Republican radio host Rush Limbaugh just couldn’t resist going there on Wednesday.
Apparently tweaked by First Lady Michelle Obama’s enormously popular speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, Limbaugh told his listening audience that she’s lying about having to struggle and take on debt.
“Obama did not grow up in poverty,” he said. “His grandmother, the typical white woman, worked in a bank. Don’t give me this ‘down with the struggle’ business. He wasn’t down. In 2008, the Democrats were wringing their hands because he wasn’t authentically black… He wasn’t down with the struggle. He doesn’t have slave blood.”
President Obama is actually the 11th great-grandson of the first African to be declared a slave in the U.S., according to researchers at Ancestry.com. The familial connection was actually found on his white mother’s side, who descended from the Bunch family started by a slave in Virginia. Additionally, Obama’s father was born in Kenya.
Limbaugh’s claim that Obama never struggled also wilts under scrutiny. Even the neoconservative-leaning Weekly Standard pointed out that right after graduating Harvard Law, Obama took a $12,000-a-year salary as a community organizer in Chicago instead of a six-figure salary at one of the nation’s most prestigious law firms — a figure that comes to just over $23,000 once adjusted for inflation, which is less than what most public school teachers make. As Michelle Obama explained Tuesday night, during those years their student loan bills “were actually higher than our mortgage.”
Of course, for a Republican icon like Limbaugh, suggesting Obama’s blackness is inauthentic is par for the course. He said in 2007 that Obama and actress Halle Berry are both “Halfrican Americans,” and has repeatedly insisted — even as recently as Wednesday — that the only reason Obama can win elections is because he’s the black “affirmative action candidate.”
This audio is from “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” broadcast Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.
Photo: Flickr user ProgressMissouri, creative commons licensed.