President Barack Obama is blaming his rocky relationship with Republicans in Congress on Rush Limbaugh, and the constant stream of bad press he receives from Fox News.
In the New Yorker follow-up interview to the magazine’s in-depth portrait of the President, Obama is described as being “particularly touchy” when discussing the notion that his inability to compromise with Republicans prevents him from passing more legislation. The publication’s initial interview made media waves earlier this week due to his comments about marijuana.
“The issue has been the inability of my message to penetrate the Republican base so that they feel persuaded that I’m not the caricature that you see on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh,” Obama said. “But I’m somebody who is interested in solving problems and is pretty practical, and that, actually, a lot of the things that we’ve put in place worked better than people might think.”
If the voters don’t trust him, Obama explained, then the Republican politicians they elected can’t compromise with him, because their constituents will consider it “a betrayal.”
“And as long as there’s that gap between perceptions of me within the average Republican primary voter and the reality, it’s hard for folks like John Boehner to move too far in my direction,” Obama added.
When asked to weigh in on the “Bridgegate” scandal surrounding New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, Obama avoided giving an opinion on the matter.
“Well, I like Christie personally, and we’ve had a good working relationship on specific issues like the Hurricane Sandy recovery,” he said. “Beyond that, I just don’t have enough facts to offer a judgment.”