Obama Doesn't Take It Personally

President Obama can't go anywhere these days without getting asked why people on the right are so passionately against him. He's made himself available to the media for two television interviews in the past week, and, in both, he got asked what he makes of the riled-up conservatives who strongly--very strongly--oppose his agenda, and on a regular basis call him a "socialist."

Obama's response: shrug it off. Place it in historical context. It's not personal; I'm not a socialist; look, the economy is bad, and people are anxious about.

That's how he responded to questions about tea partiers and birtherism in an NBC interview with Matt Lauer that aired on Monday, telling the interviewer, "There are some folks who just weren't sure whether I was born in the United States, whether I was a socialist, right, so there's that segment of it, which I think is just dug in ideologically, and that strain has existed in American politics for a long time."

And again, today, to CBS's Harry Smith, who asked the president what he made of getting called a "socialist" and a "Nazi."

"It's troublesome, but keep in mind that there have been periods in American history where this kind of vitriol comes out. It happens often when you've got an economy that is making people more anxious and people are feeling as if there's a lot of change that needs to take place, but that's not the vast majority of Americans. The truth is, some of these comments, when you actually ask, "Well, this is based on what?" This notion that Obama's a socialist, for example. Nobody can really give you a good answer," Obama said.

Video below:


Watch CBS News Videos Online
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

More in Politics

Just In