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NBC analyst equates GOP request on Obama speech to racism

By Michael Krebs     Sep 2, 2011 in Entertainment
Appearing on MSNBC's 'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell,' political analyst Richard Wolffe equated the request by Speaker John Boehner for President Obama to move his speech to racism.
After President Obama issued a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) requesting an address to both chambers of Congress on Wednesday, September 7, the same evening as a televised Republican presidential debate, Mr. Boehner, citing a lack of time to prepare for President Obama's speech, requested the president deliver his speech a day later, according to a summary by the Washington Post.
The problem with Speaker Boehner's request was that the speech would then fall on the opening night of the 2011 National Football League season, a game between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints.
While President Obama agreed to Boehner's request, the "level of distrust" between the two men, as the Washington Post declared it, has become a standalone topic. Additionally, Boehner's counter to Mr. Obama's request for a presentation to Congress is broadly seen as unprecedented.
But according to NBC political analyst Richard Wolffe, Boehner's request and the subsequent GOP support for Boehner's request is akin to racism.
"What's curious about this is not just the back and the forth, because I think people who don't tune into politics and don't tune in to this show are going to think they're all a bunch of squabbling school kids," Wolffe said on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell." "The interesting question is what is it about this president that has stripped away the veneer of respect that normally accompanies the the office of the president? Why do Republicans think this president is un-presidential and shouldn't dare to request this kind of thing? It strikes me that it could be the economic times; it could be that he won so big in 2008; or it could be, let's face it, the color of his skin. This is an extraordinary reaction to a normal sequence of events when the economy's in trouble and we're entering a political season, and the reaction is out of all proportion."
Mr. Wolffe was reacting to a question posed by O'Donnell on whether or not Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh was right on characterizing President Obama's speech request as an attempt to upstage the GOP presidential debate.
Limbaugh had his own reaction to Wolffe's assessment.
"I said yesterday, they would never ask Bush or Clinton any of these questions. Because Bush or Clinton would not have suggested a joint session on the night of either a Democratic or Republican debate, respectively," Limbaugh said, according to Real Clear Politics.
More about Obama, Speech, Gop debate, MSNBC, the last word
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