Obama: Fox News, Limbaugh Created 'Fictional Character Named Barack Obama'
President Barack Obama took another parting shot at Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, claiming they created a "fictional" portrayal of him.
In a sit-down with Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic, Obama was discussing why some Americans, including supporters of President-elect Donald Trump, responded negatively to him.
When people criticize or respond negatively to me, usually they're responding to this character that they’re seeing on TV called Barack Obama, or to the office of the presidency and the White House and what that represents," he said.
"And so you don’t take it personally. You understand that if people are angry that somehow the government is failing, then they are going to look to the guy who represents government. And that applies, by the way, even to some of the folks who are now Trump supporters. They're responding to a fictional character named Barack Obama who they see on Fox News or who they hear about through Rush Limbaugh."
The president told the story of a 21-year-old immigration activist who refused to shake his hand in the White House, declaring, "I can’t shake your hand; you're deporting too many people."
He added, "One of the things that you come pretty early on to understand in this job, and you start figuring out even during the course of the campaign, is that there’s Barack Obama the person and there’s Barack Obama the symbol, or the office holder, or what people are seeing on television."
Obama said after the election that Democratic losses could be partly attributed to "Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country."
On "America's Newsroom," Republican strategist Tony Sayegh argued that the latest remarks from Obama are predictable, adding that Obama has "detached himself from accountability" in the last eight years.
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