The Corner

Sharpton: Obama Encouraged Us Not to Blame Race for Opposition

​Fresh off The New Yorker’s publishing comments from President Obama about how race has affected his approval numbers, Al Sharpton shared on Morning Joe on Monday that the president has asked him and others to refrain from blaming his opponents’ opposition on race.

“He has discouraged us – who firmly believe a lot of people are against him because he’s black –” from citing race, Sharpton said. In meetings, the reverend claimed, “[Obama] has said, ‘No, I don’t agree with you pushing that.’”

President Obama has consistently avoided blaming drops in his approval ratings on race, Sharpton said, although the comments to The New Yorker may have gone further than he has in the past. The MSNBC host said he wished the president would highlight the problem more.

In the New Yorker piece, President Obama told editor David Remnick, “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president,” but that “the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president.”