Obama blames Rush, Fox News for hurting his relationship with conservatives in rural communities

During a discussion at PEN America’s virtual gala, former President Obama blamed Rush Limbaugh and Fox News for hurting his relationship with conservatives in rural communities.

Obama said “I ended up getting enormous support in these pretty conservative, rural, largely white communities when I was a senator, and that success was repeated when I ran for president in the first race in Iowa.”

“By my second year in office, I’m not sure if I could make that same connection,” he said “because now those same people are filtering me through Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and an entire right-wing or conservative media infrastructure that was characterizing me in a way that suggested I looked down on those folks or had nothing in common with them.”

Of course, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh had nothing to do with some of Obama’s own remarks that hurt his reputation with conservatives.

For example in 2008 Obama said “People have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism”