President Barack Obama’s contention that media representations of his policies created a groundswell of antagonism was refuted Thursday on Fox News, one of the chief targets of Obama’s criticism.
Obama told The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates that one reason he was popular in 2008 was that, “I was never subjected to the kind of concentrated vilification of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the whole conservative-media ecosystem.”
As a result, American voters “weren’t seeing some image of me as trying to take away their stuff and give it to black people, and coddle criminals, and all the stereotypes of not just African-American politicians but liberal politicians,” he said.
He said the criticism of him is, in fact, an attack on “a fictional character named Barack Obama who they see on Fox News or who they hear about through Rush Limbaugh.”
Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Fox Business host Neil Cavuto fired back on Thursday.
“We are, in fact, responsible America for those higher insurance premiums you’re paying and that the health care laws have inflated the price of almost anything medically related,” Cavuto said, adding, “The president was onto it.”
Cavuto then introduced guest Karl Rove, an adviser to former President George W. Bush.
“I just want to cleanse my soul, Karl, and I want to let people know that I did indeed hike insurance premiums, that I did indeed give them that sticker shock with high deductibles that sometimes run in excess of $5,000.”
Rove suggested that Obama’s comments were broader and deeper than an attack on conservative media.
“It’s not about you,” said Rove.
“The real target he has in mind is the American people,” said Rove, who called Obama’s remarks ” jaw-droppingly condescending and arrogant.”
Rove said Obama’s contention is “white people are racist if they disagree with me … You’ve had your fears and your anxieties activated by Fox, not by the facts of the matter, but by your racism, by your bigotry.”
Rove said Obama is saying, in effect, “You can’t disagree with me … unless you’re a bigot.”
“This interview kicks around Fox and Rush Limbaugh a little bit, but at the heart of it is an assault … on the good sense of the American people,” Rove said.
Rove said Obama is telling the nation, “Institutions have misled you. I’m real. I’m great. I’m doing everything good. If you disagree with me, it’s because you are driven by fears and anxieties about a black man being president.”
Cavuto ended the segment by saying, “It’s not about the color of the president’s skin, maybe more the thickness of it.”