recent poll
conducted by The Economist and YouGov in late April supports Thomas' opinion that America's elite approve of Obama's performance more than lower and middle class Americans.
Fifty-four percent of Americans earning an annual salary of more than $100,000 approve of Obama's overall job performance, according to the poll, whereas a separate poll question found that 50 percent of individuals earning less than $100,000 a year disapproved.
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