A Republican Party strategist refused to acknowlege the possibility on Monday that even one white person resented President Barack Obama because of his race, instead accusing Obama of being divisive.
“He refused to acknowledge the fact that he has made history,” Alice Stewart told CNN host Don Lemon. “He is the first African-American president of the United States — and re-elected. We have gone far beyond where MLK started, and he sees, anytime there is opposition or when he says someone doesn’t like him, he claims it’s because of his race.”
“He’s never said that,” co-panelist Marc Lamont Hill protested. “Not one time has he said that.”
Stewart also backed former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s Facebook message to Obama saying, “No more playing the race card,” blaming the entirety of the animus toward Obama on his policy decisions.
Lemon responded by pointing out that Obama was not speaking in absolutes during his recent interview with The New Yorker touching on the role of race in his popularity.
“Don’t you think it would be disingenuous to think that all people who dislike the president dislike him because of his policies?” Lemon asked Stewart. “I know people who didn’t like George Bush because he was white. That’s the truth. You don’t think there are white people who don’t like the president because he’s black.”
“I think the concerns people have, the reason people don’t like President Obama is because of his policies,” Stewart insisted.
“That wasn’t the question,” Hill said, cutting in. “The question was, do you think there are any, not, ‘Do you think they’re a majority?’ First of all, 31 percent of all white people voted for Obama. Most white people did not vote for Barack Obama. And I have no doubt that some of them did it on racial grounds.”
Watch the discussion, as aired Monday on CNN, here.