Obama Doesn't Take It Personally

More

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
Jump to comments
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.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

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

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In