Republicans were outraged Thursday at a CNN special in which President Barack Obama suggested racism played some part in opposition to his White House agenda – arguing "there's a reason" why attitudes about his presidency are different between white voters in northern and southern states.
"There are people who dislike me because they think I'm a liberal," the president told CNN's Fareed Zakaria during a special aired Wednesday night, "The Legacy of Barack Obama."
"I think there is a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in northern states are very different from whites in southern states," Obama said.
"So are there folks . . . whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign, the other? Are those that champion the birther movement feeding off of bias? Absolutely."
The remarks were also posted by Real Clear Politics.
Town Hall writer Cortney O'Brien ripped into CNN for the special.
"The host wouldn't dare say this, but most Republicans did not oppose Obama's policies because of the color of his skin," Town Hall's Cortney O'Brien wrote.
"They fought against them because they were counter to a freedom-loving, conservative agenda."
And Rush Limbaugh, on his Thursday radio program, castigated Zakaria for bringing in "the racial component."
"What you're gonna have to admit is that the race of President Obama paralyzed this country," he said. "It paralyzed legitimate criticism of the president of the United States. It amplified malcontent operations like Black Lives Matter. It gave rise to a thugocracy, and nobody had the guts to speak out against it for fear of what would happen to them. . . . But yet to 'Fareed Zakaria GPS,' the opposition to Obama was rooted in racism."
GOP strategist Karl Rove chimed in during an interview on "The Kelly File" on Thursday night.
"To suggest that opposition, President Obama's liberal policies was a result of Republicans being a bunch of bigots, that they opposed him on Obamacare because they were racist – they didn't like his stimulus bill and his economic policies because they hated black people –that's condescending and fundamentally wrong," Rove said.
"There were deep divisions there in 2004 and they were ideological in nature," he continued. "To suggest that he was opposed because he is an African-American and his opponents were white is beyond the pale."
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