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Culture Wars

Gibbs: Criticism of Obama Not Based on Race

By Anne E. Kornblut
Amid mounting claims that the hostility toward the president has an undercurrent of racial animus, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said on Wednesday that President Obama disagrees.

"The president does not believe that the criticism comes based on the color of his skin," Gibbs said.

After Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouted "You lie!" during a presidential speech to Congress and members of Congress moved to rebuke him, former president Jimmy Carter said that race is behind much of the dislike toward the president.

In interviews in recent days, several administration officials said that race could be a factor, but not the overwhelming one, instead attributing the anger to Obama's desire to enact changes in society, such as on health care reform.

Posted at 2:37 PM ET on Sep 16, 2009  | Category:  Culture Wars
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Racism has become the default argument for the left.Any time they start to lose ground on an issue, out comes their ace-in-the-hole...the race card.

Unfortunately for them, this strategy isn't working. Moreover, I think it has begun to backfire on them because they have been overplaying it.

People are definitely becoming desensitized to the issue of racial discrimination, and minorities have the left to thank for that.

In their efforts to defeat the radical policies of this administration, the right has no better ally than the left.

Now if we could just get our kooks to shut the heck up, we could simply sit back and watch the left self destruct...yet again.

Posted by: owebama | September 17, 2009 11:01 AM

The true racist in our country has been demonstrated by the democratic party.
The latest being the king racist of all, Jimmy Carter. (The Jew Hater)
Lets add Chris Mathews who thinks 60 to 65% of the townhall seniors and concerned citizens are racist. Carlos Sanchez (MSNBC) who now thinks socialist is the new "N" word. Gee! was he referring to Ni**er?
And I liked him. He wasn't your typical a-hole MSNBC jerk.
Maureen Dowd who likes to add words of her own true thoughts. MSNBC for saying Obama had NO TIES to Acorn... WHAT! I saw 3 videos of him praising the work they have together.
Then Charlie (dumb ass) Gibson who claims to not to even have known about the Acorn videos. Ok, I just Charlie in there because he's just stupid. Then Acorn itself who is run by white guys and a white board and puts black people on the front line and makes them seem racist. Good Job Democrats..

Posted by: dbonade | September 16, 2009 6:51 PM

Carter misses the massive point that as America decends into a this financial mess, it affects every American: red, black, yellow, white, grey, gay, straight, illegal. We need answers to our problems. Not more retoric. People everyone step up and challenge the status quo. Don't let Washington ram something we don't want down our throats. Demand something we can all be proud of. I am not looking for another welfare program. I want a lot better system! I am looking for good solutions! Go America! Go USA!

No defict spending, I command you! lol Congressmen\women, be real with budget or resign.

Posted by: RobMc1 | September 16, 2009 5:40 PM

There is absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of the opposition by the birthers, Lindbah-O'Reilly fans, etc. is sadly racist in nature. There is really no other explanation for their insanity and inanity. Bravo to President Carter for bringing this issue into the public debate.

Posted by: LawyerTom1 | September 16, 2009 5:28 PM

"President Carter is right on. President Obama will never, ever admit this because he does not want to lose focus."

Speaking as a 49-year-old white Southerner, I salute you, Truth Teller. You are exactly right on both counts.

Pres. Obama's ability to keep his eye on the ball and not be distracted by narrow-minded people like Joe Wilson is admirable. The same is true for Pres. Carter's willingness to say things that are not popular but need to be heard.

I very seriously doubt that any of the chatters rushing to belittle Pres. Carter have ever done a fraction of the good he has. So instead of trying to drag him down to your level, maybe you could try to rise to his....

Posted by: DCSteve1 | September 16, 2009 5:24 PM

2stepbay's comment is pathetic. Most of the people at these tea bag events are first timers as I was. Most of these people have been too busy working, paying taxes for such things as ACORN and SEIU, to get out and voice their concerns. Unlike the paid lib events, these people have been awaken. Race, you say. I say black is not the only race. The race card is played when your position can no longer be debated. Why is the race card being played so much lately. If race was the issue, then why did Obama get voted to president?

Posted by: steve90 | September 16, 2009 5:04 PM

Jimmy Carter has been eating tainted peanuts and drinking that Billy Beer....why don't one of you liberal nuts..lift his rock for him so he can climb back under and be the failure he was.

Posted by: JWx2 | September 16, 2009 5:00 PM

Stupid is as stupid says !!Jimmy Carter,at his age has entered the world of Dementia!There is more feeling about Obama Than the color of his skin.If That be the case,why was he elected in the first place?

Posted by: lizard2 | September 16, 2009 4:46 PM

Jimmy needs to stick to building homes...

Posted by: mlimberg | September 16, 2009 4:46 PM

Bringing race into this is weak. It’s only done when your position is not debatable. It’s the last card played. Ask yourself, why is it played so much?

Posted by: steve90 | September 16, 2009 4:46 PM

We must feel sorry for Carter; he has gone senile. How many past presidents comment or commented on current national affairs in the past? Most are gentlemen and men of substance: they keep their mouth shut, but not Carter who likes to put his two cents in a lot. I remember his presidency: I worked and handled among other things certificates of deposit for my company. The rates were around 20%+-. Had to go to the bank to renew and by the time I got there, rates had changed. Carter almost destroyed our economy. I can't think of one thing he did as president that was worthwhile. Stick to planting peanuts, Jimmy.

Posted by: libertymeanslife | September 16, 2009 4:43 PM

Now Wilson must be aware that he was a bad boy. Rather than formally disapproving of Wilson, why not send him to the corner for 15 minutes to think about what he did. Wilson was obviously aware that the Democrats disapproved of what he said, and that the Republicans didn't. That's why the vote went along party lines. I don't see the point of formally disapproving. If the resolution was to make a point, then they should have made a point. Instead, Democrats chose to stick his nose in it and make him sleep in the backyard.

Posted by: robparisblog | September 16, 2009 4:20 PM

Posted by: mjwilstein | September 16, 2009 4:10 PM

He's at least half white - he was raised by whites, educated at white schools.. but when he is criticized.. it's because he is black..

Oh, by the way, he couldn't have been elected without a lot of white voter support and money... hmmmm...

Posted by: newbeeboy | September 16, 2009 4:03 PM

another left wing nutjobs always playing the race card...obama says 'you're a jackass too!'

Posted by: JWx2 | September 16, 2009 3:53 PM

President Carter was a disaster as President, and a disaster afterwards. Listening to a man who defends the militant Islamic group Hamas and attacks Israel at every turn complain about other people's racism is high comedy. If Obama has any brains whatsoever he will stay away from America's Worst President, both literally and ideologically. If Gibbs is to be believed, Obama has already gotten the message.

Oh, and if there is any racism hereabouts, it resides in the hearts of those that assume white people go home at night and wear white sheets, or who complain about bigotry at the same time they complain about "white trash". Or do you really think that assuming anyone who criticizes Obama is an uneducated redneck is not bigotry in its own right? Surely even hypereducated liberal arts majors can make that leap.

Posted by: zippyspeed | September 16, 2009 3:52 PM

This Republican drivel is driven by race hatred and bigotry. People who use this type of behavior are as anti-American as it gets. Pathetic in this day and age we haven't risen the level of our communication to a higher standard. I'm caucasian,yet the label "white trash" sure seems appropriate when observing who showed up at the DC 9/12 Rally this past weekend. Again...pathetic.

Posted by: 2stepbay | September 16, 2009 3:38 PM

President Carter is a man not afraid to call it how he sees it.

I am still shocked that a man would be rude and lack any class during the USA Presidential Address about the crisis in the health care system.

As a nurse it is apparent there is a huge problem coming in the near future. The republicans tend to be like the titanic ignoring the iceberg that is right in front of them.

President Carter also called it correctly when he did see the predjudice in Israel towards all people that are not Jewish!

Wake up people of the USA before we are back in the 1960's with race relations and equality all over the world. Lack of respect is just the start of spreading all this hate. Mr. Wilson is an embarrassment to this nation; including Mr. "text".

It was an embarrassment as a mother to explain to my children what was taking place at the President's Health Care Address.


Posted by: deborahzaki | September 16, 2009 3:34 PM


A more thought-provoking response from the press secretary would have gone something like this:

"President Obama would like to think that criticism of him or his policies is not based on the color of his skin. The President would like to think that America is better than that."


Where is the DOJ Civil Rights Division investigation into the covert use of silent, harmful microwave and laser directed energy weapons on unjustly targeted Americans and their families... a Bush-legacy federal-local "multi-agency coordinated action program" that continues to commit civil and human rights violations under Team Obama? OR RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 16, 2009 3:33 PM

I agree with Gibbs, race isn't the issue, he is. If they replace Gibbs, Obama's favorable opinion is sure to rise. This guy is a mess.

Posted by: EvreeMan | September 16, 2009 3:29 PM

Racism is at play. There are some white folks who find it easier to disagree with a man who they believe who is inferior to them based on his skin color. I am a 53 year old black man who have many white friends throughout my life who tell me what some white folks say and think about blacks when I am not in the room. President Carter is right on. President Obama will never, ever admit this because he does not want to lose focus. Are most of the dissenters racist? No. Are some allowing race to color their views? Yes. Were their blacks who hated President Bush because he was white? Yes. Did this color their views? Yes.

Posted by: TheTruthTeller | September 16, 2009 3:23 PM

Make no mistake...Joe Wilson, Eric Cantor and John Boehner may wear suits in public but on off hours and in their hearts 24/7 they dress in white sheets. I'm sure it's something their Daddy's did in broad daylight.

That "black child" Republicans were on the hunt for fathered by Bill Clinton...turns out they should have been looking in Strom Thurmond's closet for that one. Guess Strom thought he could do what his father and his father's father had done before him with their black female employees and in doing so he fathered a "black daughter". How did that make you feel Joe? All that searching and there she your mentor's back yard.

These three are not alone when it comes to elected officials who can't come to grips with a Black man as the President of this country. They have a ton of company in the house and the senate. Bravo Jimmy Carter for outing them. And let's not forget Jeff Davis of SC who said and I quote "That BOY should not have his finger on the button" when referring to President Obama.

Posted by: MPATL | September 16, 2009 3:19 PM

It must be a slow news day for the media to be paying attention to an addled old man who was probably the worst president this country ever had. Carter is obviously suffering from “lack of attention” disorder syndrome. No rational person can believe that racism alone is responsible for the opposition to Obama. Accusing someone of racism is a powerful force meant to do extreme harm to the recipients. With 52% of the people in this country against the current health care proposals, that makes a lot of racists. Not only is the premise lacking in any logic, it is destructive to the country. Two things will happen. Either the term racism is going to be thrown around to the extent it will cheapen its impact, or a lot of people who call others racists are going to endure broken noses.

Posted by: saelij | September 16, 2009 3:17 PM

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